Tech Talk: A mini review of Movie Photos by Alex Bailey

Movie Photos

Movie Photos by Alex Bailey. Grab a copy and get comfy.

Every photographer has a unique story, a journey they followed in pursuing their craft. Movie Photos is a record of the work of Alex Bailey (via IMDB) as well as a worthwhile insight into the life of a movie stills photographer. Even if you’ve not heard of Alex, his images have probably inspired you to watch a film or two whether it be Atonement, Sunshine, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Sherlock Holmes or Brighton Rock. You’ll get plenty of opportunity to enjoy his work further as you make your own journey through his pages.

What’s really great about Movie Photos is the insight into the craft, the working relationships and the career of a working unit stills photographer (a term Alex himself dislikes the term in favour of the more to the point: Photographer). Alex is generous with his explanation of many of the aspects of the job that you don’t otherwise learn without experience. There’s a clear passion in his words, which any photographer with an interest in succeeding in this business needs to have.

Movie Photos discusses frankly the purpose of the role as well a talks about the different kinds of photography required of a photographer on a film set as well as running a “Specials Shoot” (dedicated publicity shoots).

Don’t expect a textbook, Movie Photos is more like a gentle conversation with a warm hearted, and seasoned professional. It’s not going to teach you any new techniques on the technical aspects of photography or composition but studying the many beautiful images Alex has made will be informative for anyone looking to better understand the range of images a movie stills photographer needs to be able to create to be successful.

Much of what Alex has written about the role of the movie stills photographer is directly applicable to working on smaller scale productions but also gives a good grounding for an advancing career.

Four years into my career as a photographer dedicated to working on set, I can honestly say I wish I’d discovered Movie Photos sooner. I’ve read it twice now, it is an easy and very enjoyable read.

Movie Photos
Independently Published with a donation of proceeds going to HALO, a charity dedicated to remove the debris of war.
Available at £12.99*
Paperback, 223 pages
ISBN 978-0-9559337-0-7

For more about Alex Bailey you can check out his blog or listen to an excellent 45 minute podcast interview via PLINK’s Red Curtain Creatives.

*Note: My US friend Curtis Clegg informs me that won’t ship the book to the US, but you can order directly through


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  • Wendy CalderDecember 3, 2012 - 8:41 pm

    I would like to contact Alex Bailey and other stills photographers. ..I am looking for a work placement as a Stills Photographer. I am currently studying BA (Hons) in Creative Practice at Newcastle College.

    I would appreciate your help.

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Kind regards

  • PSbyAYDecember 4, 2012 - 1:41 am

    Hi Wendy, Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately there are no work placements for unit stills photographers. Most film sets barely have patience or space for one stills photographer let alone a second work placement/intern photographer – this has been confirmed to me by all my unit stills photographer contacts.

    If you’ve got a passion to pursue this line of work, your best bet is to start by reading TT12 Getting Work as a Stills Photographer, as well as other resources I’ve listed on my Tech Talk page and to grab yourself a copy of Alex’s book.

  • A WilliamsJuly 26, 2013 - 5:57 pm


    I’ve purchased this book through Alex’s movie photos site but just wanted to know how long it took for your copy to arrive. Great mini review by the way, I’m looking forward to receiving my copy :)

  • PSbyAYJuly 26, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    I think mine was purchased through and it arrived within 48hrs. I have no knowledge of order times when direct from Alex. You may be able to contact him through his new twitter account @buntyme, or alternatively through the comments on his Blog.

  • akinda browneJanuary 20, 2015 - 5:01 pm

    My name is Akinda, I am a 1st year student at London College of
    Contemporary Arts. I am doing a degree in photography. At present we are doing ‘film stills’ and I am finding it so enjoyable.
    Alex’s work so inspiring, thanks for the this website


  • KayodeNovember 25, 2015 - 6:11 pm

    Just bought the book… hoping it comes soon. Am thinking of moving from event photography into BTS for film & TV.