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Street Photography Interview: Connor Guy (@c.guy1)

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Street Photography Interview: Connor Guy(@c.guy1)

(If opened directly from Instagram open it within browser as Instagram stops images being displayed)

In this interview I wanted to talk to someone local to me, Newcastle Upon Tyne. So who better to ask some questions to than Connor Guy (@c.guy1)? Hear about how Connor(@c.guy1) manages to slip in shooting to his busy schedule and his current dedication to becoming a photographer.

Hi, I'm Connor Guy(@c.guy1), originally from Newcastle but currently living in Cardiff. Umm what's mainly keeping me busy at the moment is balancing my university work with actual work. I have to work a bar job at the weekend to stay afloat but I have 2 or 3 days during the week and the days during the weekend normally to make pictures which since moving here is refreshing. When I was back in Newcastle I worked Monday - Friday which was quite difficult to make any work after work, especially in the winter. 

What made you pick up the camera, and more specifically, choose to document and make photos on the street?

Haha, I always have a love / hate having to explain this! Essentially I loved all of the work I was looking at The Side Gallery in Newcastle and would go to every exhibition at least twice but I would say it was the third one when I decided to eventually get a camera, but a lot of my friends at that time were shooting in the 35mm format and I thought it was cool and a bit edgy so I decided to just get a little Olympus point and shoot off of eBay for a tenner and around 3 months after that I inherited my grandfathers' Canon SLR. It wasn't until around 18 months after that I had got an idea of the type of photographer I wanted to be!

Deciding to study documentary photography at University of South Wales helps concrete your passion for documenting with photography. How are you finding the course so far? Being a hobbyist prior how have you found moving in to a student environment? What has changed since making the move? (Link to course at end of interview)

Yeah I decided on this course over the other the documentary photography courses mainly for the 'title' it holds, and of course I am a huge fan of the course leaders work, Paul Reas (I can't lie that was a huge factor too). Going from a hobbyist photographer to genuinely studying documentary photography makes me take my work a little more serious now I suppose, I mean me as a person is not that serious to begin with so I hope that over the course of the three years I'll start to consider myself a 'real' photographer. I hope that makes sense.

When you're out on the street what spurs you to take the photo? What are you trying to capture within your frame?

When I'm making work on the street without a real purpose or a project in mind I always try and photograph situations rather than singling out individuals, although its only over the course of the past 6 or 7 months I started doing this. I'm not too sure what exactly I'm trying to capture in the frame, maybe a situation that's happening in front of me, even if it's just something as minuscule as somebody making eye contact with someone else or people engaging in some way.

Gotta ask this one, we wanna know, what equipment are you shooting with?

Umm I've shot with a lot over the years but the most of my work was shot with a Leica M3 with a 35mm Voigtlander lens. I bought this when I was working full time and still couldn't afford Leica glass, but I had to sell that due to my tricky financial situation and bought a Canon P with the Canon LTM 35mm F/2.8. But since starting the course in September I had to sell my car to fund a digital camera. Digitally I'm using the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with the 18mm F/2 (28mm Equivalent in full frame).

Who have been your inspirations in photography? I see a wonderful Joel Meyerowitz aesthetic from some of your images.

Umm I have a lot of inspirations within my work, some being 'street photographers' and some being your more classic documentary photographers. Some of these include; Joel Meyerowitz, Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Chris Steele-Perkins, Tom Wood, Tish Murtha and Martin Parr (obviously).

Last year football was coming homing. You got out to the home away from home Benidorm, Spain, to capture the British Fans abroad celebrating the World Cup. I can only imagine the fun you had. What kind of reactions did you get?  

Yeah Benidorm was fantastic, I was shooting some of the World Cup when I was over there but that wasn't my specific aim, I have a lot of interest in consumerism and tourism alike so it was great. The reactions were exactly as you would expect, just a load of English footy lads having a laugh and being rowdy, they didn't mind me being there at all so I was confident photographing.

Tell us about any ongoing projects you have going on, where we can see your work, and stay updated with your goings on?

I have a couple of ideas for projects at the moment; there is a conservative club in Cathays (an area in Cardiff) which I want to make a full project on. I have photographed there a couple of times already but I have a longer term university assignment at the moment which I plan on doing there. Benidorm will also be a longer term project for me, I will almost definitely be back this year but I am looking at going for a month this time round which I am trying to raise funds for at the moment. I'm not too sure when exactly I will be finished this project but when I do there will be a contextual statement and hopefully I'll actually maybe do something with it, exhibit or self publish a book or something but that won't be at least for a few years yet (but on the funds note I have A3 prints available to buy for reasonable costs). The best way to keep up with my work for the time being would be Instagram, (@c.guy1) as much as I hate to say it, hopefully get a website or something sorted soon.

There we have it. Big thanks to Connor(@c.guy1) for being willing to answer a few questions. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more from his current projects. As I've plastered his Instagram page you know where to find him. Support the homies, drop a follow, buy a print!

For anyone interested here is the link to the course Connor is studying:

Jordan Murray

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