LANCE WILLIAMS // when friends borrow camerasFebruary 22, 2016
The idea behind “When Friends Borrow Cameras” is that we all have a story to tell and whether we are pros behind the cameras or just learning, the ability to see into someone else’s life through a medium is an incredible experience. I have a fairly large collection of cameras and I love offering them to friends along with a home-made guide to help them on their journey. It occurred to me that it would make a great series, a common room of sorts for those who live unique and colorful lives. It also occurred to me that we need to redefine what it means to be a ‘creative’. Being creative is not a term reserved stricly for people with jobs involving design. I liked the idea of sending disposables first as a way to kickstart the project and see where it takes us. I sent the first disposable to my good friend and fellow photography companion, Lance Williams.
When I first received LANCE’S photos, I immediately saw his style in all of them. Lance has always had a mysterious side to his photography. Even during the day, he has a way of capturing the inner night in us all, which I feel is when we are most real selves. Even without editing, his tones are always complex and deep, his portraits are always honest, and his overall composition projects a true depiction of the moment with a trippy undertone. It makes a lot of sense if you know Lance. His love for photography was discovered through another love, music. He nows resides between LA, Denver, and his hometown of Memphis, documenting concerts and hanging with artists that keep him driven.
FIRST THE BASICS: WHO ARE YOU/FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY/THE MOMENT YOU KNEW PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY WAS GOING TO BE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?
My name is Lance Williams, I love fresh fruit, good sake, and cameras. I was first introduced to film photography back in high school in my home town of Memphis, TN. My art teacher Michael Naya was one of the first to teach me about different rules of composition. I kept up with film photo as a hobby for years after, but it wasn’t until 2013 where I began experimenting with digital photography and video production. I was living in Boston, MA balancing a desk job in Cambridge along with school. I was very unhappy in my daily pursuits and spent a lot of time thinking about what in my life brought me genuine happiness. I fell into photography in full force after that. It was the one thing that I always felt dawn to.
TELL US ABOUT THE PHOTOS. WHEN YOU FIRST RECEIVED THE CAMERA, DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS IN MIND OR DID THE PHOTOS OCCUR NATURALLY?
When I was first approached with the camera I had some idea of the kind of shots I wanted to take with it. Somewhat synchronously I was given the camera just prior to my move from Denver, CO to Los Angeles, CA. I wanted this camera to help document this transitional period in my life by capturing portraits of some of new and old friends. For the most part I felt like I stayed true to the kind of moments I intended to capture. Every shot on the camera was taken either of or with someone who has been key to the past few months of my life.
YOU RECENTLY MADE THE MOVE FROM DENVER TO LA. WHAT HAS THE MOVE BEEN SO FAR?
So far the transition from Denver to LA has been wonderful. I’ve been blessed enough with the opportunity to have work in both locations, which has allowed me to bounce back and forth a few times within the previous months. Being in a new city can often be scary and exciting all at once. Especially in a city like LA, it’s easy to feel like a small fish compared to Denver. At the same time, the opportunities and inspiration that I’ve found in California feels like exactly what my mind has been craving.
YOU ARE NATURALLY DRAWN TO PEOPLE. WHAT IS ABOUT THEM THAT CAPTIVATES YOU?
I think what I like about taking photos of people is capturing the way someone is feeling at a split moment in time. Everything from the way someone is dressed to the way they choose to interact with the camera in front of them reflects back to the way someone is choosing to express themselves. I think thats what I enjoy the most.
I CAN ALMOST HEAR A SOUNDTRACK PLAYING AS I BROWSE THROUGH THESE. WHAT MUSIC WOULD YOU PLAYBACK WITH THIS SET?
If I had to pick one record to playback over this photo set, I’d probably pick Sango’s Da Rocinha 3. I’ve always been a fan of his and have shot a few of his sets. His music encapsulates an array of what I enjoy as far as sound design.
WHAT’S THE AGENDA FOR 2016?
For me, 2016 is all about establishing myself in a new city. I’m working on expanding on my own projects, as well as seeking opportunities with more established photographers and videographers. The beauty of living in Los Angeles is the environment is ideal for those wanting to learn about techniques behind the lens. I fully intend on taking this year head on by expanding on what I know, and fleshing out the elements of my own personal style. I’m excited about bringing my visions to life in 2016.