Images by: Benjamin Eagle

Text by: Karim Khan

Issue name: The Tomorrow Issue

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Your photography reflects a wide-ranging traveling lifestyle. Any special tales?


One of my favorite tales was an experience that whilst I was in it, I wanted out of it. It was in La Paz 2005, Bolivia was having a political turn over and the people were protesting in the streets. My first day in the city I walked out of the cafe to chants and shouting coming from my left, protesters armed with bricks and sticks were clashing with riot police. Before I had a chance to run a gas canister rolled passed my feet. Quickly realising I was in the middle of it and had just been tear-gassed I started running pointing my camera back towards the police hoping for the best, a few seconds later I was struggling to breathe and completely blind. Eventually finding a building to hide in I collapsed from exhaustion after running flat out at an altitude of over 4000m. Later I was grateful for the experience and the photographs I got. 


Where’s the best place you’ve been?


I really don’t have a favourite place, there are places I feel more at home then others, but everywhere has its own charms. Asia is a special place and I loved its laid back, relaxed atmosphere. South America for its photographic range, and natural beauty is great, India is hard to compare too, whilst Africa has an amazing wildness.


What do you try to capture within your photography?


Reportage and lifestyle photography comes to me most naturally, I try to capture what I see exactly as it is. I’ve learnt that when you disrupt the subject everything changes, and the essence of a moment can be lost. By acting fast it’s easier get the more captivating images.

I’m still experimenting with my fashion photography, I find inspiration in people and try to reflect their personalities and character through the photographs the best I can.

 

Who do you rate at the moment?


I enjoy a lot of different artists work, I’ve recently been interested in a photographer called Sally Mann, her book “Immediate Family” caught my eye with photographs of her family took in 1984.


Your just about to move into London- what are your preconceptions of the city?


In order to begin a career in photography I need to be rooted, there are cities around the world like London but after 6 years of either being away from the UK or living in Leeds I now feel happier nearer my family. The more settled I become the more I can see the opportunities London has to offer, and for now I’m happy to call it home.


Have you ever been tempted to take up tattoo photography, considering your own extensive work?


No not really, I haven’t ever thought to combine the two. Tattooing is something I’ve always loved but would imagine photographing it could be quite limiting. I might consider doing a project on people and their tattoos one day. 


What festivals are you looking forward to shooting, why?


I’ve been booked to shoot a couple of festivals in Croatia that should be fun. I would love to shoot Glastonbury this year and Burning Man is another option. I went this September and was blown away by the experience and would recommend it to anyone, it’s like nothing else and for a week I was in photographers paradise.


Where's the ideal project for you?


Next I would like to work more in central African countries. I’ve visited the North and South of Africa but would like to venture into the more secluded areas of the continent. I’ve been working along side a charity organization called “EveryChild” that fly photographers out to locations where they take photographs for the company updates on the overseas projects. This type of work would be a dream come true.


Do you listen to music while you're shooting? What are you listening to at the moment?


Music to me has huge influences creatively in every part of my life. When on the move taking photos it’s hard to involve music but when I get to the postproduction it’s a lifesaver. I’ve always been a huge trip hop fan, over the past few years a lot of producers have come through from a similar era and are combining newer sounds with older styles of sampling. If I could recommend any Dj’s, Paul Pre’s mixes have been played a lot whilst Onra, Skymark and Hocus Pocus are all making incredible music.


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