IN THIS INTERVIEW > 33 year-old British photographer Warren Sebastian talks about his street photography, made for the most part in Brighton, his hometown; and why the beach particularly inspires him to photograph.
Hello Warren, thank you for this interview. What are your main interests as a photographer?
For me it’s the fact that I can just go out, wander about and see what comes my way. It’s the process of discovery as well as self-discovery that appeals to me and inspires me again and again. The more I photograph, the more gets unveiled to me.
I shoot mostly street pictures, documenting social aspects of where I live by creating an interplay of images and suggesting a narrative. Talking to people you would normally not speak with and learning about their day or life is always a delight, as brief an interaction as it is.
Is photography how you make a living, or is it just a passion at the moment?
Just a passion. Some paid work pops up here and there, but nowhere near enough to make a living off it.
When and how did you start photographing?
Photography has always been at the back of my mind as something to try. In the summer of 2011 I met someone who inspired me. I was hooked after a week or so.
Most of your photographs are taken in Brighton, your hometown, and especially at and around its beach. Is the beach the favorite part of your city to shoot, and why?
Yes, I find the beach a most interesting place to photograph lately, and in every season of the year. People go to the beach for all sorts of reasons – to be by themselves for a while, to escape the city, or to gather with friends and maybe party. There are a lot of students and tourists in Brighton all throughout the year, and they usually meet at the beach.
Choose any one of your photographs that is a favorite, and tell us why.
I just like the whole scene and mood and colors, and how calm the sea is.
What do you like the most about photography? How do you feel when you have your camera in your hand?
I get to explore and let my curiosity and creativity be inspired. I nearly always have a camera with me so I feel inclined to shoot. I’m intrigued by the rawness and magic that some photographs portray.
How do i feel? A sense of enthusiasm, empathy. Sometimes I’m a bit naughty. A side of me always wants to make deep, meaningful photos; and the other side just wants to make slapstick street photos, although in fact, the more I photograph the less I become drawn to this type of images. I think that what you feel is what you ask for and will determine the outcome to some degree, so it’s important to engage with what you photograph.
Who are some of your favorite contemporary photographers?
I really admire and am inspired by the work of Bryan Schutmaat, Susana Raab, Laura Pannack, Nguan and Jo Ann Walters.
Do you have any other passion beside photography?
Food, exercise & nutrition, and music.
Choose your #threewordsforphotography.
Condensed. Beauty. Curiosity.