Explain your brief for Six For Twelve At Public House Projects?
The brief for the work in the exhibition was a continuation of the work displayed in the Camberwell degree show so it was set by myself. For me work has to be personal in some way and these particular images are all taken from my visual diary which I guess is becoming in itself a body of work as repitition of certain themes become apparent. I have always shot with my interests firmly in people, our environments and essentially the acts that make us human. To me they are a collection of human interactions and nuances, focused particularly around love, curiosity, friendship and becoming older. Never in a melancholic fashion, everything is always positive. With the piece that is currently displayed in the PHP exhibition the use of different papers and printing methods in a seemingly random arrangement hopefully gives the piece a raw and busy feel whilst allowing the viewer to create and recognise stories running through it using their own judgements related to colour and size to find a beginning, middle and end. That makes it sound a little bit heavier than it is!
How would you describe your works?
Reflections, individuals story arcs, sentimentality, little nuggets of joy and fun.
What equipments do you use when working?
A Contax G1 with a 45mm lens, a notebook, muji pens, a Nikonos V diving camera. Sometimes a Bronica SQ-AI sneaks in there. Fuji 160C, Fuji 400H, Kodak Portra 400, T-Max 100 + 400, Fomapan 400.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would be spent listlessly wandering about in any country in the world in the half light that occurs when you have a brilliantly sunny day whilst dark storm clouds loom on the horizon. It would only be me and one other person, someone close to me that I could shoot pictures of which were just for us. I guess it would basically be very intimate and very still. I don’t know if its romantic or just isolationist though haha. My friend JP (who is also a fantastic photographer) once briefly touched on the subject of being happy to be alone which has always stuck with me. Although my perfect day includes another I think this idea translates itself over to it, to be happy with what you have and most importantly who you have.
Although there would definitely be some nudity and messing about, if you’re uncomfortable with eachother naked then you’re either not close enough or unrequitedly in love with eachother. Or maybe you’re just reserved/polite/no fun.
What softwares can’t you live without when working?
Lightroom 4 is my absolute, one and only forbidden love affair haha. I’m not so good with organisation and don’t ever need a heavy edit to achieve what I want and this gives me both – essential edit tools and archiving. I understand that it’s limited compared to photoshop but who wants to spend more time on the computer and less time outside?
Despite the above photoshop is completely essential especially when working with scanned film, it’s undoubtedly the best tool for removing pesky hair marks. And adding text if you’re into that sort of thing/asked to do it.
And finally InDesign. How else are you supposed to make a book exactly how you want it this easily?! So thank you Adobe.
I feel that it is important to stay in touch with the tactile – prints, going outside, using film but you have to embrace the parts of the digital revolution that really enhance your own particular style, not all of it is for everyone but a lot of it will definitely help you. It’s an important lesson to not be stubborn about things, not just about technology but also in life. Don’t be a luddite – embrace it!
Who have influenced and helped you to establish your style?
Haruki Murakami, Blade Runner and Phillip K Dick, Nobuyashi Araki, Wolfgang Tillmans, Ed Templeton, Larry Clark, girlfriends, Daido Moriyama, Rinko Kawauchi, Colin LaFleche, Alex Parish (AKA Adolescent), Theo Celano and The Mysterons, people who do things for themselves, people who keep quiet online, people who can value themselves without the value of an internet fan base, people who can critique and be critiqued honestly. David Benjamin Sherry.
It’s not even about the images as such, but the outlooks that I identify with, which most of the time happnes to be a certain type of serenity and sentimentality which strangely I do not feel comes out delicately in my works like a lot of my influences. I can be quite brash sometimes. I can’t fathom those people who are nasty to people online and hoist the banner of free speech to defend being pathetic. It’s mainly all about the first three though.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am sitting on a lot of work and I mean A LOT. Mainly sentimental in tone and appears to be presenting itself somewhat as a journey through observations and touching eachother (in a good way!). It’s being sorted into several different projects to update my website and also to be made into affordable photozines. Zines are great because they feel like they are made with a degree of honesty combined with affordability whereas photobooks nowadays feel more like a cash cow. Don’t get me wrong I love them but it just feels like a lot of them are produced as part of a photographic production line to purely make money. Maybe I’m just misinformed though. As I said though there are a lot of exceptions and a lot of beautiful and inspiring work that deserves to be made into a book to be treasured.
Aside from the above I am looking to shoot a more formal and traditional documentary project that has a wider more worldly context. I used to think that I would be happy shooting fashion editorials and the like but I realised that I am so interested in humans and our world that I wouldn’t find it fulfilling. A job with a newspaper, the AP, National Geographic and Time would be the dream. Right now I am looking for a story and a way of documenting it, ideally with a writer. So if anybody wants to collaborate on anything give me a shout.
And I want to make a piece about the beach, but I haven’t decided which aspect yet, probably something to do with the social aspect rather than the gawping at bodies aspect. Maybe to do with one group of people. On the note of National Geographic it easily offers the best subscription deal of any magazine ever!
Six For Twelve exhibition is on until 26 August. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for collaboration.