Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Interview with Oli Sansom

Wedding and portrait Melbourne, Australia-based photographer Oli Sansom started taking pictures from 2009 and he's been shooting film since last year.  He shared us five reasons why he still shoots film here, we also featured his beautiful work months ago. Now just take a look to the interview of Sansom with Shooting Film to know more about himself and his background in photography.

Hi Oli, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a Melbourne based photographer. My background is in illustration & design, and before that, hand building truck seats. I like making stuff. At the moment it's photos, but I can see it going back to illustration/music eventually. Or some weird merging of everything. It was only very recently that I was mostly making a living designing websites and illustrating kids products, so now i'm balancing everything out by producing soft & dark work.

For how long have you been into photography?
A few years - I picked up my first camera in 2009 for the Wacken festival in August, and snapped bands and parties for a couple of years before thinking about it a little more seriously. In 2012 I realised I'd not really developed much, so started thinking about light and created a couple of small projects to focus on getting a little better. That was a bit of a tipping point, and now i'm heading way down that rabbit hole.

Do you work as an amateur or professional photographer, and have you completed training or have you learned by yourself?
I haven't had any formal training, at all, but "self-taught" is more of a fictional term so like most I'm somewhere in between. I make a living from weddings mostly, so I guess I can't call myself an amateur anymore but away from weddings that's definitely how I view it.

Are you currently working on any projects?
I'm a chronic "10%'er" - I'm usually about 10% through 500 different things. I rarely finish stuff, but at the moment I think there's a few exceptions. I've got a few small books on the way, a digital product, and a small photo series I'm working out if I can execute. I also just released a bunch of images I shot last month in New York - which is going to turn into one of the small-form books.

Do you have some favorite cameras?
I guess by default it would have to be my Yashica 635G. It's a poor mans Rolleiflex, but i've done nearly all of the work I like on it, and when I committed to using just that in New York, I never really wanted for anything else. It's a little cumbersome, but simple, quiet, and encourages you to take things slowly. And it attracts interesting people like bees to honey. I have a couple of 4x5's - a Gundlach Korona and a Graflex that I'm excited to get stuck into as well. If anyone out there can engineer me a 4x5 with autofocus or a 4x5 TLR, please go right ahead. I think that would be my favourite.

Do you have any tips for someone who’s just picking up a film camera?
Carry it eveeerrryyyywhhheeeerreee. And experiment with film - pushing, pulling, expired stuff, all of it.

Oli, thank you for the interview!

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