Jason Florio | 9/11 to African stories

Banner to introduce Jason Florio podcast

A word of warning that this episode features subjects and sounds that are contextually graphic and certainly more suitable for a mature audience.

To quote from his website biography, Jason Florio’s focus has been towards ‘under-reported stories about people living on the margins of society and human rights.’ His work has been recognised with a number of awards, including The Magnum Photography Award 2017 for his raw pictorial stories on migration. It’s little wonder that photographs of his reside in a number of public and private collections and his solo and joint exhibitions worldwide have been greeted by awe, enthusiasm and celebration.

I met with Jason in The Gambia in 2018 along with his creative, business and actual life partner, Helen. It was a serendipitous meeting, well for me at least, as I was in West Africa involved in the recording of a political short documentary. We sat in a restaurant one evening by a beach close to the couples’ Gambian home discussing how Jason came to make his transition from the non-stop vibe of commercial photographic work in New York, to what at face value seemed an altogether slower pace of life on a continent four thousand miles from Manhattan.

As the sun exited from the sky that first evening we met, with the staff hinting we had stayed well beyond acceptable closing time and the warning notices of crocs at large ever present in my mind as we trekked back to where we were parked, a date was set to record his story for this podcast. The show has a short segment available in vision too at the following link: YouTube film – The Day the Towers Fell

What you’ll discover in this episode is a photojournalist, film maker, story teller and humanitarian.

Images made by Jason Florio used on the podcast page of Breathe Pictures

Pictures copyright Jason Florio, all rights reserved.

Main website: https://www.floriophoto.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasonflorio/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jason.florio.39
Helen Jones-Florio: Fine art photography site

Jim Mortram talks about the Small Town Inertia project

It took me a little time to persuade photographer Jim Mortram to record this piece. I surmised that was probably a result of his work being most definitely about those he photographs and a certain reticence to take the focal spotlight as the man behind the shutter button. Originally it was made as a short documentary film which is still viewable; the link is in the show notes below.

Eventually and perhaps partly because other publications and interviewers had opened dialogue with Jim, he let me into his world and shared his thoughts about this strong documentary long tail project.

Small Town Inertia is photographic social documentary dealing with subjects such as loneliness, poverty, neglect and mental illness. The pictures are made within a three mile radius of Jim’s home in the English market town of Dereham, Norfolk. A carer for his mother, Jim talks openly of his own struggles that lead him to make these photo essays and how many of his subjects or contributors have become friends.

Pictures copyright Jim Mortram, all rights reserved

Small Town Inertia website: https://smalltowninertia.co.uk/
YouTube film: Small Town Inertia interview
Wiki entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Mortram

Sean Tucker | YouTuber and Photographer

Still image for Sean Tucker podcast

When I decided to make a series of podcasts about photography and film making, I wanted there to be an open door policy, where a conflict photographer may appear in one episode, to be followed by a wedding story teller, a news gatherer, landscape shooter, and as with this episode, a YouTuber.

Sean Tucker hasn’t followed the conventional rules suggested by the thousands of films on how to build a YouTube following. He doesn’t really do kit reviews, shies from controversy and actually only promises to produce one film a month, whilst current thinking suggests you should be producing as much as you can, as quickly as you can, as often as you can to be a success on the platform. Sean Tucker is certainly not about ‘pile it high, sell it cheap.’

He’s a thinker, he’s a photographer, he’s a revered photography voice and as he approaches the quarter million mark in terms of YouTube subscribers, I thought it was a good time to try and find out how a photographer of his calibre and mindset courts and makes films for the most successful video outlet on this planet. Sean Tucker agreed to talk and share his fascinating journey from his front room, or in YouTube language; his studio set. The player is below, though you can also subscribe through Apple Podcasts and other favourite podcast apps of course.

Pictures from Sean Tucker podcast

Pictures copyright Sean Tucker, all rights reserved.

Main website: http://www.seantucker.photography/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/seantuckermerge
Music: https://artlist.io/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seantuck/

Sean is also the guest on The FujiCast podcast this week, a cast not just for followers of Fuji, as he is of course currently a Sony shooter: https://www.fujicast.co.uk/

James Ravilious | Rural stories

A different kind of episode today. Firstly, this podcast is not actually an interview with a photographer, but with the widowed wife of. Secondly, it features a guest interviewer; social, street and wedding documentary photographer Kevin Mullins who recorded the piece a while ago for a magazine article that never made print due to the demise of the publication.

So the tapes made for the interview were boxed and stored and like many boxed and stored items, a search was needed to find if they still existed and fortunately they did.

The late James Ravilious took up photography in the early 70s admiring the work of French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. He moved from London to Devon with his new wife and started work on documenting the lives of people who lived in the county. Seventeen years and 80,000 black and white images later, he had produced an unrivalled archive of Devonian life, respected and admired by photographers worldwide. This episode is presented by Kevin Mullins with music licensed from Artlist.

Colour pictures of James Ravilious' camera and prints

Pictures copyright Kevin Mullins, used by permission

Main website: http://www.jamesravilious.com/default.asp
Archive website: https://beaford.org/archive
Kevin Mullins F16: https://f16.click/
Music: https://artlist.io/

Cam Neville | Firefighting Photojournalist

The promo picture for Cam Neville podcast, the Australian firefighting photographer

Cameron Neville is a special breed of photojournalist. Though he’d be brisk to point out he’s no hero; that those he photographs and the conditions he makes photographs in is what should draw you to his work, Australian photographer Cam Neville has been making news of late for the very real and stark pictures he presents of those in the front line fighting the continent’s ferocious bush fires. Once a studio owner in a fashionable part of Sydney, life took a series of unexpected twists and turns for Cam, which resulted in a move up coast and a project that was about to consume his life both professionally and personally. Cam makes pictures of those who fight fires, the unexpected, twisting, cruel, heartless, ruthless bush fires that rip through whole communities across Australia, but his work doesn’t stop at recording the devastation to property, the bush, people and wildlife, he fights the fires too.

This episode digs deep into Cam’s personal relationships with the fires he photographs, revealing how it affects not just his professional work, but home life too. We find out what kind of equipment is necessary for making pictures in this harshest of climates for a current digital camera, his workflow and what plans he has for the project moving forward.

To see more of Cam’s work or to purchase his limited edition book, see the show links below and as always, please feel free to email with suggestions of future guests – and remember to share!

Colour pictures of Cam Neville's firefighting pictures used in the Breathe Pictures podcast about photography

Pictures copyright Cam Neville, used by permission

The website: Cam Neville
Main fire portfolio: Into The Fire
Portraits: Firefighters
Artlist: The music used by permission and licence 

Giles Penfound | The Conflict of Photography

The banner used for the Giles Penfound Podcast on Breathe Pictures

In this week’s Breathe Pictures podcast, I’d like to you hear, to meet, Giles Penfound, a former head of press photography for the British Army. Early in 2017 I made a film with Giles, a link to that is below – and during the podcast you’ll hear him make reference to the photographs that he shows within that film. If it weren’t for his graphic description of the images, this episode may just have resided as that film, but the ability to transpose this to sound only is testament to how Giles describes his life as a photographer in the army and what it means to be a professional photographer in that most challenging theatre of war.

His time in Northern Ireland, his work during conflicts in Bosnia and Iraq as an army photographer leave a pictorial legacy, many of his photographs are historical documents, some have been used as evidence in international court. So today’s programme is a real journey of light and shade, it’s not simply about the sharp end of military photographic duty, it’s about how a photographer starts, finds inspiration, finds the craft, hones that craft and turns it to subject matter of a somewhat lighter nature sometimes.

You’re about to hear the gentle, honest, observational, authentic, sometimes troubled thoughts of a photographer who earned clear respect from Colonel Tim Collins who during the 2003 Iraq war made that infamous ever-of-battle speech, a copy which apparently hung in the Oval Office. During an interview for the BBC, he compared the honesty of Giles work to that of the legendary war photographer Robert Capa, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and greatest combat photographers in history. The Podcast is available through the iTunes, Podcast player and if you’re an iPhone user, the incredibly good podcast app, Overcast.

Black and white photographs of pictures taken by the conflict and army photographer Giles Penfound

Photographs copyright Giles Penfound, used with permission

The film: War Photographer Life Photographer
Giles Penfound returns to Bosnia: Mail online story
The People at Jodhpur Junction: http://blog.leica-camera.com/2015/08/06/giles-penfound-the-people-at-jodhpur-junction/

Steve Shipman Celebrities and Weddings

I first met the photographer Steve Shipman in 2013. He was attending a photography workshop I was hosting about still images and sound combined, ironically. Actually, it was the first workshop I’d hosted for photographers… I’d been shooting professionally less than a decade. He’d been photographing for considerably more time. He was the ninth name to book on and I made a note about him. In the margin for more information I wrote; ‘Very proficient photographer, really nice chap too.’

But Steve is so much more than that, which you’ll gather by a sample of his work below and this third episode of the podcast. Keanu Reeves, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Baroness Thatcher have all sat for him. His portfolio reads as a who’s who of well known personalities and historical figures. So, I’m rather pleased if a little embarrassed he granted me his considerably proficient time back in 2013 because although I didn’t know it then, I’d just fortuitously bumped into a, one in a million type person.

I think if you asked anyone lucky enough to be his friend, you’d probably find one word appear more than any other when asked to describe this really nice chap; generous. Because despite all the people he’s photographed, the stories he’s told, the newspapers and magazines that have shared his work all over the globe and even the fact seven photographs of his feature within the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, arguably the most important British archive for photographers and photography, despite all that, he’d never be too busy if you were to call, I never heard him belittle, run down or decry another’s work or most importantly passion for the business or art of photography.

This hospitality, this generosity is what’s so precious about professionals like Steve, because we’re not all blessed to be in possession of a nature so authentically balanced. The links below guide you to his website and Micro Stories Blog, which completes the narrative of the story today.

A selection of pictures from Steve Shipmans podcast page on Breathe Pictures

Photographs copyright Steve Shipman, used with permission

A Grim New Reality (Micro Story): http://steveshipmanphotography.com/reality/ 
Playing to the Gallery: http://steveshipmanphotography.com/playing-gallery/
Steve Shipman Photography: http://steveshipmanphotography.com/
National Portrait Gallery, Steve Shipman: https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp70067/steve-shipman
Epidemic Sound for the soundtracks of this show: https://www.epidemicsound.com/
Steve Shipman | The Photographers. A short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnVVOx0rlR4 

Tom Stoddart Photojournalist

Black and white banner that appears on the Breathe Pictures Tom Stoddart podcast page

Tom Stoddart is my guest in this second Breathe Pictures episode. Known and respected widely as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, his photographs of conflict and unrest, famine and pivotal historical moments such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of President Mandela, and the siege of Sarajevo undeniably shaped and still form public opinion. The Podcast opens, and closes in fact, where it all began for him decades ago; a small fishing village in Northumberland, an unlikely and very peaceful part of the country to inspire such a rich photographic career when you consider the places my guest has travelled and the scenes he has witnessed before his lens. If photojournalism is a genre that inspires you, then this episode unravels some of the skills and attributes believed to be paramount to assume such an important legacy career in photographic story making.

Listen to the podcast at the foot of this post and subscribe for regular episodes. This episode was originally made as a short film which is linked to below with further links about the photographer. All photographs used by permission from the copyright holder: Tom Stoddart. Any and all images should not be used or redistributed without consent from the photographer and/or representing agency.

Photographs copyright Tom Stoddart, used with permission

Tom Stoddart’s website: http://www.tomstoddart.com/
Famine, War and Politics, a short film about Tom Stoddart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzCVEN2_p14
Getty page for Tom Stoddart: https://bit.ly/2NSzGpz
Reportage by Getty: http://www.reportagebygettyimages.com/tom-stoddart/#biography
Soundtracks to the show from Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com

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