What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
One of the best parts of my job is brainstorming ideas and pushing myself to find new ways to visualise a subject matter. I also love being on set and the challenge of bringing ideas to life.
Scheduling can be a real challenge. When you have a great idea in the works but struggle to get traction due to the teams scheduling conflicts, it can be really frustrating. Also doing my taxes is pretty dull.
What has been the most exciting project of the last twelve months?
Last July I worked on a personal project called Bokh with Ken Hermann in Inner Mongolia, China. I was keen to really push myself out of my comfort zone and shoot in a challenging environment where I had to think on my feet to try and make some magic happen.
Through hours of research, I found an archival photograph of a small group of wrestlers based in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. I fell in love with their clothing, the energy, the history of the sport and the role wrestling played in the men’s social standing within the local community.
We set about on the mammoth task of working out logistics. The practical elements were reasonably straight forward, flights, visas, translator and driver. We attempted to contact the wrestlers to get some recce and casting shots, but it proved difficult. We had months of back and forward with locals in broken English and in the end we realised it was impossible to confirm everything before we left due to the remoteness of the community. We made the decision to take a leap of faith.
I studied the sport. I read everything I could about it. Examined all the images I could find and watched the few videos of matches which made it onto youtube. I started to break down the moments I wanted to explore, attempting to make as many decisions as possible ahead of time so we could give clear direction on site. I also had to remain flexible as I had no idea what we would be able to achieve once we arrived.
The shoot was ten days of hard work but totally worth it. We created a photo series and a short film that I’m really proud of.