What initially inspired you to become a photographer?
I got a summer job at Magnum Photos Agency filing Henri Cartier-Bresson negatives and I totally fell in love with photography. I decided to go to college to study photography but left after one term, getting a job as an assistant. I instinctively knew that the best way for me was to jump straight in. I worked super hard, assisting 16 hours a day and testing the rest of the time. After 2 years I was starting to shoot for the Face magazine and it grew from there.
How do you think being a part of the Buffalo movement still influences your work now - do you think it’s important for young photographers to be part of a gang or collective when they start out?
It’s part of who I am. The intention behind it is always with me. Yet the images I took with Ray Petri are very different from the work he did with other members of Buffalo. Today I see what part of that was mine and you can see the same themes in the work I do today, my pictures carry a thread in Buffalo and beyond.
It is wonderful to have collaborators who you creatively trust. The whole process is a collaboration. So it's good to have a crew, a team who you trust and are inspired by, however loose or intertwined the structure of those relations are.
Your photographs are famously all about finding the right face. I especially love the recent shoot you did with Binx Walton for Dazed & Confused, she seemed to be a perfect match for you. What do you look for in a person when you’re casting?
It’s actually quite hard to put into words, you mostly know if your going to get a good picture from someone the moment you meet them, then sometimes someone surprises you, they come alive in the camera and the camera just loves everything about them. What I look for is like a physical presence, also a strong structure and beauty helps, and something in the eyes: an integrity in the eyes. It's great to shoot someone who has never been shot before, then they don't go into a performance. I like my casting to feel honest, even when I shoot a model I try to think of them as a person not just a model. Once someone starts 'modelling' it’s a whole different game.