Christian Cross Is a Powerful Voice the Photo Industry Desperately Needs

At first glance, you may think the photographer Christian Cross is the type of man you’d want to avoid. He has all the characteristics to play the “hard man” in a Hollywood movie: shaved head, muscles, and tattoos. However, if you were to speak to him, you’d quickly realize he has a gentle, thoughtful character that loves being around people and loves taking pictures of them.

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I invited Christian Cross onto Inside the Photographer’s Mind for two reasons. Firstly, he’s an incredible street and protest photographer with an eye for a scene that I believe very few others possess. Secondly, I believe he’s a voice very few people get to hear in the arts. He’s what we would call rough around the edges. He grew up in Peckham, England, an area where crime was the way to get by. He doesn’t speak like the queen, nor does he refrain from adding a little color to his language when he speaks. But he’s articulate and intelligent, and just because he doesn’t fit in with the middle-class image the arts and photo industry want to push, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hear his voice.

And this isn’t hyperbole on my part. Cross confessed to me that he’s refrained from doing podcasts because he’s concerned with how he may come across and that it doesn’t fit the status quo. Well, I’m glad he moved that barrier to one side because I thoroughly enjoyed the hour I spent with him, and I know you will too. Here’s what to expect.

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Christian Cross on His Entry Into Photography

There are various reasons that explain why a person may enter the world of photography. Maybe it’s a parent passing down a camera, or maybe it’s a means to escape the everyday challenges of life. With Chrisitan Cross, his journey began in a manner I’d not heard before.

When smartphone cameras began to improve, everyone became a photographer (or, at least, tried). Cross was no different, playing around with a camera phone making snapshots of daily life. The people closest to him would mock his efforts, telling him his photos were not up to scratch. Unhappy with the general response, he became determined to silence the haters and began teaching himself photography. From that moment, Christian Cross, the photographer, was born.

Christian Cross on Working in His Local Area

A lot has changed in the area in which Cross grew up. At one point in time, Peckham wasn’t a place you’d visit. “Anyone with any money would be selling drugs or doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” he told me. Today, the area is much improved, with more people visiting and moving there. Now in his thirties, Cross knows many people in the area spanning different generations. He’s documenting the change, and more importantly, how the people who grew up there feel about it.

He’s also got a feature spread in his local newspaper: something that makes him extremely proud. A photographer rarely gets to see their work in print nowadays, so to add that to his resume is certainly something worth celebrating. You can learn exactly how that gig came about by listening to the full episode on either the audio or video player.

On Protest Photography

Aside from his street and local work, Cross is also an active protest photographer. There’s no shortage of events for him to document in London. He taps into one story that occurred during the Black Lives Matter protests. A counter-protest was staged by the English Defense League (EDL). Known for their aggressive approach, Cross describes how they were attacking anyone they saw with a camera, treating them as journalists (a sector the group strongly mistrusts and dislikes). While Cross escaped violence, what happened could be seen as much worse. A photo on Twitter was circulating with the tagline “EDL Scum” and somehow he was the posterboy for the photo.

Again, with a shaved head, muscles, and tattoos, Cross was a victim of his appearance, leading people to believe he was a member of the EDL. Thankfully, he had a plan to turn it all around, which is something he shares in detail in the podcast.

Support the Show

Listen to the full episode to learn more about Christian Cross. He’s an excellent photographer who will only continue to grow in his field of expertise.

You can support Inside the Photographer’s Mind by subscribing to our YouTube channel, hitting a like, and leaving a comment. You can also subscribe via Spotify, Google, and Apple podcasts. Enjoy the show, and thanks for listening.

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host of professional photographers within the industry.