We recently caught up with photographer, Josh Murfitt who told us how he got to where he is now…
I’m a freelance photographer and photographic artist currently living and working around Cambridge. My journey in photography started back in 2007, when I was given an old Russian film SLR by my father. I’d always liked photography but I was newly inspired and began taking pictures pretty much everywhere I went. In my spare time I started learning about photography and discovering artists online; people like Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and William Eggleston. I also loved Tarkovsky’s polaroids and Patrick Taberna’s square format images. I think I learned a lot from looking at works like these, especially about how photography can imbue a sense of meaning on ordinary things. In 2010 I enrolled on a BA course at Cambridge School of Art. I graduated in 2013 and I’ve been working on various jobs since.
Being a photographer doesn’t really come with a set routine, but there’s always something keeping me occupied throughout the week, often including evenings and weekends. If I’m not out shooting, I could be at home editing, catching up on emails, going out and meeting people, finding inspiration online or in galleries or at the cinema, doing my research and learning about things, or maybe updating spreadsheets… I run my business from my bedroom, so I have to spend some time just trying to keep it from overflowing. It can be difficult to stop working.
Studying photography was great because it allowed me to try lots of things and figure out what was for me. I’ve done a few projects now which have required me to blend into a place, event or situation and observe. I think I’m naturally suited to this way of working; maybe it helps that I’m quite a non-threatening presence, and I can stay tuned in to what’s happening around me. Sometimes I stage things more, ask people to do things, direct people in certain ways – especially with my personal work – but I’m always interested in catching something quite natural and honest, even if it does come from a certain way of seeing things.
Recently I’ve been working on several commissioned projects with local artists. There is a very active artistic community around Cambridge. I photograph artworks and art-related events and activities, and I’m also co-ordinating photography and video production for a city-wide art exhibition which is happening in October.
When I have time for it, I try to keep my personal work going. A few weeks ago, I learnt how to make photopolymer prints from digital photographs. I’m planning a few photo shoots over the summer, including a collaboration with an artist who works with light. Personally, I’m interested in how the human experience relates to spaces and environments. I’m deeply inspired and affected by nature: the sky, the weather, remote landscapes and seasonal changes. I like the idea of a dual experience of the external, physical world, and an internal landscape of memory, emotion and imagination. I take photographs on walks by myself, or with friends who I can direct to embody what I’m trying to express.