Jonny Seymour is a London based photographer with a passion for shooting subjects that capture human emotion. He's fortunate enough for these subjects to have been in incredible locations around the world. Although we know Jonny from running around the streets of our home town and drinking at dodgy house parties, his works have gone on to be featured on: It's Nice That!, Creative Review, Hunger, Evening Standard, TMRW Magazine and, he was a finalist for best still image of the year 2015 by the Association Of Photographers. Jonny’s talent is unquestionable and his commitment to his trade is second to none.
We caught up with our mate Jonny to give you an insight into the man.
How did it all start for you?
Photography has been around me my entire life, I started out mainly pursuing to become an advertising photographer learning lighting and assisting big photographers wherever I could. Then I went on a trip and shot a series in Sicily, it was at that point I realised this was the style of photography I wanted to pursue, it felt real, it has meaning.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as a mixture between documenting people's emotions and travel. I don't feel like my style can be pigeon holed.
What project are you most proud of?
Railway Kids is my personal favourite. Mainly because of the connection I had with the kids seeing them and how full of life and hope they are considering the bleak card of life they have been dealt. It's really inspiring. Raising awareness for their charity (The Hope Foundation) is something I was really happy with.
What are you working on now?
Right now I'm working on a long term project around Biker gangs in London. I've been hanging around with them meeting them gaining their trust and documenting what they like to do for fun. I have a few of the shots on my website up from this series.
Best experience as a result of your work?
"Travelling to the Philippines on my own with just a back pack and a camera was pretty intimidating considering how dangerous the areas are that I was travelling to."
I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a body guard while I was shooting some of the illegal cock fighting on the streets. Even then the amount of guns and knives around you is obviously very intimidating.
You have a lot of travel photography in your folio. Would you say that’s your number one strength?
My main strength is being able to build a connection with anyone I meet around the world I'd say. Once you've broken down the barriers of "can I trust this guy" it makes taking photos of them a hell of a lot easier and a lot more natural because everyone is doing what they normally do and aren't focused on me and my camera.
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?
My main fascination is India, its an insane country. I've been lucky enough to travel a lot there and it never surprises me. Just how backwards and different everything is run it's like stepping hundreds of years in the past sometimes. For a photographer it's paradise, I'd love to spend more time there and I've got a few projects in mind when I get the chance.
What’s your personal motto?
"99% of people WANT their photo taken."
3 top tips for any up-and-coming snapper?
1. Shoot what you want and don't be scared.
2. Study the masters and not the current cool collective of photographers, they've been around for a long time for a reason.
3. Shoot what you enjoy and don't focus on shooting what other people think you should be. If photography is your true passion it'll show through in your work and the clients will come.
What equipment and techniques do you like use?
I have what we call GAS (Gear acquisition syndrome) essentially I love buying photography equipment. My main shooting camera is Nikon D800, but I have a Leica M7, Mamiya RZ67 and a ton of little film point and shoot cameras. Normally I always shoot with prime lenses, I hate zooms i feel like its really lazy and you don't focus on your framing as much.