Interview with Brendan Austin

Brendan Austin always seems to be on the move. He’s travelling the world taking pictures, sometimes while hanging out of a plane. He’s had exhibitions at The Photographers Gallery in London, The Centre for Photography in Stockholm and Gallery Kleerup. And have been working with clients such as ACNE, Byredo, FRAME Magazine and many others. We came in contact with him through the designer Alexander Lervik and in the process of deciding who should shoot our new catalogue it felt very natural to give Brendan the job.

What made you a photographer?

– My family traveled a lot when I was young. My father was an engineer and with that I had the chance to live in some interesting countries including Thailand, Singapore and South Africa. It was when I was around 15 years old in South Africa that I began taking photos. As my education was based in the UK, I didn’t end up going to school - using a private teacher instead. This gave me a lot of free time. Of which I spent working for a local charity building schools in Kwazulu. They needed a photographer to document this, and it started from there.

Are there certain feelings you want to portray or provoke with your images?

– Any emotional reaction I would say is a good result when looking at someone’s work. Especially with the amount of photography circulating these days. Apathy is the worst response for me. I seem to always look for some simplicity in the frame. Some distance and space that I think creates a sense of calm. Over the years, that has been a sort of line that goes through my different projects.

On the subject, to me it feels like melancholy is present in your work. How do you relate to melancholy?

–It’s funny you ask that. I wouldn’t categorize myself as being a melancholic person. But maybe I’m not the person to ask? However, I’m definitely attracted to melancholic places. The use of darkness and negative space for me translates into an interesting image. Also looking at my Spotify playlists, most is filled with very melancholic music.

Tell me about a crucial moment in your carrier.

– When I first came out of university my portfolio was defined as separate art projects. I would spend a lot of time shooting for a series then move on to the next series. I would say that my wife convincing me to split up the projects, mix in individual images and think more of an editorial flow, was a critical moment in how I show my work.

What inspires you?

– Oh, lots of things inspire me. Traveling of course is high up on the list. Putting myself in situations that demand a little effort to negotiate. Exploring a location with my camera that has some aesthetic interest, such as a disused building, hidden streets in a foreign city, low sun on a beach filled with tourists or circling in a small plane shooting piles of industrial iron ore. Emotional reactions with a camera to a certain situation.

Why does that inspire you?

– Because it doesn’t happen every day.

What’s a winning concept for a photo shoot?

–A great team of people that all trust each other’s qualities.

Check out our more of Brendan Austins photography in our catalogue for 2018 >HERE<

See more of his work here:

Pictures as seen above.

1. 'Unearth #05'. This aerial photo was taken from above the large iron ore piles in Rotterdam port. I was in a small plane circling the industrial port for hours creating this series.

2. 'Solna'. Whilst shooting for Försvarsmakten, I spent some time in Solna, Stockholm taking images of the impressive blocks there. The moon was full this evening and a strange blue light radiating throughout the sky.

3. ‘Vacuum #07’. The light shifted whilst on a walk close to the glacier. I ended up running for 45 minutes to collect my tripod for this image. It was one of those magic moments in a wonderful location.

4. Scania. This was shot for Scania as part of their new branding. Im particularly happy with the graphic form of this shot. Its a little difficult to get any perspective until you notice the trucks.

5. Scania worker. This portrait was also shot for Scania trucks. I had the chance to go to the foundry where they forge the engine mounts. A hot environment and amazing visuals.

6. Muriwai Beach, New Zealand.

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