Beautifully Offbeat Photography

Samuel Bradley’s photos cannot be neatly categorized. Wonderfully offbeat and somewhat quirky, they truly span the spectrum. As he tells us, “I’m battling with two different ways of working and I don’t know which one I prefer. I think most people follow my work and blog for the more quirky, interestingly processed and sometimes a bit ‘clich vintage’ photographs. They’re accessible to a wider audience, they don’t require a lot of explanation and invite people to make their own assumptions and construct their own meanings.”

He continues, “Then there’s the other side of my work that I think I’ve only really just begun to explore. The more fine art approach, with a lot of research and context behind it. The whole process is a lot slower, nearly always shot on film, and with an intended meaning behind it which I try to put into words and present as part of the work. Less people follow me for these photographs, but I’ve been getting more feedback from blogs and zines I admire, and even a few features. I prefer making these kinds of photographs, to me they feel more real, more valuable. But I know that you have to be versatile. I’d like to have a recognizable style, but I’d also like to be available for a variety of jobs. A big trap I think photographers fall into is to pigeon-hole themselves. It works for some people if their work is strong enough but I’m not ready to do that yet.”

I asked Bradley to share the story behind the man and the wolf photo we featured a few days ago (see above). “I took the photograph as part of a project in the first year of my Photography degree,” he says. “I was working with taxidermy trying to portray the gap between humans and animals. I was also looking at death, and the negative relationship between man and nature. This photo didn’t actually get submitted as a final image, because it felt too commercial, too fashionable.”

“In all honesty I wasn’t happy with the project as a whole, but I got three of my strongest and most popular photographs out of it. The girl in the lake holding an owl, the suited man smoking a cigarette turned away from a stuffed fox, and of course the photograph you featured. I wish I could have created a more coherent series, but sometimes singular striking photographs are all you can hope for, and often end up defining you as an artist for a while.”

Samuel Bradley

This post is presented by: optea-referencement





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