NCM Participant Profile Aug 14: Louis Quail

Louis Quail is a photographer who joined the NCM programme with Four Corners.

Louis has worked for many years as a successful editorial and commercial photographer with clients including Marie Claire, Lloyds Bank, Iceland etc. He is increasingly looking to establish himself in the fine art sector. Recent successes include being selected for the Renaissance prize and receiving Arts Council funding for the project Then and Now. Louis has twice been a finalist at the National Portrait Gallery annual exhibition and is held in their permanent collection. He lectures at the London Metropolitan University and is represented by Picture Tank.

What impact has New Creative Markets had on you?

New Creative Markets has had a very positive impact on my practice. It has enabled me to take greater control of my personal work, giving me the confidence to make a shift from purely editorial commissions into fine art photography. I see this as a long-term development that will hopefully open up new and exciting exhibition and teaching opportunities. I have also recently been successful with an Arts Council Grants for the Arts application, something I would not have thought possible without Four Corners and the NCM programme!

What aspect of the programme do you see yourself implementing?

I attended workshops in how to write funding bids and one specifically about Grants for the Arts funding. These sessions gave me the initial incentive to write my first Arts Council application. As I developed my ideas, Four Corners gave me extremely helpful feedback that enabled me to fine-tune my application.

The WordPress workshop gave me the practical skills to construct my own website dedicated to my commercial work. This has proved very successful with a number of new commissions coming as a direct result of this new website.

What is the most useful thing you have learned on the programme?

The insights, practical advice and general support I experienced throughout the writing of my Arts Council application were invaluable.
I’ve also learnt how to develop my various social networking platforms into effective marketing tools.

The peer-to-peer discussion events, Photoforums and artists talks are often fascinating and informative. Networking with other practitioners on the programme along with workshop tutors and other industry professionals has also been incredibly beneficial.

Thank you to Louis for answering our questions and for sharing his deeply touching work with us.


Image courtesy Louis Quail, from the Series, Then and Now. This work explores remembrance and raises questions about how we commemorate our soldiers killed during the war in Afghanistan.

Emma Betts, an accountant from Nottingham, lost her brother, Private James Prosser, a warrior infantry vehicle driver. He was 21 when he was killed as a result of an explosion in Helmand, Afghanistan in September 2009. “It was strange going back to that house in Caerphilly for the photo, because I hadn’t been in fifteen years and everything felt smaller...It made me nostalgic for that time, when life was simple and we’d play Barbies - James with his action man... I think as I get older, I get sadder. I get angrier. I miss him more.”