An Interview With: Sam Neal

Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Sam Neal and I'm in my final year studying photography at the University of Huddersfield

How did you get into what you do?

I always had an interest in taking photographs on holidays but never really thought about it professionally until I was about 14. I knew for sure by the time I was 18 when I got to go travelling for a year by myself and saw the endless opportunities to record moments that others would love to see.

How do you work?

In polar opposites. I've just finished an internship in canada working with snowboarders. It's fast paced, you have to know your settings, your riders tricks they're about to lay down so I can get the right angles and then having the right equipment, right down to keeping yourself warm whilst you get the shot. Then there's the now, I'm working with a medium format film camera which makes me very slow paced, taking in the surroundings and only pressing the cable release when I know for sure that the frame in front of me is the one I want. 

How would you describe your work?

For my current project I'd say it takes time to understand, contextualising references let the photograph speak. 

What is your background?

Born in Halifax, UK my interests were snowboarding at my local dryslope and playing football for a local team from a young age. I've kept with snowboarding and love the experience of photographing whilst in the mountain environment, it's a rush in itself standing on a board, but getting the right shot of somebody who has been trying a certain trick all day and nailing it, is on a whole new level. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

It comes from things around me, yes artists are great to learn from but actually seeing places and realising the potential around you is where my inspiration lies.

Why photography?

Why anything else? It's such a thrill getting the right shot. 

What are your goals after University?

To travel and make things happen for a career whilst doing just that. It won't come easy, nothing does. Live how I want to live and not let anybody tell me differently. 

Is there any specific equipment you use?

D800, Sigma 35mm, Sigma 70-200 2.8, Mamiya rb67 and a Dji phantom for the ultimate aerial shots.

Whats the best piece of advice you could give the readers of The Pupil Sphere?

Whatever art practice you are in, have a unique fingerprint and get your name out there.

All images copyright of Sam Neal


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