Today, we were lucky enough to have John Spinks in as a guest lecturer, a real veteran of the fashion portraiture industry. He has worked on over 30 different projects with various different brands such as i-D and British Vogue.
He started this lecture by introducing his personal project, titled 'The New Village'. This book is all about his home town, and started when he was only about 18 years old.
He really struggled with this project to begin with and decided to find something else to work on, but he never forgot about the concept and held it with him.
One of his big inspirations growing up was Larry Sultan, and this shows with the way that John makes photos.
After university, he worked in a studio for a few years and got into fashion photography. He went back to the village and started shooting again. He says that he never necessarily even developed the film he had shot, but just enjoyed being there in the moment.
He was then approached by someone who had an exhibition in two years time, and she asked if he had any work and he mentioned the village. She told him to go and get it started, which he did. John spent all of his earnings travelling to this village and taking photos there, he took about 4500 sheets of film over the duration of this project.
Once he had settled down and began creating a family, he looked back at some sheets of film that he hadn't seen for years. He noticed an obsessive pattern in the photos, but thought that the majority of them were awful.