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News & Insight

{Be Inspired} Neil Snape: Beauty & Fashion Photographer

By Dave Kai Piper on April 17th 2014

Keeping our creative mind alert and sharp is one of those unique challenges for all of us. As a fellow photographer, I was wondering, how do other people keep their mental tool boxes full of great ideas and concepts? Each week, to help us {Be Inspired}, we will pick a creative artist, talk about why we find them inspiring, followed by finding out a little bit about what makes them tick!

{Be Inspired} by Rebecca Litchfield in last week’s interview here.

Neil Snape 650-1

Images from Neil Snape’s Portfolio

Neil brings a sheer sense of luxury and glamour to his work through the use of lighting and mirrors that is inspiring.

Many of his images are NSFW though, so be aware when you go check out his portfolio.

The images below show beauty and use color to grab and hold your attention. They are quite bold – sensual and sexual without being over the top. Being able to create images like this is a dream for advertising agencies who want to seduce people into a brand.

[REWIND: Art Nouveau Inspiration behind fashion shoots]

Neil shoots with Broncolor lighting and is a big fan of continuous lights such as the LTM  HMI Fresnel & Tungsen lights. However, he also is a master of natural light.

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Neil Snape SLR-2

Shot for Cartier by Neil Snape

With a career that began in engineering, Neil transitioned early on to follow his passion for photography. He relocated to Paris (from Canada) and began his assent in the beauty and fashion industry. Snape has collaborated with major publications and luxury brand names.

What would your dream shoot be ?

Neil: The shoot that has eluded me is to shoot beauty on location in the tropics for an extended stay. Limited team, great make up and hair. It could be one or more models, the important element is intimacy.

Top Tips for Staying Inspired:

  • Do something new. Something you haven’t tried, say video, continuous light, daylight, flash, whatever it is that you don’t do.
  • Simplify. Take away everything you can. Then, take away a little more. The purity will allow inspiration to live the moment
  • Go out, go to a show, art gallery, theatre, or just out of your space. Find magic in others and where you are, whether that be light, art, or culture.

What Image Inspires You?

Neil: The image below taken by Meisel will do, but also, these two reference pages about Steven Meisel. He has only given two interviews in his entire career.


The epitome of fashion is the cumulation of not only all the years experience that Steven Meisel has, but that of his collaborators. His pictures always have the balance of technical, strength of character, a story well told and sublime elegance with lots of folly thrown in. The details are there, yet has its place. He adores women, it shows, and he always gives his subjects room to be the centre of his works. What inspires me is his understanding of the total package, humanity, women, styling, painting, and story telling in a modern retro classic way that makes history each and every time.

To see more of Neil Snape’s work: {NSFW}

CREDITS: All photographs by Neil Snape are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Founder of Ideas & images Dave Kai Piper is a fashion based imagemaker and retoucher from the UK.

Ideas and Images works with small to large businesses in the photographic & fashion markets. Fuji X-Photographer & Adobe Community Pro.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa


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  2. Chris Yates

    I could look at Neil’s work all day! The concepts and details are fantastic and extremely inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing a great creatives work!


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  3. john

    It’s always interesting to read about which photographers have influenced peoples’ work, as it helps you to understand where they are coming from. Bit like the John French>Bailey>Rankin evolution?

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  4. Simon Ellingworth

    A great insight into a great photographer. I love the rich, almost metallic black and white images.

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  5. Kathrine Anker

    Great interview. I love Neil Snape’s work – it’s really interesting to learn what and who inspires him.

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  6. Phil Drinkwater

    Neil is a fantastic guy and an exceptional photographer. He really knows how to get the best from any situation and I’ve certainly been a fan of his work for years!

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  7. Matthew Maddock

    Some stunning images there, and in his portfolio if you look. Definitely gives you something to think about and certainly to inspire, very bold images.

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  8. Mark Evans

    Very interesting article. I do like Neil’s advice for staying inspired it’s so easy to fall into a ‘style’.

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  9. Luke Grimley

    But different is good

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  10. Graham Warwick

    Awesome images and a good bit of evening inspiration for me :-) Going to go out and shoot something different tomorrow now.

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