I’ve always had an appreciation for photographers because they manage to capture everyday objects and locations in a completely new light. Having lived in Leeds for the best part of 2 years I know that the city is brimming with potential so it was great to catch up with Leeds Lurking, a collective of Leeds photographers who may one day give Trashhand a run for his money.
Style Division: When did your interest in photography begin?
Tom Joy: I’ve been interested in photography since I was around 12 or 13 years of age. I remember buying disposable cameras at that age and just taking photos quite aimlessly just to document what was going on.
My inspiration comes predominantly from my surroundings, my peers, and movies! I’m a sucker for cinema and even great soundtracks for movies inspire me every day.
SD: What gave you the impetus you to create ‘Leeds Lurking’?
TJ: The initial impulse to begin Leeds Lurking came from the frustration I felt of not knowing the city I was living in. I wanted to explore and naturally I wanted to document it.
SD: Onto some geeky stuff. Can you tell me more about your gear? Do you use any specialist equipment and what would you say is essential to have on you at all times?
TJ: I don’t really go in with anything too specialist in my opinion. My day to day set up is my 5D mkIII with a 24-70mm lens. I switch up between that lens and my 15mm fisheye, 50mm and 100mm. With regards to Leeds Lurking it’s about keeping it low key and staying as mobile as possible. Saying that – a 24-70 on a 5D body isn’t particularly light but it doesn’t bother me.
I’ve started carrying a miniature tripod from Manfrotto recently which is great for quick set up on those longer exposures. Other than that I can’t admit to using much more really!
SD: While out doing street photography you must have encountered some unique individuals and situations. Any particular moment comes to mind?
TJ: Yes, always! It’s one of the greatest parts. The best story I have was when I arrived in Milan for a week away last year and whilst en route to the hotel I pulled my camera out and saw this really interesting guy.
I approached him and took some shots of him and it turned out he was a former champion boxer Rocky Mattioli! It was crazy and also inspiring when you meet someone like that.
SD: Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
TJ: That’s really hard to call! I enjoy elements of everything that I do and I’m fortunate enough to be able to get paid for what I love to do. I appreciate that every day. Right now I’m really enjoying the commercial work I’m doing with restaurants and bars, particularly the ones who push a brief and make it a true collaboration.
I get a lot out of pleasing a client and it’s even better when I please myself with the output we produce. Generally though I love shooting with people and models on my streetwear styled shoots. It’s always very casual, relaxed and good fun.
SD: What’s next for Leeds Lurking? Are you planning on doing any other cities?
TJ: Right now for Leeds Lurking we’re building out 24 hour lurking exhibit! We ran across Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh in May over 24 hours intensely documenting everything we saw.
The exhibit (if it all goes to plan) could be awesome for us reaching a bigger audience. After that? I want to go abroad. Definitely hitting London soon.