Interview: Josh Bryant, Photographer
Interview with Josh Bryant, Photographer
Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Josh Bryant, a London-based photographer who observes the bond between man and dog, as well as the similarities of the two, which Bryant explores in his series entitled, “Companions.” According to Bryant, “I believe when individuals look for a dog as a pet, at some level, largely subconsciously, one will look for something that mirrors something about oneself. Someone’s choice of dog therefore could reveal hidden personality traits that would not immediately become apparent when an individual is observed or whilst listening to them speak.” Bryant says, “with confidence of the dog at their side, people offer you a glimpse into their lives that they would not normally allow; making private become public, where once they would feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.” A selection of Josh Bryant’s work is displayed below. Please visit Josh Bryant’s website to view more of his wonderful work.
KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as a photographer and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?
JOSH BRYANT: Photography was a big part of my childhood. My dad would frequently be taking photos or documenting the family via videos with the use of the camcorder. Sometime around secondary school, I got really into photography, while using my camera as an excuse to go on adventures or take photos of live music to gain access to gigs. I think after school, I knew there was not much reason for me to try to do anything else, it seemed the only thing that suited me at the time.
KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?
JOSH BRYANT: Yes, I studied an Art foundation followed by a degree in photography, which I earned at the Norwich University of the Arts.
KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?
JOSH BRYANT: Elegant, yet informative and truthful.
KATHERINE CARVER: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating photographs was absolutely something that you had to do?
JOSH BRYANT: Though I have been taking photos for most of my life, I don’t think it really felt right until a couple of years back. I purchased a Hasselblad 500 c/m and completely fell in love with it. This camera uses medium format film, which forces the user to slow down and actually makes one think about the image one is taking. I felt this encouraged me to take my subject matter far more seriously, along side the notion of having a physical negative of the image made the whole process feel far more organic and rewarding.
KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin creating your series entitled, “Companions?”
JOSH BRYANT: I wanted to recreate a project that struck close to home. Dogs have been a main focal point throughout my family. My grandmother was a corgi breeder and a judge at Crufts, while my auntie is a life-long dog trainer. I wanted to discover whether these people, and people alike, share the same interest and love for dogs I do, while also examining how their relationship with their animals work.
KATHERINE CARVER: How do you believe dogs and their humans are connected?
JOSH BRYANT: As I documented in my “Companions” series, I believe all dog owners are subconsciously drawn towards different types of dogs depending on their lifestyle and character. I believe we tend to match ourselves with pets that we feel we share something in common with.
KATHERINE CARVER: How have your own dogs/animals influenced your artwork?
JOSH BRYANT: Since birth, I was living alongside a wildlife Heritage Foundation in South-East England, which bread endangered cats, both large and small. While growing up, my sister and I rode horses and of course we always owned a family dog. Photography soon brought me to London in search for work; however, I believe you never escape your childhood roots and I felt myself combining my love for photography and animals, especially dogs.
KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?
JOSH BRYANT: I believe everyone has their own personal way to output creatively however it may suit him/her. For me, it’s about seeing an idea and acting upon it with determination, faith, energy, and passion to bring forth, that which does not exist into something that does.
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being a photographer?
JOSH BRYANT: For me personally, right now, the most challenging aspect is the competitiveness, especially being in a city like London. You have to eat, live, and sleep photography, or you will fall behind. That being said, I never forget the reason I fell in love with photography, and to make sure I don’t drift away from that.
KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated?
JOSH BRYANT: I guess as humans we always want to feel that sense of accomplishment and worthiness. I’m always striving to improve my work and myself. When I was younger, I was largely motivated because I wanted to impress my grandparents and parents; however, as I have become older, I work harder for myself.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are the most rewarding and satisfying part about being an artists and creating art?
JOSH BRYANT: I would have to say the most rewarding aspect is the making process, bringing your idea to life.
KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making your art?
JOSH BRYANT: I don’t particularly have any specific routines or rituals. Although, I do surround myself with images on a daily basis, and the Internet is such a great tool for this.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?
JOSH BRYANT: I am currently working on two personal projects: a documentary project capturing the variety of different hairdressers in London; and the other project involves house plants, however it is still in the very early stages.
KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?
JOSH BRYANT: Alec Soth – I love the large-scale projects he undertakes, creating stories behind every image. Additionally, my favorite animal photographer is Tim Flach.
KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
JOSH BRYANT: Find what you enjoy doing and get extremely good at it. Keep creating even if you think the idea isn’t going anywhere and stay happy.
KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view and purchase your art works?
JOSH BRYANT: You can visit my website; and instagram users can follow @joshbryantphoto.
Please note that all of the images contained in this blog post are courtesy of Josh Bryant.
You can read additional interviews here.