“I’m not so sure that I chose to become a photographer. In some ways photography kind of chose me.”
Daniel Regan (born in 1985) is a contemporary photographer currently based in London, UK. He completed a BA in Photography at University of Brighton in 2006. He also has an MA in Photography, 2013. For Daniel Regan photography encapsulates many things. He states: “It has also saved my life in times of great suffering as a tool for expression.”
Daniel Regan is a London based artist whose work often focuses on themes of recovery, psychology and mental health. He is also an accomplished portrait photographer.
Interview Daniel Regan
Daniel, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
I’m not so sure that I chose to become a photographer. In some ways photography kind of chose me. I had intended to go into writing but from the moment I started to capture images there was a very strong connection to creating photographs and the feeling that it created for me. Photography encapsulated so many things for me – the ability to record memories (I have always been worried I will forget things), the opportunity to express myself in an ambiguous and less tangible way than words, and a feeling of producing something, a feeling that I thrive on.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
I think it really depends on the project. If it is a personal project, such as Insula, I tend to take a fragmented approach that is representative of my anxieties about sharing too much information with the viewer. There is this constant push and pull and I always walk a fine line between over sharing and under sharing. I like to lure you in and leave you with questions.
The creative process for this project was very complex because it involved the creation of new work in a very clinical studio setting, the ongoing work of documenting my emotions, and the curation of hundreds of diaristic images that go back a decade. It took a lot of editing and trying to understand the journey of recovery to pull together the final images, and a lot of time considering how best to display this work in a way that demonstrates the underlying motives of the work.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
“I would cite Nan Goldin as a very early inspiration due to her documentary approach to very personal, emotive projects.”
I get asked this question a lot and I find it very difficult to answer. I am not much of a person that is inspired by just one photographer. I am very much inspired by events, conversations, feelings, visual cues and elements, as opposed to just one person before me. Just as I listen to all kinds of music (if I like the music, I’ll listen to it regardless of genre), I feel the same about visual imagery. However I would cite Nan Goldin as a very early inspiration due to her documentary approach to very personal, emotive projects.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“Photography was a licence to go whenever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.”
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I shoot both digitally and medium format.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
I’m really keen on featureshoot.com.
What book about photography would you recommend?
8 rooms, 7 mirrors, 6 clocks, 2 minds & 199 panes of glass by the lesser known Lauren E. Simonutti.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a (professional) photographer?
“Find what you love and let it kill you.”
Meaning find your subject matter, what really motivates you, and just don’t stop.