SA: Thank you so much for taking part in this interview project. I and many others will be interested in how and when you came to street photography?
J: Thank you for asking me to contribute. I originally started out in landscape photography, particularly black and white long exposures, about three years ago. I began sharing my pictures on Instagram for fun where I soon discovered ‘street photography’. As I visited London a lot I thought I’d give it ago and from there I was hooked. This was two years ago and I haven’t looked back since!
SA: Your photography inspires me personally by the intensity of the colors and your manifold use of abstraction. What do you do when you’re out and about taking pictures?
J: Nothing special really. When I first began I used to wait around a lot at a location waiting for the ‘perfect subject’ whereas now I tend to stay on the move scanning for potential shots. I have a few spots that always deliver so I occasionally hang around those areas. I think I’ve developed a style, so when I go out I know what kind of shots I am after. I love texture so I’m always on the lookout for things to shoot through. Luckily it rains a lot here which really helps with the steamy window shots. I actually only try to go out and shoot now when it rains. For the movement/abstraction shots I tend to stick to 1/8th of a second and either pan a subject against a colourful backdrop or look for subjects that are still enough against traffic. Nighttime is my favourite time to shoot because of the array of colours and lights on offer. I tend to just wander around scanning for sources of light with my camera at the ready.
SA: London is the capital of street photography – how difficult is it to find new places that have not yet been photographed a hundred times?
J: That’s debatable but it certainly is a great city. I think it’s important to try and take pictures that can’t be replicated and are original. So although there are many famous spots it’s always fun to try and put your own spin on them. I tend to stick to central London so I haven’t really scratched the surface and I need to venture out more.
SA: Which artists and photographers have inspired you the most?
J: My favourite photographers are Ernst Haas for his use of colour and movement, and Saul Leiter for his abstraction and texture. Instagram is also a great source for inspiration and there are many talented people that I admire. I tend to save images that I like and look through them on the train into London for some final inspiration!
SA: Do you have a tip for photographers who are new to street photography?
J: I would say don’t worry too much at the start about getting the perfect shot just have fun and shot loads. Study those you admire but try not to copy them shot for shot. Over time you will develop your own style and will have worked out what you enjoy shooting the most. Sometimes you can go out and get nothing you’re happy with and it can be disheartening but then you turn a corner and there’s the perfect shot. That’s why I love street photography – it’s unpredictable and it’s up to you, the photographer, to capture that moment in time how you see fit.