Raymond Davies is a photographer from Edinburgh. In 2023, he decided to leave his career in software engineering and focus on his love for photography. He now studies professional photography at Edinburgh College while working as a freelance photographer across a variety of genres, particularly portraiture, sports, music and travel photography.

Hi Raymond! Can you tell us how your artistic journey started?
My passion for photography was first piqued when looking at my Dad’s Kodak Ektachrome slides as a teenager. Seeing his images and hearing the stories behind them unlocked a desire to express myself, and create art with my own photography.

Until recently photography had been a long-time passion project of mine, however last year I decided to leave my day job and focus on photography full-time. I now study photography at Edinburgh College and work as a freelance photographer.

What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
As someone who has come to my art form after having had a career in an unrelated field, I would say you’re never too late to start!

The are loads of fantastic art spaces offering classes for all ages and abilities in everything from photography to life drawing, particularly in Glasgow and Edinburgh. For example, I’ve done loads of weekend courses at Stills Centre for Photography in Edinburgh and also taken a printmaking weekend class with my wife at Edinburgh Printmakers. They were all thoroughly enjoyable, informative and a great way to get started or nurture existing skills.

Aside from that, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to learn and grow as an artist. Most importantly indulge in your art as often as you can!

Are there specific advantages or challenges associated with working in your chosen mediums? Have you experimented with other mediums or techniques?
I enjoy photography as it allows me to express myself visually without needing to be good at traditional techniques like drawing or painting. However, recently I discovered the wonderful world of linocut printmaking which I found to be a hands-on art form that I could also enjoy without needing to be a fantastic drawer or painter.

When creating linocut prints I like using my photographs as a starting point for designs that I can simplify and give a more graphic style. In a similar vein, I have found experimenting with printing my photographs using the cyanotype process very rewarding.

Which artists inspire you? Are there non-artistic influences such as literature or music that impact your work?
A few photographers who inspire me across a range of genres are Michael Schwartz, Jooney Woodward, Nick Eagle, Thomas Heaton, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.

From the world of film, I’m a fan of the visual styles of Wes Anderson, Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan.

I’m not sure music necessarily impacts my work however I’ll give an honourable mention to a few favourites: Rival Sons, Hamish Hawk, The Beths, and King Gizzard and The Lizzard Wizard.

Will your next project be a continuation of your current style or are you experimenting with something different? Can you share a glimpse of your next project?
Through the first semester of my college course, I discovered a passion for portraiture photography, particularly environmental portraiture. I’m now working on a portraiture project that will form my major piece of coursework for this year.

For the project, I am creating a series of portraits of sportspeople where I will mix their sporting and everyday lives. The idea behind this is to emphasise the level of dedication required by semi-professional sportspeople to train and compete in their sport alongside busy lives filled with work, study, family etc. If anyone reading this would like to be involved please reach out to me via my website.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about your work or your experiences as an artist?
The framed Giclée print of my work featured in the exhibition was kindly provided by Bare Branding, a community interest printing company in Leith, Edinburgh. I would like to thank Noel at Bare Branding for printing and framing the work and providing it to me for the exhibition.

See Raymond’s work at our first Open Call of the year, MulticulturAlba, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 14th March 2023. You can also find him on Instagram  @photo.radavies

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