In Conversation With: Matt Leeves
Matt Leeves is an emerging fashion photographer based in London.
His playful approach to image-making is defined by a practice that is rooted in art & conceptual photographic works. Since moving to London, he has shot for the likes of The Glass Magazine, Glass Man, 9/10 Magazine, Terrible Magazine, Mission Statement, as well as an ever-growing roster of independent designers and avant-garde labels.
Photography / London
Are you originally from London?
I’m not, I grew up in Brighton, on the south coast of England, so London was never that far away. London was always on my agenda
I think, I always felt very drawn here.
What does living and working in London mean to you?
I guess it’s proof of being driven enough to get where I wanted to get, even though it hasn’t been easy. I feel humbled to be a part
of the creative community here and, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. It’s still such a vibrant place and I’m constantly learning, meeting new people to work and collaborate with.
Do you have a location/building/area that inspires you in London?
I live right by the marshes in North London so I’ve ended up spending a fair amount of time there. It’s also no secret it’s a great location to shoot.
Has there been any particular projects that you are especially proud of?
It’s tricky to say, my work is constantly evolving as is the world around it. I just think it’s important to be grateful for what a project did you for you and move on. Otherwise you’ll constantly be trying to replicate, re purpose and re imagine old work which has never worked
out for me.
I’ve formed some pretty special collaborative relationships over the past couple of years, with some incredible people who allow me to express my approach to conceptualising a project organically and with complete faith in where it’s going.
I suppose it’s these
collaborations that I’m proud of and where they will lead to in the future.
Can you tell us about your journey into photography and what drew you to fashion photography in particular?
I was lucky to find photography at quite a young age, so I guess I’ve been shooting for nearly 12 years which is a scary thought.
I was never initially into fashion throughout my formative years, my focus was mostly on conceptual art projects. My main focus was on sculpture, space, the playful and the sometimes beautifully absurd nature of the world. Although the focus has shifted, these themes still underline my practise today.
I only started taking fashion seriously around 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I think I’ve always been interested in telling stories that aren’t so obviously embedded in fashion, I feel like I can bring elaborate ideas and present them as fashion.
This is great because you get peoples attention, even its only for a short amount of time. Fashion can be a fickle place, but it opens up so many
avenues for creative exploration, I wouldn’t want to be working in any other industry right now.
Do you have a favourite photograph that you’ve worked on? What makes it special to you?
I guess any image that excites, saddens or touches people, that’s why were all here, right?
Do you have somewhere you particularly like travelling to to work? like LA?
I think new places are always fun to shoot, everything becomes a novelty. LA was a one of these places.
I definitely find going to new places allows you to reset, it allows you to go out the door, be interested in the world around you and shoot without much thought or pretence.
I think this is pretty integral to sustaining a healthy relationship with the medium and creative thinking.