“Because I was photographing a subject that was very close to my heart and I had a very personal connection with, I had to approach it in a completely different way. I think every photographer who works on personal projects knows that you spend about 80% of your time emailing contacts, trying to get in touch with the right people in the hope of managing to arrange shoots. But with this project that wasn’t the case at all. The community got really involved with the work and were incredibly supportive, and so I had people approaching me almost every day, asking to be photographed and wanting to tell their own stories of living there. It was quite surreal as this is just not what you expect to happen!
I also had to approach each subject in a very different way to how I would normally, as I have a personal connection with each of the people I photographed. I have grown up with these people, I went to school with some of them, some were family friends, others I just knew by name. But each person I have had some sort of social interaction with at some point in my life growing up there, which I think helped break the barrier between photographer and sitter, and made them feel more comfortable. With each person I photographed I spent spent about 6 hours with them. About 45 mins – 1 hour was spent taking the photos, the rest of the time I just spent chatting to them and listening to their stories. Everybody has a story to tell, and I think that it is my obligation as a photographer to try and tell their story. It was really interesting listening to them talk about their lives and their experiences living in St Davids, and I learnt so much about each person. People really opened up to me and often told me quite personal things that have happened to them, and I began to view St Davids in a completely different light, and now have a newfound appreciation and understanding of the place.”
David’s House by Alexander Ingram (4/5)