Hi, my name is Simon. I hold a Bachelors degree in history which I haven’t put to much use and a Masters in education which luckily funds a nondescript lifestyle as an educator on the wrong side of the great fire wall. During my vacation I love to travel. I suppose that makes me a travel photographer except for the fact I’m somewhat of an urbanite. The idea of tracking down exotic tribes people in nameless villages only accessible by a 25-hour bus rides doesn’t really excite me. Beside, I have a bad back. I will leave the Nat Geo pics for the would-be McCurry’s of the world.
That’s not to say I don’t have some travel cred. I did the trans-Siberian with a bunch of Mongolian smugglers, had a Kalashnikova pointed at my head in Gorky Park, was molested by Indian transvestites in a packed carriage all the way from Agra Fort to Mumbai, well for the first 3 hours anyway, until someone kindly offered me their seat. I have in essence travelled overland from Yangon to London in a squiggly line through Asia over the course of 18 years. A bonus for someone who hates flying. So now you know why I have a bad back!
As a photographer, I’m into photographing ordinary people and documenting their self-representations. Sounds boring, right? Hear me out. When you take a photograph of somebody sometimes something magical happens. I’m not talking about the technological process, its what happens in front of the lens that is amazing. People often transform themselves, creating an image of how they want to be represented. The results of holding a camera to someone and engaging them in the photographic process often leads to unexpected outcomes. People perhaps unconsciously want to be in control of their image and their presentation is a manifestation of this. This can be evidenced by the poses my subjects sometimes, if I’m lucky, strike as I never arrange people or ask them to pose – that would defeat the point of being an environmental portrait photographer, no?
Being photographed can result in a whole gamut of human emotions being betrayed. Of course candid photos can do the same and sometimes much better. And while the candid street photographer would claim the expressions of people unaware they are being photographed are more indicative of their ‘true self’, I would suggest that when you have people consent to having their photo taken, when you put them in control of their representation, the results are just as true and unique and indicative of their personalities. In any case, these are the photos I find the most interesting to make.
Some of the themes I explore include the connection between public and private, how work defines us and the ways in which we redefine it through presentation in public space. Other themes include family, intimacy, individuality, banality, profanity, and the private worlds of particular subgroups.
When not travelling and photographing, I am caring for a noisy cat, shopping for the perfect pair of jeans and working on my bread baking skills for the next zombie apocalypse.
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Thanks for viewing the world through my eyes — I hope you enjoy my site and the work that I’m doing. Got something for me? Get in touch.