What got you into Photography?
It’s very much relatable to the Garry Winogrand quote where he said, “I photograph to see what things look like photographed”. I was around 17 and a favourite pastime was to head out with a camera and look for the things that caught my attention for whatever reason. These trips were like adventures, I’d imagine not too dissimilar to the way hunters or explorers operate. It could even be associated with that childhood curiosity of roaming and exploration. This is still embedded in my approach to photography today.
What's your camera of choice?
I mainly use a Mamiya 7 with a 65mm lens. It’s the perfect camera for me, as it gives a good size negative and allows me the freedom to carry it around. This is really useful as most of my work involves walking for long periods of time, so it means that I don’t have something cumbersome to haul around.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from a lot of different sources. It could be the environments within which I find myself, literature, films, photography books or viewing work made by friends. The desire or urge to photograph something often comes from being somewhere new: an environment unknown to me. That notion of seeing a place for the first time certainly resonates with me and heightens my desire to photograph it.
Do you have any projects you're working on at the moment?
I’m in the very early stages of working on a collaborative project with photographer Chris Ecclestone. We’re exploring the River Calder in West Yorkshire and plan to photograph what we find as we travel along it. It flows for around 50 miles so there’s certainly a lot to discover. I’m excited to see what we find and how the project progresses. I also anticipate that our slightly different approaches to photography and use of different image formats will work well together. Chris and myself are avid photobook collectors, so we’d love to turn our final edit into a book.
What qualities are important to you in a photograph?
I care a lot about the suggestive nature of photography and although it’s difficult to tell a story with a single image, the photograph can still hint at narrative and help the viewer to piece together a bigger picture. By viewing a photograph and using their imagination, the viewer is encouraged to engage in a creative and expressive process. So that’s one thing. I also look for something within a photograph that encourages you to look deeper, asking the viewer to ponder the reasons why something has been photographed, be it objects, landscapes or people.
If you could photograph anywhere AND anyone in the world, who and where would it be?
I’ve visited my Uncle in Texas a couple of times but never come back with any decent photos. He lives on an enormous ranch in a place called Brady, right in the middle of the state. It’s so different to my life over here in England and I’d love to get out there again to work on some kind of project. I found the terrain and light out there to be extraordinary, which meant that everything felt like it should be a photograph.
As far as people go, it’s straightforward, but I’ll say my family and friends. I have a real desire to shoot more portraits and they’re an interesting bunch. Instead of continually telling myself that I should make more portraits, I should get out there and do it.
Do you have a favourite Photographer?
I couldn’t say that I do. There are so many whose work I admire and look to for ideas. One photographer that I always find myself going back to is John Gossage. Be it older work like The Pond or his more current series The Code, I never get tired of looking at his images. They contain a rich descriptive element yet they can often be beautiful and enigmatic. To me, that’s really something.