A new interview for our readers on Positive Magazine: we discovered a young british photographer: Lamarr Golding. He defined himself as a London-based urban explorer, freerunner and photographer. He’s 19 and he recently graduated from Kingston College studying Creative Media and is now on a gap year aiming to make a debut in the world of photography specialising in capturing the city of London from skyscrapers, providing incredible, unique and vertigo-inducing cityscape photographs.
Can you tell us a bit more of you? What’s your story?
The story all began from when I got my first DSLR a few years ago, at the time I had a huge interest in film and cinematography so I made quite a lot of videos, mainly for jokes. I made friends with these group of guys that were involved in parkour and later on I go involved in it myself, after going out and training with them I thought it would be awesome bring my camera out on training days and started to practise using my camera as well as really get a cool opportunity to photograph my friends doing crazy flips and large gaps.
Later on I started going on small rooftops and construction sites such as garages and estates and that’s when we first started getting into the subculture of urban exploring. We then found out a whole community that actually does urban exploring and from this the scale of the places we explored had escalated very quickly as the next I know we were scaling some of the highest skyscrapers in London. In terms of abandoned places, they were the most hazardous and definitely the most interesting as some were actually centuries old buildings so it was really surreal getting to physically interact with part of London’s history. The striking thing about those places was that almost everything inside was left as they were from the moment it was all abandoned years ago, at the time that was almost scary to me.
Nevertheless, as I was exploring more of these places, it gave me opportunities to really capture some unique angles and subjects and these places almost nurtured the way I shoot and angle things.
Nowadays I’ve been a lot more involved in other areas of photography such as portraits, street and architectural photography as I’m starting to get more into it professionally as a career other than just a hobby. I’ve been shooting at events and done some editorial work for fashion bloggers and companies. I’m still exploring rooftops and abandoned scapes with my friends but I’ve also been branching out into different areas of photography as I’ve recently been catching attention from publications such as Red Bull which is something I never thought would happen. Other than urbex photography I shoot a lot of street photos and portraits which I would say interests me just as much because there’s just a ton more amount of inspiration.
What’s London for you? How you would describe it?
London for me is just a city that’s just constantly evolving, sparking fresh inspiration for me whether it be cultural or architectural and this significantly affects my photography in terms of how I especially choose angles. As an urban explorer and freerunner I see London as an urban playground, where people just see a bunch of skyscrapers and buildings, I would see lines, shapes, details and also leverages for an amazing, high view of the city. The urban culture in London is absolutely filled with inspiration.
London is just full of untold stories and places that possibly only very few people would ever get to see in their lifetime and getting the chance to just create the opportunity alongside my friends to explore some really incredible places in London is amazing.
London has always inspired me visually because it’s diverse amount of architecture and cultural areas which each had their own vibe and feel and I never knew if I would come across anything that would spark new ideas or an interesting angle of something that I never previously thought of and end up sometimes getting some really great results!
You have an amazing talent to spot new places to see the “Smoke” from a totally different point of view. How hard it is to get access?
Most of these places I’ve visited in my photos have been all fairly challenging to get into. Because me and my friends that I go with have a background of parkour, we wouldn’t often take the conventional routes but instead use things such as ledges and structures in our environment as leverages to get up the places we go and that can get physically demanding at times. Not much people will ultimately know what we went through to get those incredible shots of London from high up and in abandoned places. It’s hard work sometimes but incredibly fun!
When did you start to think about photography?
I started thinking about getting into photography when I had quite a few friends who owned DSLRs at the time and I knew very little about them, but my friends would let me give it a try and the huge amount effects I was able to create with them the and creative possibilities had really caught interest to me, from then I saw photography as another creative outlet. After some research into it, I later then decided to make the leap and buy my first DSLR, a Canon 1100D and I can happily say it was so worth it and that’s when things started to change. From then, I started bringing it out every now and then to take small photos of plants and general spaces. The longer I had the camera I started to bring it out more and more until it came to the point where I brought it out everywhere I went, even to job interviews! I would never know when there would be something that caught my eye.
What does photography mean to you? And which kind of photography do you like more?
Photography for me is a way of vividly capturing the adventures and unforgettable moments I go through with my friends as urban explorers as well as visually documenting my progression as a photographer constantly trying out new things. I document my photographs in a way in which can tell a story of that precise moment the photograph was taken.
When you take a portrait, what’s important for you?
For me it’s got to be that the subject is naturally doing what they’re doing and not minding the camera. I’ve always been a bit of a shy photographer so I hardly directed my portrait shots, but however I had found something very interesting about capturing people and things in natural motion, mainly because I like to think it tells a story. In other words, it’s a way of me vividly recording a moment that would most likely never happen again or have the same feel and atmosphere if it was to be taken again, I like to keep my photos open to interpretation as well as aesthetically appealing. Secondly I’d say colour, I’ve always been obsessed with colours and how they can be used to create different feels, emotions and atmospheres. I always experiment with colour in my photographs. When editing my photos, I pay absolute attention to each colour and adjust them to precisely match what I imagine the scenery to be, even when I’m out shooting I take colours into consideration.
What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?
I’d say from the top of the Shard before it was finished, that would pretty much be one hell of a view! I would go to the Shard View now but it just wouldn’t be the same.
What’s your photo-mission?
My photo mission would be to create documents and share them and my adventures as an urban explorer with everyone, giving an exciting insight into what I get up as well as the incredible places we get into and views hardly much people has seen before.