Today we were visited by Craig Easton, a photographer with a background in photojournalism. His work was featured at the photography festival in Derby.
Craig believes collaboration is important, as the more creative minds at work, the better!
Easton used to work for The Independent, joining in 1990 and travelling all over the world throughout his career. He took a famous image of the IRA bombing, as it was a raw photo captured in the heat and panic.
He wanted to dig deeper, to cover longer term stories. He was given a taste at this when he was commissioned to photograph "The Underclass". This series was about the hardships of poverty in a modern society. The images he took were shocking, and looked like something from the 1800s, not modern day.
The family that he photographed he met again in 2016, and decided to photograph them again. He even photographed the little girl in the second image's wedding.
He began to move into portraiture and photographed people on the streets of Liverpool by going around with a white background.
A hotel commissioned him to photograph his "French Market" series, which was shot in a market place in France, showing the life and importance of small businesses. Easton has also done books for the BBC with Rickstein and Ainsley Harriot.
Inspired by "26 Gas Stations", Easton created a series that focused on the documentation of 26 Gas Stations in Burma, to show the vast contrast between Burma and America, and the difference in the way of life.
His most recent series is called "Fish Tales", which focuses on women in the fishing industry, telling their story and giving them the spotlight that they otherwise wouldn't have. Part of his collection includes portraits of older women who used to be part of the fishing industry. Easton has created audio recordings with the women and even has some hand written stories from them, reflecting on their time. The audio and hand written words sit nicely with the images, as they create even more personal insight into the lives of these women.
One of Easton's most well-known series is called "16", which is a portraiture series revolving around kids who will turn 16 on the day of the vote (Scotland allowing 16 year olds to vote). He asked them to say why they were going to vote, and why they should have a say. The project evolved into looking into the lives of 16 year olds and hopes to give a platform for young people from all walks of life to express their aspirations, hopes, dreams and fears for their futures. Easton invited 15 other photographers to take part. Some of these photographers included Lottie Davis, Chris Nun and Kate Peters. However, after the first image that Craig took was sent around, a lot of the photographers felt intimidated. Luckily, after a little push, the photographers contributed to the series.
Craig Easton's work is emotive, raw and powerful. I particularly enjoyed his talk as it really inspired me to look into deeper stories.
"We're grateful to the artists who came before us for what we take from them" - John Sarkowski