Interview: Steve Wells – 2
Episode 2 of 2: Steve Wells: The photographer
Here you can read Episode 1: Steve Wells: The Person
Steve, how did you get started taking photographs? How did you decide you wanted to do it professionally?
I was given my grandfather’s camera for Christmas in 2000. I took a roll of photos and absolutely loved it. I quickly invested in an SLR [camera] (film, as digital had not yet taken off) and it went from there.
After I moved to Sydney, I decided to take it further and started assisting established photographers. When I moved to France, I decided it was time to go professional, move to a new country, learn a new language and culture, and launch myself full time into photography. It has taken a good three years to get established in Paris, but now the ball is rolling and I can see it starting to work.
How would you describe your photography?
I am a multi-faceted photographer, making photos of so many different subjects, from portraits, to landscapes, architecture, street, still life… but what I really love making are photos of ‘normal’ things, but slightly twisted or turned a little, to try to make people look at life in a different way. I’m a bit cheeky and I love to play with the moment, the person or the object I am shooting.
What do you strive for as a photographer?
I am constantly pushing myself, both in terms of ideas and technique. I am always looking to make better images and capture more interesting moments. I constantly strive to improve myself and my work, always looking for something new.
Since you’ve been working in Paris as an independent, freelance photographer, what is Paris to you? And what, if anything, has surprised you about the city?
Paris is an amazing city, full of challenges and opportunities. It has been the hardest place for me to settle in, but so far the most rewarding too. I remember when I first arrived feeling the intense energy of the place, both creatively and in general life. It’s really a city where you have to battle to get through, but this makes you stronger and fight harder to get to where you want. My business sense has developed and my technique, ideas and creativity have all been pushed. They have to if you want to survive.
One thing that surprised me was the difficulty in making real connections here, especially with the French. They talk a lot, sell themselves very well, but often with little real substance underneath.
What inspires you?
I am very inspired by the feeling, or energy, of a moment or person. So often, I organize a shoot, with very clear ideas, only to throw them all out and to freestyle with the person involved, using their energy to bounce off new ideas.
Steve, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at www.MaVieFrancaise.org. We really enjoyed getting to know more about you and your photography.All images are © steve wells 2011 and cannot be used without express written authorisation (please contact Steve should you wish to license the use of any images)