FFO: THE YOUNGER GENERATION OF TEEN PHOTOGRAPHERS MAKING THEIR VOICE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR WITHIN THE PHOTOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY! AND THEY SHALL NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED!
Who are you?
My names Joshua Bodgers and I’m a sixteen year old photographer from Manchester.
Where are you currently based?
I live in Stockport, but my photography takes me everywhere. I couldn’t really say that I’m ‘based’ anywhere.
What is your current photographic work about?
Currently I’m stuck in-between projects from finishing my Non-Fiction series and zine to now looking to focus my efforts more towards WDWGFH (Where Do We Go From Here?) which I hope at some point in the near future will allow me to help out other youth creatives in getting their bits out there.
What does your zine and series “Non-fiction” explore?
I think the best explanation of what ‘Non-Fiction’ is would be within the foreword in my zine. ‘Non-Fiction’ began around eighteen months ago when I took my camera out with me one night to photograph the people I was with and the things we were doing. From that I realised how much the youth of today and those on the brink of adulthood indulged themselves in hedonistic acts such as drug taking, graffiti, sex, etc. From this I decided to dedicate my time to committing to moments that capture these things on film. I’ve managed to rack up enough photos for at least two zines, in which I picked out the best images and put them into zines and printed them.
Tell me a bit about WDWGFH? (Where Do We Go From Here?) … What is it? What led you to form it? What are your intensions for WDWGFH?
WDWGFH? formed from my idea to help other artists of a similar age to myself to overcome the problems they (we) may face when submitting images to publishers, especially with the issue of some people’s inability to recognise that good photos, music or whatever can be made by a teen with no qualifications or professional practice in photography, art, or music. Hopefully it will create a platform for people to express themselves and share their works with likeminded people who are also working their way into the industry.
As a young photographer aged 16, what do you find to be the biggest challenges (if any) you currently face with your own photography and further afield in the world of photography? If any, how do you intend to overcome them?
As I said in the question about WDWGFH?, my main challenge is finding platforms who will look past my age and ‘inexperience’ and just judge me by the photographs I make. I also feel that nowadays an original idea is hard to come by. I can’t express how crushing it is to feel like you’re creating something nobody has done before and then find a body of work just like the one you were planning to unleash on the world as some new creation. I’d say I personally overcome these problems by constantly trying to expand my work, whether it is within the places I submit work too or the ideas I have; what I mean by that is to think bigger, and look further afield for inspiration and platforms to display work.
What got you interested into photography and taking images?
I’ve always liked the idea of keeping a visual diary as my memory is probably the weakest part of me and that turned from a personal hobby into something I’d happily do for the rest of my days.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Would you ever consider pursuing a career in the field of photography? or possibly within publishing or another field? Or would you just intend to create bodies of work on the side?
I honestly can’t see myself pursuing a career in any other field but at the same time I want to keep making photos for artistic reasons and not ‘sell out’ or become commercialised, e.g go into wedding photography or family portraits in a studio somewhere; because personally I don’t think there is anything new or interesting about that.
The main problem is that money has to be made and the chances of becoming a big enough name or whatever to make it as an artist are slim… but I’d rather try at something I have a passion for than give up due to practicalities.
Who are you inspired by?
My main inspirations would have to be Harry Conway, AboveGround and The London Vagabond but I also love Bruce Davidson’s work on the New York Subways. I always spend time looking for more and more people who inspire me so my lists and tastes are constantly changing.
What sort of work of imagery grips you personally? How do you find inspiration?
For me, an image that grips me is one which tells a story, and not necessarily a story within the subject of the image but maybe within the light in the shot or the imperfections. I constantly spend my time looking for inspiration and I fall in love with 100 different photos every day.
What are your future aspirations?
To work with other people who share the same passions and to get Where Do We Go From Here? off the ground, as I honestly reckon there’s a lot of creatives of all kinds out there not getting the exposure they deserve.
How do you see your own personal work developing in the future? Do you intend to publish any more zines or possibly exhibit your work?
I think an exhibition in the near future is something I’d want to consider. I was talking to a girl the other day who actually made me think how amazing it would be to see the products of my past few years snapping up on display.
Got any future projects in the line up?
Yeah, I’m toying with a few ideas but I’m not sure which one is going to turn into something. To be honest I would love to find new people to take photos of, just simple portraits but I want each to have a story to tell. I suppose we’ll see what the future has to show for me!
What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?
To be honest, I couldn’t really say as I’m a young photographer myself so I have plenty to learn. The main thing I’ve learnt in my short time is to always be confident in yourself and your own work. If you think its good enough to be seen at exhibitions or in magazines then it probably is!
BUY ‘NON-FICTION’ HERE FOR ONLY £10!
If you would like to keep up with Josh’s work, follow the links below: