Grafter magazine photographer and writer: Joey Birch. The young man making waves in photography and writing whilst creating a sustainable fashion magazine.
Before you read, check out the top ten songs Joey has been listening to recently here:
Joey Birch, is a photographer, writer and founding editor of Misc Magazine. A sustainable fashion magazine created for his final-year degree project at the University for the Creative Arts.
Joey is a film photographer who simply captures life around him. He takes time out of his day, bringing his camera along with him to capture small details. Elements that make-up loneliness surrounding the culture we live him. His photos have a classic vintage look, yet bring in a modern ambiance. They feel full and poignant with emotion. So much so that you want to know the full story behind the image. There is a joy with the saturated colours, yet the space between people and objects depicts a sense of abandonment. Something often felt by people today. A limitless that snaps the space between social media and people.
Joey has done a series of shots around lockdown, titled, 'Home'. Capturing his life, where he is from. And we get a real insight into this idea of being alone.
What does your background look like?
I live in the middle of ﬁelds really. It’s a bit out off the way so it wasn’t until I went to do my A levels at college in Cambridge that I started to really get into my own in terms of fashion etc. Photography I’ve been doing ever since I could hold a camera really.
What are you doing currently?
Well at the time I’m writing this, we’re still in lockdown due to coronavirus. I’m working full time still in a super market trying to earn as much money as I can get to save really. While I’m doing that I’m working on planning upcoming projects, MISC__ Issue 2 and also trying to get a foot in the door in terms of my career. So currently spinning a lot of plates!
What’s your future plans?
My future plans. Where to start. Right now my main aim to kickstart my career and get into an industry position. I would love the chance to utilise my skills and interests and I think the other bits will follow such as getting further with my personal content etc.
Where did the passion for photography come from?
I’ve been into photography I guess for as long as I could hold a camera really. I know that sounds corny but whenever we’d be going away somewhere new I’d be known as ‘the head of photography’ in the family taking snaps of all the plants I could ﬁnd. That’s where a lot of my inspiration comes from.
It’s only recently that I’ve really been taking it seriously before it was more of a little hobby that I thought I as half decent at.
What do you try to evoke through a photograph?
It can change a bit from shoot to shoot. But at the very core of my photos I like to think I’m showing the world through my eyes as it were. All the things I take photos of are things that I naturally pick out while I’m walking around so architectural design, colours in ﬂowers or interesting people.
One of my most recent shots ‘Home’ I try to open myself up a little more. I wanted to try and translate my emotions through the photos and the sense of calm and quietness.
How has lockdown changed your perspective on the world?
I think lockdown has been a weird one, that’s for sure. Just solidiﬁes that there are a vast amount of different people out there who have gone about the rules in different ways.
Will culture be the same or will we adapt in a new light to social distancing?
I think this whole thing has shaken everything up pretty good and it will stay like that for some time now. One of my favourite things, and something I’ve struggled with most personally, is going out and gaining inspiration. Art galleries, shops, people in the street are so inspiring to me it’s been tricky to keep that energy at times.I guess social distancing will change this but I have no doubt we will adapt and work with it. You have to at the end of the day gotta do what needs to be done.
What have you noticed about peoples attitudes that you didn’t before?
I feel like I have been able to observe people a lot more. When I’m doing street photography it really gives me an opportunity to people watch and get see how people are living in that moment. In a weird way, the thing I think I’ve realised is that everyone is in their own little world and in their own little bubble.
Just seeing people living their life, with their thoughts, on their journey it’s quite fascinating and grounding.
Social media has been key in bringing people together, how important is it to support young creatives?
It’s paramount to support young creatives. When I ﬁrst ever started releasing my content in any way it was through a blog on Wordpress that I would just write random pieces like outﬁt content, collection reviews whatever knowing full well that not many people were going to see it yet but if one person was inspired then that’s amazing to me. Collaboration is super important too I think. As a young creative myself I’m always looking to work with my friends and people I look up to as well as help others as and when I can.
What do you think will happen to print media?
See everyone always says that it will die out but I disagree. It won’t be as big as it used to be when there was no other options but that’s because there wasn’t any other options. Personally I think print media is amazing when it comes to magazines and books etc. I prefer to have something physically in my hand instead of having to eead off a screen. You can also collect magazines and books. They have an aesthetic to them beyond simply the content inside it. Another thing I love to do is go into the magazine stores in London like ‘The Week / Good News’ in Soho and Mag Culture in Islington. I always leave with a couple of magazines in my hand and a bunch of inspiration. You just don’t that same experience looking at a website.
Online ‘digital’ media will from now on be the bigger platform of course, but print won’t die out. It’s just going to have a resurgence.
Film photography has been on the rise, do you think there is a longing to go back to the past?What’s your take on this?
Film photography has deﬁnitely made a big comeback in the last couple of years. I deﬁnitely see a lot of ﬁlm photography and VHS style videos nowadays. I really love the aesthetic it produces and the way it can change the composition of the content.
It will be interesting to see how photography and cinematography evolves over time and where it’ll go next especially seeing as as much technology advances creatives are still choosing a more dated approach whether in the technology they use or the post production.
Talk to me about your music interests
Hip hop and R&B are my favourite genres for sure. If you know me, Drake is my absolute favourite artist but most of the time I like to listen to slower, more spacey chilled R&B beats. Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar are also top 5 at least for sure.
How deﬁning is this moment in time for the future of politics and societal outlook to culture?
This is a moment that’ll go down in history. The effects of this will be felt for a very long time it’s just how exactly is the question. Politics wise, I think everyone has their own opinion on on the government, I think it’ll always be split.
In terms of culture I just can’t wait to see what everyone has created in this time. Will deﬁnitely be interesting going forward.
How will we see a lifestyle shift, will more and more people come together?
Absolutely, people are itching to be together already and if anything its made people appreciate the freedom we have and take for granted everyday.
As a journalist, how will this affect your career? Are you worried at all for job opportunities in relation to supporting young creatives?
It has made me worry about gaining a job in the industry. There has been a huge number of jobs I have applied for that I may not hear back from now due to them being cancelled. The future is deﬁnitely uncertain especially right now.
It’s going to be tough for everyone in one way or another like all the creative individuals in their ﬁnal year of university who now can’t have the chance to go to GFW, I feel awful for them honestly.
That’s not to say that there isn’t any hope or everyone should give up. Whatever’s coming up next is going to be so exciting and ultimately I think if you keep working towards whatever it is you want to do you will get there eventually. Everyones path is different but you have to use what you’re given.
Photographers who need more recognition?
My two favourite photographers are Brandon Stanciell (aka The Man Who Loves Flowers). His photography is so intimate and beautiful it’s the reason I got into photography really. Rosie Matheston is also my top two photographers. I love her portraiture work that really connects with the subject and always feels like there’s so much emotion and time captured in a single photo.
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