“Aspects of their identities.”


George Downing is a Berlin based analog photographer who shoots amazing portraits. The light, the colours, the ankle but also the spontaneity of his work is what catches once eye.


How did you discover photography?

I first discovered photography when I was about 16. Someone gave me a lomography camera as a present and I started taking pictures regularly with that.


Do you remember the first set of pictures you ever took and really liked?

I think the first set of pictures I really liked were just black and white portraits of a friend I took on a Holga. I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing and double exposed a lot of the film, but I remember really liking how they turned out when I got them back from the lab. A lot of my favourite photos from when I was younger were happy accidents.


You focus mainly on portrait photography, how did this come about?

I love taking pictures of people because I think the personality of the subject naturally comes through when their photo is taken. I really noticed this when I was working on my recent photo book “Hosting”: the photos of each of the guys I shot reveal aspects of their identities.


How do you choose your models?

Most of the models I use are friends or friends of friends. I’m not really picky with who I take photos of. The more people I can find the better.


Do your surroundings affect you? How so?

In terms of shooting my surroundings always affect me. I think it’s really interesting to shoot in new and unfamiliar places. I actually prefer to not completely explore locations before I do a shoot because I work better spontaneously – I find that more ideas come to me when I’m thinking on the spot and discovering a place for the first time as I’m taking pictures there.


Is there a dream project you would like to work on in the future?

Right now I’m thinking of ideas for a second photo book. I really enjoyed spending a year focusing completely on one concept and formatting that into a zine. But I’d like to work on a bigger scale and spend more time working on the layout of the book; trying to make the design integral to the understanding of the pictures/concept, rather than just simply displaying each image linearly.