I usually dread the start of the year. January can be a quiet time for freelancers, as the 9-5’ers struggle back to work through the cold mornings, leaving me to the cycle of self promotion, meetings and self loathing (laughter is permitted at this point). However 2018 has been off to a promising start, with various commisions coming in for portraits. I love being asked to photograph people, and as I predominantly shoot food and drinks it’s always great to have a subject I can talk to!
As I am unable to share any of this exciting new work yet, I have been looking back at a some of my favourite portraits I’ve shot over the last few years, ranging from personal work on my ‘Brother’ series, to the wonderful actor Daniel Kaluuya and a day in the life at London Shell Co.
I met Gigi a few years ago at a particularly riotous birthday party of a mutual friend. I vaguely remember drinking a different shot for each letter of her name, but I couldn’t say much more than that as our friend is called Natalya.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I find an email asking if I was free at all to take some pictures of her. Gigi has been creating songs for her current album The Projectionist to raise money for Love Support Unite in Malawi. Each week, a new song appears on Soundcloud and she asked if I would shoot some images as part of the project. There was clearly no way I could refuse, especially when Gigi told me she wanted to shoot film and possibly play with double exposures. That sealed the deal for me.
We spent a wonderful day wandering Hampstead Heath, putting the world to rights and taking portraits. I love shooting film, it’s a completely different feeling to anything else. The noise of the shutter, winding on a shot and then waiting and hoping it all comes out as you see it in your head.
As it started to rain, I still had a few shots left in the Bronica, so I suggested we take refuge in my favourite pub, The Stag. I cheekily asked if we could use the upstairs room to finish our shoot, and was kindly obliged. I had almost forgotten how much I love taking portraits, and this shoot was a reminder to always say yes to something that interests me and to take time to play and experiment with the photographic process.
I count myself lucky enough to say that my first job of the year was fun and something a little different from what I normally shoot. Hypebeast commissioned me to photograph behind the scenes of the Matthew Miller casting for London Fashion Week Mens Collections.
Apart from feeling approximately 100 years old next to the models, I love shooting behind the scenes. Unlike other jobs, it is an opportunity to be invisible, to blend in (laughs at self ‘blending in’ with male models) and look out for little unguarded moments.
I have put my favourite shot from the day here, and if you wish to see the full article, press right here : Hypebeast x Matthew Miller