INTERVIEW: GEORGE HEWITT (PHOTOGRAPHER)

FFO: THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW WAVE OF IMAGE MAKERS FORMED VIA THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION…THE SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHER!

Who are you and where are you currently based??

I’m George and I’m 22. I previously lived in Manchester whilst studying at university there, but now I’ve moved back to the small town, Pontefract, based just outside Leeds.

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset
Image processed with VSCO with B5 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

Has your photographic style/approach changed since the move from Manchester to Pontefract?

My style since leaving Manchester hasn’t really changed too much other than through losing the opportunity to go out and shoot whenever. Living in a small town means I’m restricted for spots to go, but that’s forced me to look up spots in advance on google earth which keeps it interesting.

What is your current photographic work about?

As all of my photos are taken on my phone, I guess I try make standard phone photos look as good as I can; but I haven’t really got a strict theme to my work. The majority of images I take are architectural photos and I’m specifically interested in photographing modern architecture. I also try to take as many landscape images and bits of street photography I can, just depends on where I am.

Why are you attracted to photographing architecture, particularly modernist architecture? 

I don’t really know exactly, my towns pretty famous for being home to Poulson (who was pretty infamous for that style of architecture). I’ve always just really liked concrete stuff and how contrasting it is. 

Processed with VSCO with a1 preset
Image processed with VSCO with a1 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

Why do you choose to use a smartphone camera as your main photographic medium? Especially in oppose to a camera that would produce a higher resolution image from digital dslr or a 35mm/medium/large format film camera? How does the smartphone camera stand out?

I’ve got nothing against better quality cameras and I do appreciate the quality, but my phones just always been there. I’ve never really known enough about cameras to really go out and buy one so I’ve always stuck to what I knew, which is my phone. 

Do you think it is beneficial that camera smartphone technology has made photography more accessible to the general population? 

Yeah, I think it’s great that anyone can take a good image wherever. 

Processed with VSCO with fr4 preset
Image processed with VSCO with fr4 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

What got you interested in photography and taking images?

I got interested in photography through looking at BMX and skate mags when I was younger. This led to me getting my dads old camera and starting a Flickr account when I was about 13. I did photography at college and this is when I started to play around with more images. When I moved to Manchester for uni, I really got into taking pictures as there was so much more to shoot on my doorstep than previously before.

What was your dad’s old camera? Do you still use it now?

Just an old Samsung digital one with a terrible zoom, it died off years ago. I basically only use my phone now.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Image processed with VSCO with hb2 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

Did you continue to study Photography after college in University? 

I didn’t study any photography after college. Everything I’ve learnt is kinda just from working it out myself. My photography course at college never really clicked with me. I think I enjoy just going out and doing my own thing rather than being told what I could shoot and when.

What is your full-time job?

I’m a highways consultant. I work on planning roads and stuff for new developments. 

Would you ever consider a formal career in photography? 

Maybe at some stage, but I don’t think I’ll ever really make the push. Photography to me is just a hobby, although I’d maybe try do some prints one day.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Image processed with VSCO with hb2 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

Who are you inspired by?

I have lots of inspirations, mostly are just random 35mm accounts and architecture Instagram accounts I find, but i’m especially fond of ones that are based in my part of the world too.

Want to namedrop some of the Instagram accounts that inspire you?

I follow a lot of different accounts haha, I’m a big fan of; @thetoleikis, @ellr0b, @sourfraser, @alltypenoface, @baitflicks, @b_t_p, @mk0000 to name a few

Are there any specific photographers or artists in general that inspire you?

All the people who I really like are just people I’ve found from Instagram. My girlfriend and sister are both really good at art so I guess they both have allowed me to keep creative. 

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset
Image processed with VSCO with f1 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

What are your future aspirations?

In the future I wanna just keep trying to shoot as much as I can. I work full-time and now currently live away from anything worth shooting, so I have to make more of an effort to go out now and photograph. I also wanna explore some new places and experiment more with film stuff and phone lenses.

In the future will you consider changing the camera format you use or still continue to use a smartphone for majority of your practice?

I think I’ll stick to my iPhone for the time being primarily. Although I think I may push more to use disposable and 35mm when I can, as I’ve not really experimented with it like I want too. 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Image processed with VSCO with hb2 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

Do you find being able to edit your images digitally via your phone more beneficial than to use another programme, like Photoshop for example?

I prefer to use VSCO app as it’s what I’m used too. I can barely use photoshop and rarely use it anyway. I just like the VSCO plus features and standard Instagram filters as they’re simple and easy for me to get what I want.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
Image processed with VSCO with b1 preset. All images are taken by George Hewitt.

What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?

Just to take as many photos as you can, and that you don’t need to know anything about cameras to take a good photo. All I use is a standard iPhone camera and VSCO to take and edit everything.

You can keep up with George’s work via his instagram 

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