“I like a mixture of quite dark & child like humour and I think that comes across in my images.”
Gary D. Chapman (born 1986) is a contemporary photographer currently based in Louth, Lincolnshire, England.
He’s self-taught when it comes to photography. Everything he’s learnt up to now has been by trial and error and hours & hours of youtube videos.
“I’m Gary Chapman, a photographer & creative editor from the east coast of England.”
Interview with Gary D. Chapman
Gary, your images are characterized by a strong humoristic and playful flair. What fascinates you about that particular style of photography?
I suppose it’s how I see life and the way I am. I like a mixture of quite dark & child like humour and I think that comes across in my images.
There are a lot of great photographers who make very dark, moody & emotive creative images that I love to see but as most of my early work was self portraits I couldn’t see myself doing that.
I would just laugh at myself & feel very uncomfortable.
It’s easier to play the clown.
How do you achieve this particular look of your images? And what gives you inspiration?
Obviously most of my images are heavy on photoshop work so I use many different techniques to give my work the desired look.
I enjoy using off camera flash and very rarely don’t use it.
What do you think is important to stand out with one’s work? Especially keeping in mind the over abundance of photographic imagery in today’s society.
“…you’ve managed to find a beautiful composition that no one else saw – but it’s a photo of your dog so very few people care.”
It is hard to stand out and to find an audience. Certainly for me it was the humour & the content of my images that got attention – especially my early work as it certainly wasn’t the quality of the photography!
I think that can be a frustrating thing for many people, you can take a the most perfectly lit & exposed photo and you’ve managed to find a beautiful composition that no one else saw – but it’s a photo of your dog so very few people care.
Do you think it’s possible as a photographer to still be unique these days? Or do you rather consider it to be more important to create an own style adding your personal twist to something that has already been done before?
I don’t think it’s possible to be 100% unique anymore, someone else will of always done something similar even if you aren’t aware of it. It’s also not a bad thing to be influenced by others but creating your own style and having your own vision is important. At least to me it is.
I do feel if you are borrowing ideas heavily from someone else then the least you can do is credit the person that influenced you.
What reaction would you like to provoke in people looking at your images?
Depends really – as long as it doesn’t end up on youarenotaphotographer.com I consider it a success.
Susan Sontag once said “The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own”. How has photography changed the way you look at the world and what have you learned about yourself?
Ha! Yea I see everything as a photograph now. I’m always thinking ‘this would be a cool location for a photo’.
Every photographer is going through different stages in his formation. Which “landmarks” do you recall that have marked you and brought you to the place where you are today as a photographer?
“The first time my work was featured in a magazine was a big landmark.”
I still consider myself in the very early stages of my photography development although I would probably say the first time my work was featured in a magazine was a big landmark.
Not for the obvious reason but I’ve struggled with confidence and self belief since about the age of 16 and up until that point I hadn’t really shown anyone in my ‘real’ life my photography.
It was that point that gave me the bit of confidence to be more open about what I do.
Last but not least, let’s switch roles: Which question would you have liked to be asked in this interview about your work that I didn’t ask? Please feel free to add it – as well as the answer.
Crikey! Think you’ve covered it all. (laughs)
Can’t think of anything else, feel free to add any more if you want tho.