What photographers are your biggest influences?
Jamie Hawkesworth for colour and emotion, William Eggleston for being able to notice a moment and Alex Webb for composition.
How long have you been shooting?
Since I was 16/17.
Why is photography and shooting so important to you?
I wasn’t very good with school and learning so having direction and a goal to work towards when I was younger and having something you know you are good pretty much saved my life.
Do you feel you’re more of a creator or a documenter? Why?
This question has been the big turning point in my recent life really. I started out wanting to create, but I’m miserable when I’m doing jobs like that. Documenting real life and real moments is all that’s important to me and I’m never happier than when I’ve captured something real and can communicate that emotive moment to someone else through a photograph.
What’s typically going through your mind when you create images? Tell us about your processes both mentally and mechanically?
I like to just walk. I’m not a photographer that finds a spot and stays there, I always keep moving, I don’t look for a photo, I let it find me. I will just see something, a character, a colour, a shape, I don’t like to limit myself. My brain says take a photo and my body does it. I never really work a scene because that moment has passed the second after I press the shutter.
Want to walk us through your processing techniques?
I like to come home from my walk and get a drink and sit at my computer and see what I’ve found. I shoot with the viewfinder set to B&W because I find it easier to see tone and light so it’s interesting to see the images in colour on the big screen. I then just adjust the image how I see fit to portray the emotion I felt in that scene. I think anything past that emotion is overdone and anything under it wouldn’t do that moment justice.
What made you want to get into your genre?
It was just completely natural. I used to always carry a camera and just shoot anything I like and before I knew it I’m a ‘street photographer’. However I actually don’t like that term because I associate it more with just going out and shooting random crap in the streets for really no reason. I like to think of myself as more of a humanity documentary photographer.
Tell us a bit about the gear that you use and how you feel it helps you achieve your creative vision
I used to use an X100 and I liked it but I always missed the feeling of full frame from my work cameras. I like to shoot wide open for everything and APS sensors just don’t have the same quality and I always felt torn that I wasn’t getting the best shot I could in that moment. I scraped and saved for the Leica Q and it has honestly changed my life. I take 10x the photos I did before because it just calls to me to use it. It is a magical camera.
What motivates you to shoot?
If I stop for one second and think about all the incredible things in the world happening this very second I usually just grab my camera and run out the door. I’m usually quite busy and forget to think about this but when I do I’m outta there! It’s addictive.
I think I am just a regular Joe going out and trying to do something nice and take nice photos of nice people in nice places. I think this is something I’m good at and I think I will only get better and better the older I get so that excites me and keeps me going and I would just love to share my passion and enthusiasm with others and hopefully inspire someone one day! Be sure to follow me on Instagram.Joshua Lawrence. Used with permission.