Model - Karine St-Pierre
Model - Melissa Attagutsiat
Model - Karine St-Pierre
Model - Karine St-Pierre
Model - Megan Dussault
Model - Samantha Strittmatter
June 13th, 2019
The haunting feel that Josh Wright captures in his photography sends a slight chill up your spine. Be it the model, location or his incredible use of shadows and lighting it immediately fills you with the uneasy feeling of being completely alone. Especially his use of water to capture a distorted mirror image is bone chilling and very much gives the feeling of the Upside Down.
His portraits also give the feeling of isolation - it’s just the model alone in the world. The moment captured forever by Josh.
Where are you from?
Born in Toronto, then grew up in a small town in Ontario. Moved to the capital region.
How did you get started in photography?
I got my first 35mm film camera as a kid. The anticipation of seeing my developed photos was thrilling. The local lab technician helped me improve. Photography seemed a positive culture. My art teacher told me photography wasn't art and then somehow I failed art class. I applied for college photography anyway and succeeded. Photography was physics, chemistry and imagination blended together. Using both sides of my brain. More than just art and I loved it, but I lacked the people skills. So I worked in a photo lab for years before doing my own work.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Soulful and melancholy. Film or digital doesn't matter. It's always about capturing the light, but also a relationship between myself and my subject. What we're willing to share and express to each other. I often pull emotions out of people they don't normally display. The light I put on someone is how they're revealed. I'm taking all these complexities and conducting them visually into something simple to look at.
What inspires your shoots?
To be honest they're often concepts I come up with during my darker moments. When I have anxiety or just sad. When I don't know what to do about things. I write down ideas and capture them when I can. I think art is good for healing and growing. The more I shoot, the more positive I feel. Shoutout to those who encourage me to keep going.
How do you want people to feel when they see your work?
I want people to feel like they don't need to fake a smile for the camera. It's feel how you feel. It's ok to be whoever you are. It's life. So just look at a photo for a moment and absorb what you're seeing and feeling. Drop the idea that things need to look a certain way. Just absorb, don't project. I think people will appreciate that escape from their own mind.
What equipment do you use? Any reason you chose that brand over another?
Well I'm a junk troller. I love anything that clicks. Half-frame 35mm up to 4x5" view cameras. I often patch up vintage cameras that I find and use them on shoots. So whichever suits my mood. Modern cameras and lenses are so perfect they've lost some character. The "defects" of a vintage lens may give me a pleasing effect. Photography is a passionate struggle, and shooting vintage gear is a humbling link to the past.
For digital I shoot Fuji with a 56mm apodization lens that creates smooth transition to out-of-focus areas. So a distracting background looks more like a backdrop. Rather than use a zoom lens and stand far away Fuji has a classic feel I'm used to, and I can adapt most of my old lenses to fit. Nothing goes to waste.
What’s your dream setup?
I pretty much have all I need. Just add an assistant, a secret forest and a lake. I guess a cottage with a darkroom would be killer. Great photos can be taken anywhere with light and a camera, but out in the forest there's no distractions, no brands or logos. Just connection to your surroundings.
How do you prepare for a shoot?
Nail down a concept & moodboard. Doubt. Panic. Test all my gear. Relax. Panic. Pack extra gear. Review concepts. Ditch extra gear. Bug spray. Go.
Anxiety gets me at first, but the preparation always makes it work out fine.
What do you look for in the model to bring your idea to fruition?
I really only do art shoots with people passionate about art. I love working with artists! They're not afraid to try something new or improvise. I know everyone is self-conscious, but I chose them for who they are. So being themselves with an open mind is the best thing. And patience is key to working with a dude using cameras older than himself.
What is your favourite dinosaur?
What does your photography say about you?
I'm indecisive and I can't stick to one thing. I'd rather experiment. And I like to see things from an alternative perspective.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The train only follows the tracks you lay.
When you are sleeping what are your dreams?
I don't sleep well. My dreams are rarely enjoyable and wake me up. Often full of situations I don't know how to handle.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer in today’s digital fast paced world?
People want instant images. Shooting is only 5% of the effort. I prefer to shoot when the time is right and process the images when I have plenty of creativity time.
Your photography is a stamp for this time. When people look back at your work what will they say?
They probably won't know what era I was from. I shoot with vintage gear and outdoor locations, without logos and popular fashions. I think people see it as somwhat timeless.
Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?
I'm eating Fudgee-Os right now.