Interview with.. James Lomas

Today Interview is with James Lomas, the photographer who shot the next Posi+tive Magazine cover that is coming out soon this month.

James Lomas is a 26 year old artist, graffiti writer and photographer from Yorkshire, Northern England. He studied Fine Art in London and now divides his time between there and Yorkshire. He works as a product photographer.

Can you tell us something about you?
Sometimes the previous nights dream makes me feel weird for the whole day. Also, I prefer the Rolling Stones to The Beatles and cats over dogs.

Where do you live and work now?
I was born, live and work in a really small town West Yorkshire.

How did you start taking pictures? Usually there is always the old story of the boy who finds his grandfather’s camera, did that happen to you as well or not?
I’ve been interested in art, drawing and painting since as long as I can remember so photography interested me as another tool to create images from a fairly young age. I got a polaroid camera for my birthday when I was 10 or 11 but I think I was probably too young to appreciate it then, so I didn’t end up taking many pictures with it, think it was more the novelty of it that attracted me. I started taking photos more regularly aged 14 when I got into graffiti and needed to document my work. My interest in photography has grown and developed over the years but really I only started thinking seriously about it in the past two or three years.

Have you thought right away to follow the existing trends in photography or has it been a need to look for different styles and themes that have motivated you?
I try not to think too much about things like that. I’m not trying to follow anyone in particular but I’m not trying to be different either. I don’t think you can force things like that, they develop on their own. I’m not sure if theres a style to my work, thats for some one else to say. As far as trends go I think I probably use a couple of old cameras that could be considered trendy but I’m not using them for that reason. If I give technical stuff too much thought it takes the fun out of it for me though. I just want to keep things simple, raw and spontaneous. The less settings on the camera the better.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I get inspiration from many places but I’d say my main inspirations are people, music and the streets. I do get some inspiration from well known photographers but not as much as I do from photographers I know personally. Their techniques, motivations, themes, styles etc are all similar to mine so their work really inspires and motivates me.

In a portrait, what is important for you?
To get up close and personal!

What kind of relationship do you have with your subject when you shoot?
Well often the people in my photographs are my friends. I’d like to think that something of their personality is conveyed in the photo, I don’t know if I achieve that or not.

According to you, fashion photography can be taken the old way or the digital format is predominantly the way to do it nowadays with no way back?
I don’t really know much about fashion photography, all I know is when it comes to the question of which is better, digital or film, film is better. Digital definitely has it’s place, in a studio environment for example, but film just has so much more soul. I prefer to see fashion photography done with film.

What does it mean for you now “Streetphotography”?
It seems to be pretty popular and anyone can do it these days since most people have a camera on their phones. People who aren’t even that into photography are documenting mad stuff with their phones these days, it’s a good thing I think. I never thought ‘I want to do street photography’, it’s just something i’ve ended up doing probably because of graffiti and skating before that. These hobbies mean you are always on the streets observing your surroundings.

Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?
No I don’t think it’s important at all. I’ve pretty much taught myself everything I know. It’s like anything, you pick things up just by being passionate and going out and doing it. I studied Fine Art and apart from the good friends I met whilst studying I’d say it was a huge waste of time. I didn’t learn how to be a better artist or anything, I just learned that most artists talk shit.

What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?
I’ve missed plenty of great photo opportunities because I forgot my camera but if you mean which photo by somebody else then there’s just too many. Maybe some sort of iconic music related photo, like London Calling front cover or something like that. Maybe thats a crap example but you get what I mean.

What’s your photo-mission?
Just to document as much as I can. And more nakedness.

There are in these recent years a lot of emerging photographer (or something like that). In your opinion, if you have to give a tip to be different.. what are you going to think about?
I would say don’t just get a digital SLR and think thats it. Use film, try vintage cameras and experiment. I don’t know if that will make you hugely different but theres so many people with DSLR’s now, it’s boring. The images you get just can’t compete with film. Mainly, don’t worry about genres or techniques or technical knowledge, just get out and do it.

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Victor von Schwarz

Victor von Schwarz


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