What influenced you to start making photographs?
It’s actually kind of a funny story. From a very young age, I’ve always been obsessed with cameras, and growing up in a creative environment, my parents were very encouraging when I decided to show an interest in the making of crappy zombie films (at around the age of 8). However, it was only when I was 13 that I got inspired to start photography, after watching the film ‘Boyhood’ and craving the main character’s interest and ability to take photos. A weird way to get into it, I know.
After mucking around with DSLR’s for a while, I decided I wanted to start shooting on film, so I asked my mum to show me the ropes – as she was once a photographer herself – and ever since then I’ve been fanatic.
What content do you like to create?
I create whatever comes to mind to be honest, if I have an idea I will note it down in my ideas book and try and get it completed when I can.
At the moment, my content is very photography, film and graphics related, based around my adolescent life and my experiences. For example, my latest super 8 film ‘En Verano’. However I do like to branch out a bit and do fashion and music production on the side.
Who do you look up to in the photographic world?
Right now, I’m obsessed with Tom Hunter’s work and how he creates the juxtaposition of shitty England within beautiful photographs. Not only him but I’m also fascinated by the portrait work of Khadijah Saye (Rest in Peace) and the earlier work of Alasdair Mclellan.
“I walk because jumping the train is quite bait nowadays due to this new security guard”
What’s a typical day in the life of Hal?
I won’t talk about school because that’s just routine, but in the holidays or at the weekend, I’ll wake up really slowly, whack on some music in the shower – I like a lot of underground grime, hip hop and the occasional bit of lofi – and normally head out to Vicki park skatepark (big up leam) with my MJU and minimal coinage. I walk because jumping the train is quite bait nowadays due to this new security guard. Me and my mates will skate around from spot to spot and chat about creative projects, share ideas, take photos, films etc. Lunch-wise, I prefer the co-op over a Subway or Maccies as its cheaper and just filled with less of the wanna-be roadmen. Leamington is quite a standard town with a good scene of creatives… as documented in my zine. I like to think of it as a ‘little London’ nestled within the constraints of Coventry and Birmingham, if you’ve ever been there you’ll know what I mean. Somedays me and my mates do venture to East London, you know; Mile End, Hoxton, Canada Water, as we have a good group of friends down there too, who we skate with. It’s not as cheap anymore however as our friend got fined 130 quid for trying to get a family ticket. If I’m not skating, I’m either at home working on something school related or personally creative, or rehearsing in Birmingham with my band ‘Sorry Grace.’
Do you prefer to capture moments via stills or moving picture?
In terms of moments, it really depends with me. I recently captured my whole summer on super 8 and in a way I think I prefer that method of ‘moment-capture’ if it’s associated with happiness and nostalgia, as its a physical reel of film you can project and make a night out of as opposed to one 6×4 photo that emits some mere form of personal happiness to you. With film, especially super 8, it’s there for life, and when watching, anyone can feel the same emotions you experienced when you filmed it.
What is your favourite photo from the ones you have sent?
For me, it has to be the landscape of the white husky taken in Washington Square at a ‘Sal for Mayor’ demonstration. I was on a school trip when I took it and I wanted to stay away from taking the typical skyline photos like everyone else was doing. I gave myself the challenge of capturing photos that incorporated the community feel and life in NY. I love the contrast between the two guys separated by the animal, one smartly dressed, and one in a more ‘steezy’ outfit. Although separated by class, they were both deep in conversation about the mayor they supported, ‘Sal Albanese.’ Simply, Washington Square park is a place where everyone comes together and this photo just reminds me of the vibes I felt there. Good times.
Anything we can look forward to?
As a matter of fact, yes. I am currently midway through creating a look-book / editorial for my own brand; ‘Yeh-Sah-Lai’ – you can read about it in the zine – . I’m also in the process of developing a short documentary about gentrification in London. Both will be available on my website in due course.
Can you tell us about your zine?
Prada Tracksuit was a project created last year with the intention of documenting the abundance of young creatives here in the Midlands after realising that little to no light was being shed on the local underground scene. The zine itself, consisting of 40 full colour pages combines analogue photo journalism with graphic design to portray the many different aspects of creative life here in the Midlands, for example, the local skate scene which overlaps with music, fashion and video production and an up and coming Lofi/indie band from Birmingham called Sorry Grace.
This is the first volume of many to come, and already has made itself popular here with the first batch being sold out. I’m working on a current volume two entitled ‘None of the photos I have of you are rather flattering’ and a re-print of volume 1. So keep your eyes peeled for that !
Any last words?
Yes, if you would like to follow my creative page on instagram please do, I’m @pradatracksuit, also, I have a youtube too, I think there will be a link on here.
I would like to thank all of the leamington boys, Enzo, Edson, Callum, Greg and anyone who has inspired me to pursue creativity.
If you have an idea, write it down and do it. I cannot stress that enough, otherwise it may be lost forever…
Thank you very much.