Bryony Graham Interview

Please introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re from.

My name is Bryony Graham and I’m 24 years old. I grew up in South London and I then stayed here to do my degree in Photography at the London College of Communication, of which i graduated this year. I now continue to live and work in London, whilst travelling and continuing projects, photographing places and people as much as I can.

How long have you been a photographer? How did you first get into photography?

Whilst photography is the medium I practise it sounds strange referring to myself as a photographer, but I suppose I am. It became an interest of mine as a teenager, when the new school I joined offered it as a class. I had always drawn, painted and made, as I come from a creative family. My grandpa was a painter and my parents were in advertising for most of my life. But photography started to interest me more and more and it soon became my main creative focus and a huge part of my life.

What’s your film camera set up? Do you have a favorite film?

I have always shot analogue, it seemed obvious to me from the start. The textures, the quality, the results and the feeling you get are incomparable. I tend to shift per project between 35mm and 120, sometimes overlapping with both. I have a Canon AE1 for 35mm and a Mamiya 6×45 medium format. Both bought second hand and both my pride and joy, but delivering very different results, which I enjoy challenging. As I always shoot in colour my favourite film is hands down Kodak Portra 400 or 160 depending on where in the world I am, as with LA for example the amount of light really plays a part in my set up.

Can you tell us a bit more about the project that you submitted?

All of my work, even projects shot in the UK, reflect themes and influences of the classic American styles and colours, inspired by the New Topographics movement and American photographers such as Stephen Shore, in particular his book “Uncommon Places” and Joel Sternfeld’s “American Prospects”, both their work talk a lot about the landscape of America, both physically and politically.

This was my fourth trip in a row to America, which is primarily because of that pull to make work and capture the light and style of things that I am so interested in, that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. America, California in particular, has a unique light that inspired most of my work. A warm evening glow, low beams of orange and yellow light that engulf the city. The Golden Hour.

In contrast to the title of this project, the things I shot show a more real and unglamorous side to LA, with Gold referring to the natural evening light and not the glow of Hollywood. Whilst in my opinion more beautiful, the simplicity of street corners, an old man observing the world, or some discarded fruit and a wonky tree not to mention the presence of the inconceivable amount of cars, are the under layers of a very complicated city.

These observations of people and places is what I always try to capture in its most honest form, particularly as an outsider, and whilst this project touches on the sinister and dangerous magic of Los Angeles, with a heavy focus on it’s car culture as both an aesthetic and an identity, including other images along side the shiny hub-caps and convertible roofs, helps to unravel these layers even further and even deeper, providing a different perspective.

Are you working on any other photography projects that you would like to share?

My recent university dissertation discussed the contrast of the reality and romance of the American Road trip, as a photographic genre and weather or not the notion one effects the impact of the other, with my final major project involving a road trip form London the Edinburgh. I enjoy involving travel and the exploration of places within my work, often inspired to create a new project during a trip. But, with no new trips booked I’ve been returning to portraiture and revisiting some past projects in more detail that reflect my more immediate environment through unusual observational details and strangers in the street. But….hopefully ill get to travel to somewhere new and exciting soon.

You can find more work by Bryony on her website, or on Instagram at: @bryonyrosegraham.