When did you first become interested in photography?
I first picked up a camera around the age of 10. I was a child actor and needed a side hobby in-between call times. I would photograph simple and mundane things like fruit and flowers. I got into portraiture around 14 or 15, the same time I was developing an early understanding of my identity and realised I could use the camera as a tool to discuss these ideas [that were] new to me.
What or who influences you?
From within, I’m influenced by my need to document my thoughts and those I care about. Externally, I love to reference visuals from historically queer photographs and printed matter like Physique Pictorial, lots of homoerotic pulp, painting, film.
And what are some of your favourite subjects in terms of shooting?
My peers, those that I connect with. I find portrait making to be a very intimate experience, oftentimes subjects choose to open up and share their stories with me during a studio visit. These are, for sure, conversations that have shaped my understanding of the queer community and young people as a respected force. I equally love involving these moments when it comes to editorial work – just because a project is commissioned doesn’t mean I should allow it to lack personal context.
Tell us about your most memorable photographic experience.
Working in the colour darkroom for the first time was life changing. It opened my eyes to the bias of the camera and the importance of the artist’s hand in the realm of photographic production and colour.
You’re currently in the process of crowdfunding Cherry Blossom. What made you decide to release a book?
I’ve always struggled with understanding my emotions and one of the ways I found as an outlet was through the tangible image. Photography works best when it is physically viewed or held. While shooting Cherry Blossom, I felt as if I was quite literally turning an internalised page with every shutter release.
Love is a feeling a lot of people have felt, but almost all fail to find a way to properly describe [it]. Because of this, as a society, we obsess over its definition. This book is my attempt to define the love I experienced in those moments. It was also important to me that the viewer’s experience of the book as an object is relatable. We kept references to the concept of a keepsake in mind when it came to the design, including ephemera like postcards and ticket stubs.