Artist Feature 014: Jonny Hughes
Tell us a bit about your person! Where are you from? What’s are you doing in life? What are you passionate about?
My name is Jonny Hughes and I live in South London, UK. Because of the way I grew up, in multiple locations, I don’t feel like I come from anywhere in particular but I consider myself to be a bit English, a bit London, a bit Welsh — but at the same time, very much a European. I’m father of two kids and earn a living as a magazine art director and designer. So I spend most of my time commissioning other photographers and directing photoshoots which is ironic as my main creative passion is taking pictures myself.
When did you start out using a mobile camera and why?
I guess like a lot of people, I started using a mobile camera more and more as they got better and better. I’ve always been interested in social photography platforms — starting out on the lomography site and then moving to Flickr — I always found it useful to have a community to provide feedback and encouragement. When I began uploading my photos on Flickr, I also started to meet local photographers and we formed a collective called @effra_fc — that was 8 years ago and we are still going strong — I really like that sense of community. We meet up monthly, have competitions and sometimes put on exhibitions. Then along came Instagram and that co-incided with using a mobile camera more and more. I’ve always used my lunchtimes to go on photowalks and being able to take pictures, edit and post them all on one device is really appealing. Although I still take photos on old film cameras and a more high-end digital camera, the mobile camera gives me a chance to exercise my eye and improve my image making more regularly.
What phone and editing apps do you use?
I currently use an iPhone 6. I have the photoshop app on my phone but rarely use it — I mainly bring photos into the VSCO Cam app to edit. I find their ‘filters’ much more subtle than Instagrams’ own and more like having pre-sets for adjusting levels than applying a certain vintage type look. I’ve recently taken to using the No Crop app for adding a white border to my pics for a more photography feel.
Tell us something about the pictures we’ve chosen from your IG? Do they have certain titles or text which belongs to them?
Well, sometimes I give pictures titles, but more often I add hashtags — not to add them into the global pool of hash — more as a lazy meta title, sometimes I create unique hashtags in order to make collections (e.g. #jonnyneon, #jonnyhydrant, #jonnykubrick, #jonnysilouette — the list goes on) and sometimes I might refer to something going on in the world. I have a lot of different themes going on and it’s interesting that your selection has made me aware of themes that I didn’t even know I had — like hidden identity. Something struck when looking at the selection. For example, that I put myself in pictures a lot, not just in reflections (the reflected wave and shadow wave are regular themes) but in the fact the type of pictures I like taking makes the viewer aware that someone is observing, like with the use of found words and hidden people. In fact I might go as far to say that my pictures are more like observations. I think its the graphic designer part of me that likes to notice the city and its details.
Who is your favorite mobile photographer?
I don’t really have any favourites but since regularly entering the monthly competitions set by @thisaintartschool I have found myself following a lot of really good German Intstagramers. I really admire photographers on Instagram who have a very singular vision and stick to one idea or theme, it’s not something I could do though — I’m all over the place with different ideas going on.