The worst thing about being a photographer sometimes, are the photographs.
Describe your approach to photography?
Initially, I tend to take a chaotic approach to photography, often thinking of a story to tell or an idea to share. They can be from my own experiences or emotions, current events or a different way of looking at content matter. Quite often, these ideas never materialise as expected. The ideas may be sound but photographically could be too complex to depict within a single image or set of images.
Once an idea is formulated and acceptable as a photographic set, I capture a few test shots to review the idea then run with it and I’m normally satisfied with the results. I’m very much a ‘think about the photographs’ person which could be a downfall as it can sometimes take a long time to actualise them. Sometimes never, however I’m always fond of the work.
What themes or concepts have you explored in your photography this year and why?
As in the previous two years, I have been dark literally and photographically. In “left to our own devices” I represent the omnipresence of mobile internet, in a world in which we are connected to evermore people, the body seems to act like a phantom limb, requiring just a thumb to interact with ‘digital people’
Other themes considered were the absurdity of confirming to political correctness. This was difficult to present photographically, as political correctness doesn’t teach people to be mindful of problems in the way they think, it simply attempts to censor speech to avoid offending people. As such, the project is on hold and may surface again in the future.
Austerity under the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government was documented in an attempt to highlight that how people cope, or do not cope with Austerity. Instead, what was photographed was the forgotten items and areas which have become part of and not enhanced by their presence. Again this project (Austerity 2015) was shelved as more source material is required to effectively demonstrate the projects intention.
As chaotic as I am, photography as a practice and as a format is in a state of flux. This is demonstrated with two part project ‘Coming or Going‘ and ‘Road to Nowhere‘. By re-evaluating past projects they become my focus once more. By manipulating printed photographs, I add further dimensionality to the same ideas I regress to within some of my projects. This practice ensures photographic work can be more than what they were originally intended for. Sometimes, if feels like I am on a road to nowhere.
What artists and/or photographers have most influenced your work this year and why?
Marc De Groot, Steven Klein and David LaChapelle are inspiration for staged photographs. In their photographs, you see clearly that the camera lies, scenes are deliberately over-processed or hyper-real to create a sense of fiction.
Phillip Toledano was another influencer for his work on the editorial ‘Is Facebook Making Us Lonely’ article from The Atlantic. Using his images as a source of inspiration, I adapted his visual technique and lit similar scenes using ambient light from the devices only. I connect well with his images as there are parallels between his life and mine which become apparent in ‘Days with my Father‘
What is the most important thing that you have learned about photography this year?
Not every project should be and can be a photo project however when ideas are thought though, they should at least be shot. It’s important to shoot what you love, what you know, to plan ahead and set achievable goals. However, no image at all is better than a bad one.
If you could do anything to improve your images, what would it be?
To read and digest more information on Art and Documentary Photography and to be able to transfer that knowledge into my own work. This is already a practice however more reading will always be advantageous provided I can use the knowledge practically.
Typically, I use natural or ambient lighting die to the nature of my photographs. This is restricting in part because areas may not be correct lit and I’ll need to plan on the fly. My immediate priority is to become more adept with lights, flashes and studio rigs.
If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy..