Always respectful; forever curious!

Always respectful; forever curious!

Will Guthrie - photographer

I like to think I’m a keen observer of the world around me, prone to seeing and intuiting things that other, less observant people, might pass by without a second thought or glance. I find this especially so whenever I have a camera in my hand and am often to be found wandering the streets of a nearby town or city, close to home, or sometimes abroad, looking for that one special instant where the stars align and light, subject and a precious rendering of raw humanity intersect to present you, the viewer, with a fleeting moment that will never be repeated but can be frozen in time forever if you have the skills to catch it.

And therein lies the rub.

For as long as I can remember, and like many other folk, I have always been an avid people watcher, I mean, let’s face it, as a species we can get up to some funny old stuff when we are left to our own devices, not to mention rude, humorous, emotional and when it comes right down to it, odd and confusing.

I can’t honestly say that I have yet found my exact niche with photography; probably something to do with my innate sense of curiosity and an unwillingness to be put into a straight-jacket as far as what appeals to me visually. It’s the same with music I’m afraid - I like what I like and make no apologies for that. Life is too short to get all hung up on rules and conformity (not to mention ‘likes and followers’, but that’s a whole ‘nother story) so I choose to go with the flow, the flow being what interests ME, what ‘pulls’ ME, what sparks MY curiosity - your own mileage may vary and that’s okay too.

For the longest time I couldn’t really get a handle on the appeal of Street Photography, much less understand why I found myself drawn to this genre in recent years, I mean, why the hell would you want to go out into the streets of all places and point your camera at random strangers and run the risk of possible confrontation just to get a picture? Ah, so naive was I to think in such narrow terms, the old ‘straight-jacket’ thinking rapidly clouding my judgement.

Here’s my take on it now - it has a long and noble history, practiced by some of the most celebrated practitioners of the craft and it’s one of the most challenging, frustrating but ultimately rewarding arenas of photography you can choose to participate in, largely because NOTHING is guaranteed and NOTHING exists but for a fleeting moment - and therein lies the appeal: you have to work hard at it, grind out the hours of wandering, practice with your gear until it becomes second nature to operate, observe, observe some more, learn to read the light (is it strong, weak, directional, harsh or soft etc), sometimes interact with people, oftentimes not, preferring instead not to disturb or influence but rather observe the moment and let it play out, for all it’s often beautiful worth.

This quote from one of my favourite contemporary photographers and a master of colour and composition, Magnum photographer Alex Webb, just about sums it up perfectly for me…

“I only know how to approach a place by walking. For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk, and then watch and wait some more, trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown, or the secret heart of the known awaits just around the corner.”

Other than that I can tell you that I (for the most part) love colour - it’s just how I see the world and I find it resonates much better for me as a keen observer of life; I have no agenda, nothing to sell you, no vast font of perceived wisdom to espouse; I love abstraction and experimentation and will be willing to fail many times in my photography in order to make any kind of leap forward in it; I am of a quiet, gentle disposition, a bit of an introvert in truth, but am none-the-less genuine and open to engagement and collaboration - that means you can say hi if you feel so inclined.

So, my photography is what my photography is: I hope you find something you like here if you choose to browse. In that respect I am very interested in shooting in the candid documentary/reportage style of photography which lends itself well to events, family ‘day-in-the-life’ kind of situations or weddings (I do have some experience in all of these areas). I’m based in Northamptonshire here in the UK, semi-freelance, and willing to travel for the right opportunity if my meagre skills with a camera are of any interest to you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this far if you managed to.

Will