Discover What You Are Looking For
As you peruse Will Collier (aka ImIndoors)’s journal, it would be easy to slap a “street photographer” label to his collection: b&w, mostly urban, people, candid. It’s the right combination of factors.
But here’s what Will has to say about it: “I always find it difficult describing my photographic 'style.’ My photos will more often than not include people but also it is quite often a single person. I have realized that solitude in the urban environment rings very true with me and I find myself coming back to it again and again. Black and white invariably suits that mood. That mood or atmosphere is what people will always comment on first.”
The eureka moment
Will continues: “I only discovered what I was really looking for by continually taking photographs of a huge variety of subjects.” Joining Blipfoto, whose HQs happened to be right next to his place of work, and its daily regiment of taking photos was the perfect way for him to regain interest in photography.
His eureka moment came after some time when he realized that “if a photograph didn't involve a human being it felt incomplete to me.” And so now nearly all his photos tend to be situational with people always involved.
He states that his photography mirrors his outlook on life. And, with the deadpan style that encapsulates his journal’s text, he explains: “I have been convinced for some time now that we humans are on the edge of oblivion. And yet we all seem to spend too much time immersed in the meaningless and pointless aspect of life. However, I would like to think we can all see the funny side of this. As a result, my journal is more about my take on life rather than a factual day-to-day journal. My journal is like that last chip on your plate, which is slightly under-cooked, ugly and green at one end... I need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.”
The power of captioning
While Will’s photography catches the eye, his words seal the deal and keep viewers coming back for that unexpected morsel of humor-laden observation of the human condition.
He says that the captions always come to him after taking the photo. “In fact, I never think about it until I'm going through my photos at the end of the day. My priority is always to take a good photo more than anything else although the captioning has become more prevalent in the last couple of years and I am in the process of publishing a book of my photo-captioned photos. It's called 'The Merry Dance of a Nihilist' and will hopefully be available in all bad bookshops some time in the future.”
Steeped in the arts
Will is no stranger to the world of art, with a mother who studied and taught fine arts and a father who was an architect. With an artistically inclined family, photography has never been far away. His parents bought him a Kodak Instamatic when he was 12 years old and, according to him, “a thousand years later, I returned to photography with the purchase of my first DSLR around 8 years ago. I have been trying to catch up with the technology ever since.”
Will is a sculpture conservator by trade. For the last 18 months, he’s also been a part-time fine art photographer, with a number of small exhibitions, a first solo gallery exhibition at the Image Collective in Edinburgh.
His day-time job involves the conservation and restoration of sculpture in all forms, whether it be the large bronze statues one sees on the city streets, marble busts from the National Galleries or smaller pieces from private collections. The work requires documentation for future maintenance of the objects so part of Will’s work is photographing the objects before, during and after the conservation/restoration.
Will says he’s blipped on a daily basis for 5 years or so but that more recently he has slipped from this regime: “Life has kind of gotten in the way. However, I can't imagine I would ever stop completely... unless, of course, Armageddon arrives, as I fully expect it will. Trump may still bomb the wrong Korea next week which may cause some upset, so I am always aware that time is short if I want to find the perfect photograph.”
Will urges blippers to take their camera everywhere and discover what you're really looking for. “Taking photographs of your dinner or swans will only keep you interested for a short time,” he adds.
What keeps him in Blipfoto?
“I would have struggled to remain on Blipfoto if it weren't for those blippers whom I first 'met' virtually and then later in reality -- those who share my humor and my taste for a pale ale. I also owe this place a debt, as I doubt very much I would be exhibiting my photographs today if it hadn't been for Blipfoto.”
Will’s website is www.willcollierphotography.co.uk
Remarks collected by Michele (aka Alsacienne)
Cover photo: Will Collier – The Mill