Who are you?
I’m a photographer, I live in London. I come from thriving, gritty, hyper fashionable cultural hub Leamington Spa. My first photography job was shooting for the Leamington Courier group newspapers. The majority of the job involved devising ways in which a photograph could show how annoyed people were about a pylon/letter from the council/road works. At the moment, if I’m not spending huge amounts of time arranging flowers for a 5 second shot in my new film, I’m watching burly men punching each other in the face for money.
Why do people like Helmut Newton?
A simple answer would be to refer you to question 3. Another answer would be to say who wouldn’t like a Nazi escaping, car crashing, photographer who made a living from cramming nudity into the majority of his photographs?
Kids. For the foreseeable future, not for me. I can barely look after myself, let alone a miniature, stupid, weak version of me. My parents gave me a brilliant upbringing, encouraging me in everything I did, and helped in any way they could to nurture my creative side. The downside to this is that I have barely any practical life skills whatsoever. The other day I punched the air in joy after finally working out how to unscrew a recessed spotlight.
The female body. Once when I was younger, I was in bed with a girl who I discovered had an inverted nipple. It actually panicked me to the point where I claimed (in a bid to bring a close to the encounter) I could hear my mum getting home downstairs.
This story serves to highlight three important points: 1) extremely strong emotional responses can be elicited by the female form. 2) cruel attitudes are forced on young boys through the medias powerful portrayal of what the female body ‘should’ look like. 3) I’m a knob.
Tattoos are great, as long as you get loads of little ones you’ve drawn yourself. I can’t imagine anyone has ever regretted getting a full sleeve of tattoos done have they? I have a single, ill-considered graffiti tattoo on my ankle from the early nineties. I may as well wear boot cut jeans for all the cool creativity it resonates.
Professional photographers say things like “I try to stay away from having my images retouched – I don’t believe in it.” If they say this, it usually means they’re the ones getting the most retouching done.
Technology brings Freedom and a better future. Although my iPad seems to have reduced my attention span down to that of a golden retriever puppy. I was reading a paperback the other day and at one point my thumb moved to press the home button to check my emails. I am very much a salivating dog to Apples Pavlov. My addiction to the internet is so great that I’m usually only 30 seconds away from a hissy fit/panic attack if I can’t access wifi or 3g. If my grandad, serving manfully onboard a U-boat hunter in World War 2 was somehow able to look into the future to see his impatient, soft palmed, namby pamby progeny, he may well have reconsidered the future evening of shore bound passion that would lead to
my fathers conception.
I get crazy about weird things. I used to be very OCD as a child. I would do the old ‘turning the light switch on and off repeatedly’ thing before bed. I would read a single page of a particular magazine every morning. I went through a faze where touching my feet in the shower was ‘not allowed’. I must have been like a child version of Kathy Bates in Misery.
While messing around I’m at my happiest. I spent what seemed like years of my life sitting in the back of my Mum and Dads Volkswagon Jetta as a child, on long journeys to places like Bourton on the Water, with no video games, ipads, dvd players etc to keep me occupied. Arguing and being weird were the only escapes from this automotive ennui. I’m a seasoned veteran in both. I think boredom forces you to be creative. One of my earliest memories is of rearranging my sisters arms whilst she was asleep so she looked like she was picking her nose.
Take a risk and do the things that scare you. I always find the shoots that worry me a bit are often the ones where I get my best photographs.
It’s a waste of time to make yourself look great in interviews. What would you prefer to hear about? The first time I picked up a camera, and how, “I was like totally sure this was my destiny” or a weird somewhat alienating story about my Grandad reassessing the future birth of my father?