Mel Yates is a London-based interiors and portrait photographer/video director who works internationally

I discovered my love for photography a long, long time ago whilst studying product design at London’s Central St Martin's. Whilst completing my degree I spent as much time as possible in the photographic studio and it seemed inevitable that the two worlds of design and photography would remain entwined for me. 

Although in the early days I was purely a photographer - shooting portraits, products and interiors - these days my work is roughly 50/50 stills/video, or is it video/stills? 

I love making videos, and see the whole process through from storyboarding to the final edit and grade. It's not uncommon for us to create on the same shoot a set of high-end stills, plus a fully edited video, plus a variety of social media content. And hopefully a compatible look and aesthetic comes through across all. 

I made my first commercial video in 2010. Whilst planning a stills shoot of one of their projects, I was asked by Yoo Interiors to make a short film with designer Kelly Hoppen. Kelly is super professional, passionate about her work, and only needs just one take for any film talk - so being my very first video it was kind of “in at the deep end”! Fortunately it went really well and led to loads more moving-image commissions. 

Although way past the '100 commercial videos' mark I still find each new project extremely exciting to work on, and want it to be different to anything I've yet done. To be our "best yet". I call my video production team 'Reel Curious' and it's made up of the fantastic group of collaborators I've discovered over time.

I’ve continued to work with many designers - and being closely involved with design has always felt a very natural environment, and value having long-term working relationships with my clients. Kelly Hoppen, who I've mentioned, I've shot with regularly for more than a decade, homeware brand Graham & Green even longer (since 2000), and many other valued working partnerships date back several years. In addition there are lots of newer clients that we start working with and then thankfully return for more shoots. It’s what I love - really getting to know a client well, to understand and to communicate their message - whether it be using stills, video, or both. 

Some of the people we work with include: British Airways, Chateau Denmark, Cole & Son, Dior, Elle Decoration, Etihad, The Four Seasons Hotels, Glenmorangie Whiskey, Goddard Littlefair, Goodwood, Graham & Green, Gregory Philips Architects,  Harrods, Hotel Designs, Indigo Living, Kelly Hoppen Interiors, Kimpton Hotels, The New York Times, Patek Philippe, PGT-Reclaimed, Vogue and many, many more.

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