Some of may have noticed that it’s been a while since our last Weekly Score, but happily for our curious brains, we’ve managed to get things back on track. This week we’ve had a little chat with the rather amusing photographer, Steve Howse.
For those that don’t know of your work, how would you best describe it?
Hmmm. This makes me feel like I’m writing a CV! I always ask for help with a CV so I just asked a few friends to see what they thought. Jared said “candid, clean and concise”. He was clearly having a ‘C day’. Diego said that I “photograph people in an honest way”, which was unexpected. My client friend, Holly, said “Stylised reportage and portrait shots which consider and complement the subject. Your photos always capture the environment and energy of that specific moment in time.” One more drink for Holly, please.
Could you please tell us more about your OlymPics Off Track project?
Last year I did a Magnum workshop in Munich and I met a great photographer called Diego Mayon. He’s from Gorgonzola. OlymPics Off Track was his idea and it really appealed to me to try and take some less obvious photos of what’s going on in London, especially as I’m quiet with paid work at the moment. For those 2 weeks, the eyes of the world are on London. I wanted to keep a diary of that moment in time and it’s also fun to work in tandem with someone who’s not from London. Especially someone from Gorgonzola! I was going to mirror the events that were happening by using metaphor, but when I considered posting a photo of some Polish fans under the title ‘Pole Vault’, I thought I should probably stop with that idea. The other night I followed a bunch of dutch people on dutch bikes all dressed in orange from Dalston, through Hackney and all the way to the Olympic Park. Loads of people clapped, waved and cheered as they rode past – it was nuts! I only had my iPhone but the shots are still pretty interesting.
What would your dream project be?
A coast to coast road trip! Not sure where… America’s too obvious. Now you’ve got me thinking…
How do you go about getting your paid jobs?
Asking people really nicely and repeatedly if they’ll pay me to take photographs! And if they have any friends that like to pay photographers to take pictures of stuff, then I ask them as well.
What did you dream of working as when you were a child?
I can’t say any of my childhood dreams involved working.
Tell us what made you realise that you wanted to make a living from photography?
Realising that I would be working for a very long time so I better pick something I enjoyed and stay interested in. I have a very low boredom threshold. Or is it a high boredom threshold? Either way I’m not very good with pain.
What was the last piece of work that you saw and thought, ‘I wish I’d done that’?
Massimo Vitali’s recent show at the Grimaldi gallery blew my socks off.
If you were to collaborate with another person on a piece of work, who would it be?
What advice would you give to young creatives that are looking to make a mark in their chosen industry?
Be easy to work with and smell nice.
Which image or project are you most pleased with and why?
Probably Nicosia Airport. I started a project with a friend a while back called, Forgotten Towns. It was looking at various places around the world which people had left for one reason or another (usually something heinous like war, disaster, nuclear reactors going bang, etc) after nature had moved back in.
We went to Cyprus to try and get into Famagusta, which back in the day was the island’s thriving seaside resort. Then Turkey and Greece had a massive fight and it was evacuated over the course of 24 hours in 1974. Since then it’s been cordoned off with only Turkish military patrolling it. It’s pretty bonkers – you can see the curtains flapping out of the broken windows of monolithic 70’s apartment blocks and hotels. We met with the UN and they allowed us in to the abandoned airport that they use as a base and we were talking to them about getting into the ‘forbidden zone’. Unfortunately a TV crew snuck in the following day and upset everyone so we had to come home before getting in to the main town, but I got some great shots of the airport. I was the first non-military photographer to be allowed in there for 30 odd years. There was literally mountains of pigeon crap.
What’s your studio like?
Big and square with lots of wood. I share it with 4 amazing photographers (Julian Love, Rich Garner, Nick Rochowski & Toby Smith) and we’re all really different so compliment each other well. RGB Photographic also share the space and they’re a great resource for us.
You’re based in London – where’s your favorite place to spend time?
On my bike late at night with no particular place to go. The night bus on a Friday night is always amusing too.
In 140 characters, can you describe your personal journey to where you are now in your life?
Born. Suffolk. London. Yikes. Yachts. San Francisco semiconductor PR. Double yikes. Nicaragua. Smile. Epiphany. Photography. Dish. Now!
Could you tell us about your favorite book, film, image, website, and album?
Ooooh favourites! Tough. Kafka on the shore because it’s amazing AND has talking cats. Happy Gilmore because it’s frikkin hilarious. Image – too tough! Probably one of Nick Meek’s Yosemite photographs. Website I spend too much time on - BBC Sport. You can’t have my favourite album because it’s mine. And I can’t decide.
What do you think the most important attribute to have, as a photographer?
Patience. And a sense of humour.
What do you hope to be working on, in 10 years time?
My tan. And that road trip.
Lastly, seeing as the Olympics have been on – if you were to pick an Olympic event to take part in, which would it be?
Ahhh, that was rather refreshing. Some pretty great work and responses there from Steve and some of that imagery is stunning. You check out more of his work on his portfolio site, his Tumblr, or follow him on Twitter. Have a great weekend, y’all.
Posted in: Weekly Score