Interview by Jo Blackened
Living by Greenwich I am often seen walking around Greenwich market, checking out the stalls and last summer I came across the photography stall of Sam Warr. His collection of beautiful photos got my attention immediately and he was nice enough to be interviewed.
Hey Sam and thanks for your time today. I haven’t seen you at Greenwich market before last summer, have you been here long?
Hello Jo, yeah I’ve been in the market for 7 years now, I started just after the 2012 Olympics.
What first got you into photography?
I was working as a cycle courier on the mean streets of London when I started taking photographs. I was riding around all the back alleys and side streets and got to see the real London and was hooked from there.
Did you study photography or are you self-taught?
No, I’m completely self-taught, never had a lesson or even read the book. I’m dyslexic so I’ve had to teach myself.
What was the first camera/lens you purchased?
My first camera was my Canon 550d with a 18-135 lens
Your photos don’t look edited, which I really like, as I find too many photographers use Photoshop and their photos look more like digital art than photography, but your photos look raw and natural. Is this something you intended on doing?
Yes, I don’t use photoshop and don’t edit my images in any way. I do all my work in camera, I shoot in B&W and adjusted the settings from there.
Have you always lived in the area?
I moved to Greenwich when I was 4, and then when I moved out of my parents I’ve lived all over South East London.
What do you like about shooting in raw B&W?
I just love shooting in B&W, I find it completely changes the images, by taking out the colour it makes it so much more. It changes the feeling and emotion of it too.
I heard the Duke of York visited your stall?
Yes, he did, he came to the Grand Re-opening of Greenwich market and I was lucky enough to meet him and have a chat with him about my stall.
Has your work been featured anywhere?
I’ve had my images featured in ‘Time Out’ as the image of the week. We did a naked calendar shoot for Orchid, a male cancer charity, we raised a lot of money for a great cause and it was a laugh to do it. Also, I used to be the event photographer for Greenwich market and did the Christmas, Halloween and Easter shoots for them and was regularly in all the local press.
What are your favourite places to shoot?
My favourite places are anything industrial and architectural, preferably abandoned and overgrown. Unfortunately, there’s not much of that left in London so I’m always on the lookout for new undiscovered locations.
Is there a particular time of day you prefer to shoot?
I prefer the mornings when it’s dark and moody, I especially like it when it’s misty.
Is there anywhere or anyone you haven’t shot yet, that you’d like to?
I really want to go to Berlin and New York. I think both places would suit my style of photography.
Is it hard to earn a living with photography?
It can be. I earn my living in the market but also do weddings, corporate work, commissions and family and pet photo shoots.
What are your views on photo editing sites being available to everyone on their phones? Do you think this has put an end to professional photographers?
To be honest it doesn’t really bother me. The phones nowadays are amazing and you can do so much with the cameras but I don’t think that anyone would try to sell their phone images, they’re more for the Instagram user.
Do you think anyone can be a photographer, or do you need to have a natural eye for it?
I think you need to have an eye for photography, you need something a bit different to stand out from the crowd.
Do you have any projects coming up this year?
I’ve got a few weddings booked this year and a few exhibitions coming up in the summer. One here in Greenwich in the Ben Oakley Gallery and a couple in Whitstable.
What advice would you give anyone started up photography?
Just get out there and give it a go, have the confidence to put yourself out there and give it a try. You never know where you might end up.
Where can people view and purchase your work?
You can come visit me in Greenwich market, just by the Coach and Horses pub. I’m there every weekend. Also, you can check out my website www.samwarr.com
Thank you for your time Sam.
To contact and book Sam, please send email to: email@example.com