Even he calls himself a hobbyist we are of the opinion, that Chris Harrison is a real photographer and, when it comes to street style, absolutely pure in his work. We love his work and therefor like to share some of his photos with you, that he has chosen out of his great collection, and give you some background about this amazing photographer with an interview.
I am 56 years old and was born in East Yorkshire. In a typical English market town called Beverley, about 8 miles from Hull. I moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in 1983 and have lived here very happily since then.
My main hobby is photography but I am also passionate about music. I worked in music for over 25 years, and really miss doing that.
For a living, I work in a call centre. Not the best, but it pays the bills.
I have no real artistic talent beyond photography. I always wanted to be a rock star so of course tried every instrument going before realising I had zero musical ability!
I occasionally do some acting and have featured in some very small budget mini films and also in a low budget full length horror film that should be out later this year.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
Most of my influences are from music and other photographers. I also get ideas from models work sometimes.
Bands music and looks give me a lot of ideas. Other photographers are a massive influence and I try hard not to copy what they do but simply be inspired by their styles and attitudes to the art. Models works sometimes inspire me in the same way.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
I bought a second hand Canon Ixus V from a work colleague in late 2006 and just got hooked immediately. I bought a dslr within a month. That turned out to be a huge mistake on my part as I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully the shop let me exchange it and I got a Fuji s5000 bridge camera and finepix F11 compact and used those for about a year, before I went back and got another dslr(Canon 350D)
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started?
As I said above I was a Canon user, and after the 350D I also used the 30D and 40D plus various lenses (mostly primes). However my favourite camera had always been the Fuji S500 bridge camera and so when Fuji announced the X100 series and the XPRO1 I felt the urge to change. At the time I was carrying stupid amounts of gear with me everywhere, and I was also starting to suffer with arthritis in my right hand and that was making life difficult for me. The change to Fuji was swift and I sold all my canon gear and now absolutely love using the Fuji X cameras. I have the XPRO1 with the wonderful 35mm f1.4 lens, which 99% of my model images have been made with and on the XPRO2 I have the newly aquired 56mm f1.2. Again an absolutely fantastic lens. I'm guessing the 35mm won't be getting used quite as much now. I also use the X100T and the X70, for street photography and everyday use.
The Fuji 35mm f1.4 has been my main (and sometimes, only) lens for all my model images. I love the results and it has always done everything I need from it. I got it at the same time as the XPRO1 but had been using it on the X-E2S for the last two years. That has now gone so it is back on the XPRO1, and that is still a brilliant combination.
My processing is incredibly simple. I shoot jpeg as Fuji cameras do them so well. Images go into Lightroom and then I sort the ones I want to process. I make a lot of my own presets so use those. Then I play about with gradients, shadows and highlights and then they are ready. That's it
Do you see a particular influence, be it a photographer or school on your work?
When I started I was obsessed with Bob Coulter's work and did try to copy him (wide angle lens, harsh shadows, etc) but generally failed, but that then progressed to the style I have today. I occasionally get told my work is like 'such and such' but I really never see it. Street wise , Martin Parr is a massive influence and I do once in a while make an image where I think, "Oh that's a bit Martin Parr
The biggest difference I guess is that I hate overuse of photoshop. I see it a lot and I can't stand it. I see great images, that in my opinion are ruined by awful 'plastic' skin and even peoples faces and body shapes changed. Not my thing at all. I like a very natural look, but I do see that is creeping in more and more in some of the online magazines I follow, which for me, is great and most welcome.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
There really hasn't been anything massively funny that I can think of but as for awkward, the amount of times the police have been called to my shoots is very annoying. Over the years the police have come out on seven different occasions, always caused by "a concerned member of the public". They are usually great and accept what we are doing and leave us to it. Last year my self and another photographer were shooting the same girl (Sophia, who you featured recently) and the police arrived. It always starts with "what are you doing"? I'm afraid I don't have patience with stupid questions so I always say "what does it look like", which doesn't usually get us off to a good start! Anyway to cut a long story short, these two 'clowns' kept us for over thirty mins why they asked questions and did checks on us all. I was furious as it's a stupid waste of police time and effort. No doubt it will happen again soon.
Shoot, shoot, shoot. I often get messages from people on facebook saying "I wish I could shoot models", and I always say, well you can. I always suggest asking partners, friends, work colleagues, basically anyone they know to pose for them. Practice and get confident and then join the model/photographer sites. Then you can approach random strangers on facebook,or instagram (where I get a lot of new shoots from these days) or even on the street. That always works better if you have a business card and are carrying a camera! I often advise on the way to treat models when shooting as well. In case you're represented, please provide also your web addresses in twitter and google+, so that we can link you to the article. Homepage, Facebook and Instagram I already have.
Thanks Chris for giving us a glimpse into your world of photography. Video addicted visitors also have the chance to see some of your work at your Youtube channel.