In the Click of a Shutter
I have been taking photographs for over 30 years. Looking over this collection of my work it is wistful to observe that although the technology of photography has changed considerably the process of ‘seeing a photograph’ has not.
In my late teens I was inspired by the iconic album covers of Hipnosis and the link between the covers and the music contained within the sleeves. However, it was seeing the work of Irving Penn (Retrospective in 1987 at the Victoria & Albert Museum) that made me see photography as the medium I would make my life.
Three years at Exeter Art School gave me the time to think about both the technical and aesthetics of what photography could be. Then, following art school, I assisted Julian Calder in Alma Studios, off Kensington High Street, for a year and half before leaving to assist Lord Snowdon. I had always loved Snowdon’s work, from his early reportage work covering social issues, to his wonderful collection of pictures of the London art scene collected in the book Private View. My time with Snowdon was extraordinary. We travelled the world on huge assignments for Vanity Fair, Vogue, and The Telegraph Magazine. I learned a lot about architecture, etiquette, life and maybe most of all, friendship.
After this amazing apprenticeship I moved on to work as a freelance photographer. My work encompassed design companies, magazines including Spanish Vogue and Country Life, as well as corporate clients and the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, and individual commissions. At the same time I continued to seek and capture private moments, ideas, and the world around me - juxtaposing the speed of the shutter with the stillness of the time the images render.
My photographs are largely taken of quiet moments. In 1/125-of-a-second, the click of a shutter, a moment in time is preserved that cannot be replaced. The images often have the sense that they are taken from a film, a cinematic narrative, pensive and contemplative. Seen together it is a body of work that, perhaps, reflects my love of the photographers of the 1950s Henri Cartier Bresson, Bert Hardy, and Norman Parkinson as well as Kodachrome and Tri-X film but it is romantic rather than nostalgic.
Graham Piggott

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