After Dazed & Confused and AnOther, what led you to found another magazine, Hunger?
I guess one of the main reasons that I launched Hunger was basically because I missed publishing. It also felt like the right time to launch something new, as I felt that my own creative hunger was still a massive part of me. The great thing about launching Hunger is having a creative platform to allow me to continue telling stories, and exposing new talent.
What’s new in this project?
Well, we’re not just a bi-annual, we also have our digital portal, Hunger TV, running parallel to the magazine, meaning we have a stream of direct, original content daily throughout the year. This gives us the freedom to explore fashion films and music videos as well. We’ve recently just premiered Blondie’s official music video for ‘Sugar on the Side’ as part of our ‘Dirty Video’ series on Hunger TV, so it gives us this opportunity to make more original content. I do love print media, but to reach your audience today you have to offer an online platform that’s just as engaging.
What characteristic must have a character to capture your attention?
Personality, that might sound like a bit of a cliché, but it’s important. For me, it’s more about the interaction and exchange between the photographer and subject, that’s the part I really enjoy. I’m basically a really inquisitive person, especially about people I am photographing!
The name Hunger comes from an exhibition you did in 2006 called “Visually hungry” What does it mean to you to be hungry?
Actually, the full strap-line for Hunger has always been ‘for the culturally & visually hungry’ and I guess that defines what being hungry means to me. I guess you could say I’m hungry for that interaction a magazine brings, hungry for new experiences and of course always hungry to create and find interesting ways to tell new stories.
A character from the world of fashion, one from the show business and another one from politics that you would like to shoot and you haven’t yet?
That’s so difficult as there are so many! I get asked this a lot and there are plenty of people I’d love to shoot that I’ve not got around to yet, and not just established talent. Saying that, Obama would be a good one to tick off!
Do you think photography has a social role?
Yeah, of course it does. Any discipline that comments on human existence whether directly or indirectly has a role socially. It might be a crass example, but you only have to look at Instagram’s popularity and the use of hashtag campaigns to bring about global awareness to charities or political plights to realise that and that isn’t even proper photography! But hey that’s a different debate!
Who is the photographer who has most influenced your work?
There are so many great photographers whose work I love – Newton, Avedon, Blumenfeld, Brandt, Penn, Sokolsky and of course David Bailey. But I wouldn’t say one photographer has really influenced my actual work, it’s more an amalgamation of hundreds.
Who are the people from the music and the fashion world that help England to be seen as a more avant-garde country?
That’s too big a question. I think we British just like to push the boundaries of the perceived norm. It’s not just in music and fashion, but in everything from sport to literature via cottage industries and craft!
What do you think is the future of publishing?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Well I don’t think print is dead, in fact it’s far from it, it’s just gone through a bit of a transformation. The digital revolution has changed everything and has really helped democratise the industry – everyone and anyone can promote work and access content these days. Social media enables the creator and the viewer to communicate directly. As for the future of publishing, I think we’re all creating it as I answer.
What sacrifices have you made to follow your career?
When I look at it I feel like I’ve maybe made mistakes with relationships or in my personal life to the advantage of my working life, but I don’t really see them as sacrifices. To say you’ve sacrificed something implies some kind of regret or loss of some kind and I’m not sure that’s how I feel about my work. I’ve worked hard to get where I am, but I’ve also had a certain amount of being in the ‘right place at the right time’ to help me along the way. I feel incredibly lucky to still be doing something I love, it’s what gets me out of bed every day. I also believe in “no regrets” and I’m sticking to that.
Do you have things you usually do methodically before a photo shoot, or you leave it all to chance?
Not really. Each shoot is different and I take them as they come. I can get a bit obsessive about the subject and I do like the production to be a specific way – but I don’t wear a lucky shirt or do anything religiously. I do quite like to listen to ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John at the end of a particularly tough session, I’m not sure why, I just like it.