An Interview with Gareth Williams

  • Copyright Gareth Williams
  • Copyright Gareth Williams
  • Copyright Gareth Williams
  • Copyright Gareth Williams

We recently supported AOP award winner Gareth Williams on a project he did for Lucy Hardcastle Studio. Their installation for the London Design Festival, Kalostasis, was photographed and filmed by Gareth. Have a read below at how Gareth approaches his work and what’s next.

How did you get involved in the Kalostasis exhibition?

I am a long-term collaborator with Lucy Hardcastle Studio who commissioned me to photograph and film their installation for London Design Festival, Kalostasis. I’ve worked on other projects with the studio for clients such as UniQlo and Channel 4.

How did you get into photography?

I did an art foundation at Arts University College Bournemouth and from there I went on to do a BA Photography degree at London College of Communication. It was there I met a lot of the people I collaborate with today. The tutors helped me connect with visual artists who gave me my first taste of the photography industry outside of the institution. A few years after university I became the first assistant to Richard Foster which was integral to the beginning of my career.

How would you describe your style?

My still-life photography addresses the relationship with the digital landscape by creating severe and exaggerated realism. The viewer questions if they are computer-generated-imagery or not, but they are in fact all produced in-camera. My photography and moving image also take on a sophisticated and dark humour with elements looking at human psychology.

What inspires you?

A multitude of things inspires me. My work focuses primarily on concept led projects that address a subject matter that has interested me. I try to play with a sophisticated humour in my work. A project that will be out soon called ‘Stuff Left’ is a staged documentary-style look at the banal and absurd objects that came through the door of an East London hire studio and never left. There are some really funny and odd items in the 52 images.

What kind of equipment do you use?

It depends what I’m shooting but if I’m in the studio a Linhof M679cs with a Phase One back. It’s incredibly useful allowing you to shift focus and perspective all within the camera. I also shoot on Canon and Hasselblad if I want to be a bit more mobile. For moving image, I use a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6k, which for the price point and capabilities is a really great camera for a lot of the still life work I take on. 

In regard to lighting, I tend to choose whichever is right for the job. I love using tungsten, and Profoto flash is always my go-to in certain situations. I’m always keen to experiment with new kit, whether it’s using projection or Astera lights.

Why do you choose Direct Digital? How has your experience been?

It’s a company I was introduced to whilst assisting and during my time as a full-time first it was the place we always went to rent equipment. It felt natural for me to carry on this relationship. The staff, be it in the office or on delivery, are super friendly and willing to help with any requests or enquiries about the kit.

What’s next?

There are a few things in progress, some further along than others. A book I’m working on that will hopefully be out this year. There is some editorial work out in a couple of publication in October. There is also a short film that is very much in the early stages but something I’ve wanted to make for a while.
Keep up to date and check out Gareth’s work on his website and Instagram