It’s no piece of cake to impress anyone with any artistic project these days. People sweat their guts out for anything amazing-exceptional-outstanding and controversial. Artists think of most radical concepts to impress their audience, forgetting that best ideas are those which are just… simple.
So today just say hello to Joseph Ford – a photographer from Brighton and also – the coolest guy in the streets. He shared with us his love to photography, places, patterns and… sweaters. He came up with an idea of the Knitted Camouflage photography project and it’s genious and more legit than you can even imagine. Because, let’s face it, is there anything more lovable than people in colorful jumpers?
We were all very excited to look through your portfolio, but there is one – artistic project which is nothing but awesome. What is the story behind the Knitted camouflage project? What inspired you to come up with an idea like this?
I’ve always been interested in the way that objects can blend into each other. I met Nina Dodd, who loves knitting and buses, and did the first picture together – the one of the bearded man on the red bus. I was very pleased with how that looked and started thinking about other potential subjects.
Why sweaters? Do you like knitting so much that you’ve decided to create a whole project based on them?
It was really because they are the most obvious piece of clothing to create to blend people in. They are often knitted, and the viewer tends to look first at a model’s top half, so they worked well to create this visual illusion.
The places you choose are always very unique with their patterny look. Are you traveling and spontaneously facing them or is it everytime a thoughtful decision?
It’s always a conscious decision. I regularly go hunting for locations to photograph, not only for this project for others. Sometimes I’ll find somewhere I like and not use it for years, other times I’ll spot somewhere and do a picture or film in it soon afterwards.
What is the whole process of fitting the decorations on jumpers to the patterns in the public space? It seems kind of difficult to match them perfectly.
It was a very time consuming process. I had to find the location, choose the model, and then decide in advance how I was going to pose the models. For the twin sisters for example, I chose to sit them on the ground as I felt it would be easier to get them to hold the post for a long time and for me to do various tests.
I calculated where the lines would pass through their clothes and how big they had to be and planned with Nina, my knitting friend, how exactly to translate that into knitting.Some of the sweaters were easier to shoot than others: the red bus and the guy with the afro were relatively simple. The patterns matched generally but were so small and detailed that I didn’t need to photograph the models in a specific place or position as long as it was in front of the coloured background.
You’ve already been collaborating with Mady & Monette Malroux – the twin sisters from Paris. Was there anything unusual that convinced you to choose each of your models?
I’m always attracted by a particular look – the models have to stand out for me. That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of street casting – if someone catches my eye on the street, I know that they will catch my eye in a photograph too, whereas using models from an agency means that when I see their portfolio I’m already looking through someone else’s interpretation of them.
Are there going to be more parts of the Knitted camouflage story?
Possibly – I’m open to collaborations with brands!
If you wanna stay up to date with everything that Joseph does, don’t forget to visit his website: http://josephford.net