I’ve been a practicing Architect for the past 7 years, I studied in Nottingham and did my masters at UCL. I'm originally from Sheffield and did an OCN course in Photography before I started at university. I'm currently based in London but I tend to travel out of the city to take photographs. I do find it harder to see photographs in London. I am usually more inspired and observant in places I have not visited before - but London is great for photography exhibitions and bookshops.
What camera(s)/devices do you use?
I use a digital mirrorless camera and have recently bought a flash and set of filters which I have been experimenting with. This is pretty unscientific, although I have been enjoying some of the results. For me, it’s good not to get too overburdened technically, to just focus on the image.
Do you travel specifically to take photographs?
I’ve recently been trying to take the approach that I should first travel to a place I would like to walk and explore, and then hopefully the photographs will follow. In the past, If I forced trying to find places, or held a predetermined idea of the photos I wanted to take, the less I would see, and the photos would often not turn out as hoped.
How would you describe your own practice/interests?
I would say I have an interest in still life and landscapes – simple, sometimes minimalist observations – and an interest in the relationship between the man-made and natural world.
This is a difficult question, and some of the pairings are definitely more successful than others. Pairings are usually taken during the same trip, and might be made in relation to colour, form or subject matter. I’ve recently started to edit a book in a similar way, laying out pairs of images across a page. It’s been an interesting exercise and has definitely made me question relationships between images more – how pairs of images help ideas to become more apparent. Sorry if the answer appears vague, I’m still thinking my way through this methodology of working.
What are your photography hopes/ambitions?
It’s an important hobby for me now. I’ve only been doing this in a more serious way for the past year and am trying not to set too many goals. I’m focused on the work leading me as much as possible. I think that it’s good to get out as much as I can, so in that sense my current ambitions are to travel more. I do collect Photography books and am interested in that as a medium, so perhaps a long-term goal is to create a book. I have a very loose draft but have not put a deadline on this.
What are the challenges for you?
Talking about and making sense of the work.
I have collected a large number of photobooks from various photographers with different styles, these are always an important point of reference. I’m not sure if being an architect has influenced my photography, it has never really featured in my work so far. I suppose some of my work focused in on details or compositions set up as elevations. Perhaps this is cross referencing, but not as a conscious decision.
Finally, what advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a creative pathway?
The most rewarding thing about choosing a creative career is that it opens up your thinking - to question and challenge things around you, and ultimately seek a new position from what has gone before. A creative career more often than not expands a person's options. I know architects that have become graphic designers, furniture makers who have become interior designers. It's enriching and in many ways essential to have multiple creative outlets. Everything informs the other in some way.
With many thanks to Tom Smith. Instagram: @Thom_Smith