He has sipped on the tonic of wilderness. His pictures reveal clarity of mind: of someone who was raised in the hills, meditates each morning, and lives for family and friends. “Ever since I was young I’d take disposable cameras wherever I’d go,” British photographer Harry Crowder reveals. We go along for the journey.
Tell us about your childhood...
I grew up in the countryside in the south of England. I went to school, rode my bike, explored and made dens in forests with friends. Looking at my work now, I shoot in mostly natural settings outdoors. I’m a country boy at heart; my work reflects that.
Do you have a favourite photograph, taken by you or someone else?
I have no favourite photos that I’ve taken. They all hold something special in some way, so it would be hard to choose. Same with photos that others have taken. There is this photo back home of my family and I when we were still all together, sat on a bench with low sunlight coming down on us in autumn. I must have been about three in the photo and my sisters older by three and six years, parents in their early 30s. We look happy. I think I’m going to say that’s my favourite photo. We all have killer hair in that photo, too.
Tell us about your how you work – are you spontaneous or methodical?
Running up to any shoot, I cover most aspects and detail. I do my research, because I think any piece of work deserves that level of involvement. I hate being unprepared. When it comes around to actually shooting, I’m spontaneous. I let things evolve naturally and organically. I look for authenticity in all of my photos, so you won’t get that if you go in with a set out way of doing things. I think there’s a balance between the two, which my process is made up of.
What do you enjoy most about taking pictures?
I enjoy who it makes me and what it can do to the people I shoot. When I have a camera in my hand, I can go anywhere, speak to anyone; it takes all fear and doubt away. I enjoy breaking boundaries down very quickly with people, the camera helps me do that. It’s a wonderful moment watching a person let their guard down right in front of you, letting themself be vulnerable and honest, and then I have the camera there to capture that.
Your last ‘pinch me’ moment?
Not so long ago when I was around a table with candles flickering and crickets chirping in Barbados with your fashion director, art director, a makeup artist and a lovely model, eating roast chicken and drinking dark rum with ginger and limes. I sort of looked around the table and thought, ‘Wait, when did I get to a place when this was my life?’ I sat there looking like Andy Dufresne did in The Shawshank Redemption when he had just blagged a load of beers on the prison rooftop for him and his inmates.
What do you do when you’re not taking pictures?
I have an outstanding group of close friends around me, I spend a lot of time with. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and going to watch movies and eating out. I’m a foodie guy, I like my food and drink. I always have music playing. I’m an avid film and series watcher. I run most days and meditate every morning.