Looking for good storytellers is something we pursue at Whattaroll. We are always after artists who are capable of having you immersed in a scene they’ve created and wanting to see what’s coming next. Today, we bring you, all the way from UK, a photographer who has made a delightful creative career from just observing reality.
Often described as a cinematic artist (and we couldn’t agree more!), Glashier enjoys the confrontation that comes with street photography and captures the essence of the subjects he’s shooting without losing the raw authenticity of the moment.
Read through our interview with Glashier below to learn more about him, his work, and what motivates him to do what he does best.
Please tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, and what you do.
I’m originally from London but based in Brighton. I take photos, make music videos, spend most of my days with a phone glued to my ear staring at a blank wall and having ideas. I do a satisfying combination of creative work and sometimes-frantic hustling.
How would you personally describe your style of photography? What message/s do you try to convey through your images?
I often get described as a ‘cinematic’ photographer. I guess that’s fitting because I’m most intrigued by images that have some kind of narrative quality; I like the suggestion of a scene. I also think that, despite the still format of a photograph, there’s no reason a picture shouldn’t convey a sense of movement or some other sign that it’s alive. I don’t like pictures that feel over-stylized, over-posed – dead.
I enjoy the confrontational element of street photography. It’s exciting to stand in the middle of a riot trying to take photographs. Or in front of a prostitute fresh off the pole/sign in downtown Texas, and point a camera at her. Equally, it can be a very anonymous encounter and I appreciate being able to observe people unnoticed. I often shoot from the hip for this reason. The camera is less obvious and the picture doesn’t have to suffer the intrusive angle of my perspective. It’s probably obvious from that that I don’t take pictures with a particular message in mind, it’s more about observing.
Which elements of shooting film are you drawn to the most?
I’m drawn to the intuitive elements of shooting film. Obviously there isn’t the opportunity to analyse your photos while you are taking them that there is with digital captures. Everything looks so much better on film too, I can’t see the point in trawling through thousands of digital images and editing them until your eyes dry up.
I accidentally did a shoot entirely on my Contax point-and-shoot, as a consequence of not checking the battery on my Canon EOS-1. I had never done this before and of course I didn’t think it was going to turn out very well. With the Contax, I had less choices to make. I had to be present as a photographer and really commit to whatever vision I had at the time. I was surprised by the results. Shooting on film never loses the element of surprise, sometimes fear too, but it gives you chance to really slow down and engage.
What would you say is your greatest inspiration?
In this part of our interview, we get a little more up close and personal with our hero through a handful of questions about the people he finds inspirational, his tools of the trade, shooting routine, and more:
Name someone whose art makes you shiver.
Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. It brought together Hollywood, the everyday and the art film. It packaged it as a general release film that everybody went to see and divided an audience into boos and cheers. It was inspiring to see that someone is making what they want to make and confronting people with something they were not expecting.
If you had to choose a camera + film to shoot with for the rest of your life, which combo would it be and why?
Kodak Portra 400 and Canon EOS-1. It does exactly what it is meant to do.
Can you share the weirdest situation you’ve faced being a film photographer?
It’s all weird.
If you had to choose a movie that defines you both, personally and aesthetically, which one would it be?
Quadrophenia, and The Bravery to Leave.
Do you remember the photo you took that made you feel proud for the first time? Can you share it with us?
No, if I’ve ever felt pride from a photo I must have forgotten it. Pride doesn’t last very long before you think of something you could have done better, or move on to the next thing.
At Whattaroll, we believe that inspiration can come from many different sides. Can you write down and share with us a paragraph from the book you’re reading at the moment?
“…I lay myself down on the ground, surrounded by the tall pithy grain stalks and the faint sound of insects, and held my breath, there experiencing a mood that I have never really been able to shake completely – a mood of darkness and inevitability and fascination – a mood that surely must have been held by most young people since the dawn of time as they have crooked their necks, stared at the heavens, and watched their sky go out.”
Speaking of portraits, who’s the face you’d love to photograph but haven’t had the chance to have in front of your camera yet?
Who do you think we should feature in the next Hero of the Week section?
See more of Glashier’s work in the links below: