As most of you already know (because we have talked about it enough on our social media, newsletter and basically everywhere, sorry guys) CLiKD teamed up with PhotoVoice to launch a photography competition to cheer up London. We’ve announced the category winners and we’re still announcing the runners up on social media, but you can check that all out here. Anyhoo, we really loved being involved in such a worthy cause and we wanted to sit down with someone who’s winning picture has touched the hearts of so many (across the world, not just in London!) We took the chance and had a chat with the Love Your Partner winner and overall Love in London winner, Scott Hamilton, to get the whole story behind his beautiful winning shot.
Scott Meets Love in London
The Love in London competition was all about helping raise money for a great cause, as well as opening up a space filled with love and positivity so that we could get the opportunity to see London through different perspectives. Everyone would have had their own reasons for entering, so we asked Scott what drew him to the competition, he told us; “I really liked the idea of this competition – spreading love and positivity around London. There’s a lot of negativity in the press lately and it’s easy to get a blinkered view of a dystopian world. I also saw it as a great opportunity to push myself, potentially getting more visibility of my photography beyond the usual Facebook and Instagram channels.” Couldn’t agree more Scott! In fact, the negativity in the press is part of why we felt this competition was so necessary right now, so it’s great to hear that its resonating with people!
The beginning of Love in London Winner, Scott’s journey
Now, a little background about Scott and the Love in London competition. He submitted his photograph (as seen later in this blog post) for the Love Your Partner category. He won that AND the overall competition, officially the first Love in London winner! We had a great set of professional judges who couldn’t deny that this photograph depicted something meaningful. We know how they felt about it, so we asked Scott how he felt about winning and what the reaction of his nearest and dearest was! “I was stunned and elated to have been selected overall winner – knowing we have some great photographers across London, I wasn’t expecting it, to be honest! The reaction from family and friends has been overwhelmingly positive and has really encouraged me to keep going with my photography.” It’s great to know that this competition has not only helped London, but also encouraged Scott to continue with his photography. Got to say, we think he’s on to something there! 😉
We were delighted when the Love in London competition was covered globally and we could imagine it was a huge moment for Scott, but you know what they say about assuming (look it up, people!) so we decided to ask him anyway; “With it being a London centric competition, I didn’t expect or anticipate such global recognition. I’m thrilled that it’s been seen over the world; it’s such an honour, and I’m very flattered.” Congrats Scott, you deserve it! Your story will be a light for so many 🙂
Scott and Photography
When talking to a creative, it’s always interesting to hear how they got into that specific field of creativity, so we asked Scott what drew him to photography and he told us; “I’ve always been interested in photography from a young age; the interplay of light and colour, depth, focus and shape – expressing thoughts and emotions whilst being a unique snapshot from a time and place. It’s what I see as a modern art form that isn’t fixated with age that say, contemporary music, seems to be.” A creative answer from a very creative man, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
Creatives, like everyone, need a break, so we asked Scott what he does when he’s not taking winning photographs; “I’m actually a big fan of music. I listen to a lot of prog. rock, classical, as well as amateur rock – whilst always being a devoted fan of Bowie. When I was a student in Glasgow, I used to work behind the stage at the Strathclyde Student Union – helping set up, carrying the gear; and, when I could, I would take photos of upcoming bands such as U2 and Altered Images before they made it really big. Nowadays, you’ll usually find me visiting pubs and clubs in South East London (and occasionally Bristol) listening to and photographing live bands.” Love a bit of good live music!
By now, most people have a camera phone which they take everywhere to document every meal they get, but we wanted to ask Scott whether his camera was basically an extension of his arm that he has to take everywhere. Scott told us; “One of my mottos has always been “Better to have something that you don’t need, then need something you don’t have.” I always keep a camera on me, in one form or another. Often, I’m faced with the dilemma of which lenses or camera to take, as you’ll never know what is out there to be shot. Recently though I have been really impressed with phone camera technology and the quality of the images they produce.”
Scott and His Inspiration
We can’t have a creative interview without asking about finding inspiration and how that inspiration manifests itself. Scott told us; “You know, I’ve always enjoyed a range of art forms. It’s not unusual to find me visiting a number of the galleries around the city, from the Tate to the Portrait Gallery. I really like the pre-Raphaelites and their use of colours and you can see some of their inspiration in my photography. There’s a painterly quality that I really like to create; as well as being able to set my own scenes using props from everyday items. Similarly, I play a lot with lighting; trying to find best spots in London to take photographs without the use of a studio lighting or large kit.” Love a visit to a gallery, an impressive exhibition always gets those creative juices flowing!
The photograph that Scott submitted for Love in London (in the above section) was an intimate look into Scott’s life called ‘Snuggle”, so we wanted to know if more of his work took on that self-portrait stance and if he considered his submission as a glimpse into everyday life. He told us; “I wouldn’t say self-portraits, you’ll see I’m rarely in front of the camera – I’m usually behind it. This is what made [Snuggle] so special. (Although when I’m trying out new techniques, the model that’s most readily available is usually myself!) I do a lot of portraiture – I enjoy being able to evoke emotion, tell a story or create an intimate space between the viewer and the subject – and I think [Snuggle] does this really well.”
We also noticed that his submission included a red sofa, so we asked him more about his “Red Sofa Series” and why the red sofa has become so significant in his stories. “The way that the light comes into the lounge at a certain time of day, and the vibrant colours of red and green just made a wonderfully pre-Raphaelite look. I took a few pictures of friends on the couch – some doing what interests them and, in some instances, setting up painterly scenes. One of the photographs referenced Lucien Freud’s work and is now part of the London Guildhall’s permanent collection. You can find these images on both my website and on my Instagram. One day, after wandering round a wet London, we came home and were just dozing on the same couch. It struck me to take a picture, I’d done a few by then and knew where to put the camera – so I put it on a timer and took a few shots. I was so delighted at the result that I gave a signed printed copy to my partner as a gift.” So, a great photographer AND a romantic? Could Scott embody the Love in London competition more? We think not! A worthy Love in London winner indeed!
Last, but Not Least
It wouldn’t be a CLiKD creative interview without us asking what questions they would add to the app. Love in London winner Scott took us down the music route and gave us;
- Bowie or Beyoncé?
So, you’ll be able to ask your potential matches that question soon! We’d like to thank Scott for answering our questions and also for submitting his photograph and congratulations on being the Love in London winner! Seeing it around London has definitely helped brighten up a lot of commuter’s days. Make sure you keep up with Scott and his future photographic endeavours!