Q&A: Steve Welsh

27 Jun

SWWhat led you to become a photographer and whose work initially inspired you?

 I began in events coverage through the duel interests of cars and photography that is a good training ground for evolving a sixth sense for a story. Since that early work for magazines it has always been about narrative for me. I have always been a huge fan of people such as Elliot Erwit whose scrupulously observed, humorous and insightful work on the streets interrogating the absurdity of the human condition; ticks all the boxes for me. Inspiration from anyone who can tell me as a viewer something I didn’t know before, or challenge me so William Eggelston would fit that bill very well.

Whose work inspires you now and why?

As my work evolved into a broader interest in photographic narratives I began to look at people such as Martin Parr, one of the sharpest storytellers of the moment, and his intelligent use of colour is both an inspiration and a challenge as I have more or less always preferred to work personally in black and white although not exclusively. Recently I discovered the beautiful work of Amercian Saul Lieter, the 1950s and on from the streets of New York in colour with a waspish visual eye behind the camera!

Of your own work what do you consider to be the most successful?

What ever I am working on now, whatever went before is never good enough and I’ll do it better this time!

What motivated the work that is being currently featured?

The need to show how amazing Glastonbury Festival is without being too obvious, its street fashion but not on the street! It’s a bit like Folk Art meets fashion, and an opportunity and justification to shoot colour.

How do you develop project ideas?

I keep journals and sketch books where I discuss ideas with myself, record things I see, or have read, you need to read as much as possible from as many sources as you can and not just about photography, about the world; and get to as many exhibitions as you can. The more you look at the world the more ideas will come. Then get shooting to a set of themes, have an open mind to ‘seeing’ and then following new themes. I tend to work on multiple projects or themes at the same time, a race to see which gets done first.

How do you see your work evolving in the future?

Technology has allowed photographers to have control of everything from the time the button is pressed until the project becomes a book or whatever. I have always seen my work in a printed form, this is now all achievable without having to be involved with publishers. Digital printing is so good now and print on demand means I can work to a business model of my own. So more complex narrative projects in book form is where I am heading.

What element of your work do you most enjoy?

There isn’t one thing I don’t like, however I would like more time!

To learn more about Steve’s work, click here.  To buy work by Steve, click here.