• James Clive Richards

The Royal Photographic Society: Journal (July 2019)🗞️.

Following the success of Hi ___, how are you? This is a little random. and while in London for Offspring Photomeet 2019 after being selected as one of three winners from across the UK due to the project by APHE (Association for Photography in Higher Education). I was approached by Rachel Segal Hamilton through my website.

She'd seen my project on a visit to Huddersfield University, UK and found the project, then expressed the desire to do an interview with me on my workflow to be included in the upcoming July issue of The Royal Photographic Society: Graduates 2019. Which featured the work of recent photography graduates from across the UK who were selected as "ones to watch"as they enter the industry post study. 

The Graduates: 2019, Royal Photographic Society©, 2019.

This was completely surreal!! Not only was I going to be published in one of my all-time favourite photography magazines, I was also going to have a small feature and interview. I felt a lot of pressure as I was the only Photography student selected from Huddersfield for the July 2019 issue, kinda felt like a weight was on my shoulders to not only properly and professionally represent the photography course of Huddersfield University, UK but also my graduating year and peers.

The interview consisted of four questions from which the features text would be created from taking sections of my answers and stitching them together. Discussing my project, why I chose social media and specifically homosexual representation online, why I chose to study photography in the first place and what was my intended direction for my postgraduate career. I initially started my academic journey at university wanting to be a commercial photographer and my aim was to leave and pursue retouching professionally.  

James Clive Richards: The Graduates, Royal Photographic Society©, 2019.

However, despite my clear plan of trajectory I envisaged for my photographic career it wouldn't go the direction I predicted or planned for myself. Upon returning to academia after a 6 year break (between college and university) I re-discovered a passion and love for documentary which I did primarily throughout first and second years. All while simultaneously continuing to work part-time as a retoucher. Then in final year I made a dramatic shift. I wanted to move away from documentary and work of portraiture. I knew I was greatly lacking it at the time in my portfolio. This would be the year I deep-dived into gay culture (historical and online), portraiture and making more conceptual art based work. The resulting project of that final year was- Hi ___, how are you? This is a little random.

This is the project Rachel Segal Hamilton saw on her visit to Huddersfield University in 2019 and was subsequently published. Segal relayed to my tutors she could see the "labour of love" within the project, months before I even knew it was to be published validating all the time, tears and effort I invested into the work, as it was acknowledged by a peer. Segal's kind analysis of the work being a labour of love completely epitomised my feelings at the time for the work- building it, developing it and changing it when something went wrong felt like a metaphorical pregnancy. Seeing the project in The Royal Photographic Society: Graduates 2019 felt like the time, effort, research, understanding and narrative for the project I'd been nurturing for months had officially made it's debut to my professional peers.

James Clive Richards: The Graduates, Rachel Segal Hamilton & Royal Photographic Society©, 2019.

Model Instagram: @ethan_johnson

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