Please introduce yourself: What is your name, where are you from, what do you do?
My name is Grant Beed, I am based in Sydney Australia. I work as a camera operator in the film and television industry. Currently I work on a travel program for an Australian TV network and for this I travel worldwide. I have also worked as a still photographer for some magazines and have had worked published in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers here in Australia.
What is your relationship with photography? How did you get into it?
After having a massive interest in photography as a child and into my early twenties, I was accepted into a cadetship as a press photographer for a Sydney newspaper back in 1994. I decided that before I would start, I would go travelling through Southeast Asia/India and take heaps of shots then come home and start my course. Well, I did not come home for four years as I ended up in England playing in indie bands in the 90s — good times. The camera went by the wayside during my days in the music business. Fast forward and now I make a living from motion photography and although this type of work is immensely satisfying and creative, my still photography work allows for total freedom and spontaneity of artistic expression. It is a self indulgence I can't go without.
What do you think triggers you to photograph in a certain moment? Is it planned or solely driven by intuition?
Interesting question. I always plan to take photos and because of this I am always on the hunt. I am looking for some fundamentals, colours, light, patterns, people. Once that is in front of me I am framing it up and shooting. All the recent photos I have on my instagram feed are obtained while I am doing my day job, so not much time to sit and wait for the absolute perfect set of circumstances. I like this pressure sometimes because you have to throw the camera around a bit making for some more spontaneous angles.
What is the story you want your pictures to tell?
When I take a picture I am imagining it in a frame on a wall. The story is important however, I would prefer my photography to evoke and emotion or feeling as opposed to a detailed narrative.
Which city would you like to visit the most and why?
It is probably a bit of a cliche, but I would really like to get to Havana, Cuba before the capitalists get their teeth too far in to it. I love colour photography and I am pretty sure there is a lot on offer in that town/country.
What is the driving force behind creation?
DNA! We are all creating something every day whether it is food, a relationship or some art form like music, painting or photography. I know people who put a huge amount of creative energy, for example, into food production. The creative process is part of where we are as a race today. We are all creative, it is just where you choose to use it. I learned photography, I wasn't born with it.
Which project did you never finish?
To be honest, it is hard to feel complete about anything I am working on. Most of the time you just take a risk and put it out there.
If you could travel back/ forth in time, what advice would you give your younger/ older self?
Back in time: Chase your wildest dream and shoot manual only from the start. Forward in time: Chase your wildest dream.
What do you prefer saying: to take a photograph or to make a photograph and why?
I guess that I «make» most of my photographs in my head before I then «take» a photograph with the camera and its settings.
Asking you to single it out, what was the most interesting experience you have had while photographing?
No real answer for this one, it has all been amazing.
If it wasn’t for photography, what would you be interested in doing instead?
I love sailing! It is an art form. If I would not be working in the photographic world, I would be at sea!
Please, describe one of your pictures to a blind person.
This is hard. If a blind person had had any previous experience with vision, I would use words like movement, graphics, colour distortion through glass, shadows, projection and decapitation.
What are you currently working on, and — if there is — what is your next project/ journey?
I am not working on anything, just if I see something I grab it. That way I have no pressure, just total freedom. I will be in India for my paid work in November. It will be the first time back in about 25 years.
Thank you very much, Grant!
© Grant Beed