White t-shirt stories are…
A series of candid conversations with creatives and interesting people, uncovering their values and style.
Ryan Edy is...
A photographer of the real and the adventurous and when not traveling, our model photographer.
EON: I normally start by asking everyone what their favourite white t-shirt is, but yours is blue! As a wardrobe basic, what makes you like it so much?
RE: I like brands with a story, I like the quality that brings to a garment. This one is a favourite from The White T-Shirt Co.
EON: So is provenance something you place value on in general regarding your wardrobe?
RE: Yeah, I like a back story and I like to get behind the brands that have a good one.
EON: That’s cool to hear, not a lot of people say that.
RE: I don’t really like shopping on the high street, I prefer independent brands. I guess it’s all about the quality and I like to try and source items or brands that maybe not everyone knows about. I like to be different and not have the same thing. Often, if I find something I like I probably end up buying two or three – I always get scared that it’s going to sell out so I buy more!
EON: So what are your wardrobe essentials, the kind of garments that you wear everyday?
RE: Essentials would be selvedge denim jeans, a white t-shirt, or navy or grey and then probably Redwings, Stan Smiths or Converse on my feet. I’ve got a few Nigel Cabourn pieces as well. I like to support local brands if I can like him and The White T-Shirt Co for example.
EON: As a photographer, you’ve got a really varied portfolio and I’ve seen your work in Creative Review, which I love…
RE: Yes, it’s quite varied, but there’s still a unique style throughout so you get that sort of look and feel no matter what it is, it still relates back to my style.
It’s very strongly based around a sports lifestyle sort of genre, which is something I’m interested in personally too.
EON: So do you prefer concept driven over product driven work?
RE: I focus more on ideas and scenarios. I photograph a lot of real life scenarios, whether it’s someone running or cycling etc. I tend to shot a lot of real people in real life scenarios. Obviously I shoot with models as well but a lot of the time I shoot with normal people. It tends to be in the thick of it as well you know? I like getting amongst it and getting in on the action.
I just let the guys do what they want to do and kind of observe. I let them do their own thing and just shoot around them. I let them create the magic!
EON: Do you prefer photographing people rather than the environment then?
RE: I suppose I like shooting people in their own environment. So it’s very organic and natural, nothings too forced you know? It’s just real things happening and everything’s original. Nothing’s too contrived.
EON: When you’re photographing someone who’s moving, are you moving as well or are they moving around you?
RE: Yeah, I might be in the back of a car shooting out of the boot or sometimes I’ll be by the side of the road and the cyclist goes past. It just depends on what we’re doing. I’ve been known to run along side of runners with the camera…
EON: What’s the most interesting or unusual shot you’ve done?
RE: I went and shot in Iceland on a glacier for three days, which was pretty cool. I was documenting a lady who’s trying a world record and she was going to Iceland to practice before the real thing in the South Pole. She was aiming to be the first person to cycle to the South Pole.
EON: Are there any trends in photography like there are in fashion? The style of taking a photograph or popular subjects that you see coming through for example?
RE: Yeah, I guess you do see that and it’s just about trying to keep ahead. I’m always trying to evolve my style as I go along so I’m not just doing the same thing all the time. If you look at my work, while you’ll see subtle little changes, I still maintain a consistent look and feel.
EON: So on to your thoughts on fashion…we consume a lot these days and I would suggest, that women tend to consume more than men. Do you have any thoughts on that?
RE: If I think about my habits, I probably buy fewer pieces that are more expensive while my wife might buy more pieces but spend the same amount of money. She might change her style too, whereas my style is pretty consistent. I tend to wear the same things, like a white t-shirt in all seasons but just layer things accordingly.
EON: Why do you think that is, that men tend to have more consistent style and women tend to change it more often?
RE: I don’t know, I guess there’s more variety for a woman. I mean, going back to the things that I wear every day like the selvedge denim for example, it’s great for the way I work you know? I’m always on my knees or whatever so I need that quality that will last.
EON: And how is your style different from when you were a teenager? In terms of how you bought clothing or the rate you bought it at…
RE: Obviously it’s changed massively! I probably bought less back then, I buy more now. I’ve kind found myself a lot more as I’ve got older.
EON: My last question goes back to the beginning, when you talked about supporting small or local brands. Do you think that the fashion industry can progress in that way towards smaller more authentic brands? Do you think that’s realistic and what do you think might stand in the way?
RE: I think it’s just things like price and how much it costs for mass production these days. Places like Primark and others, it’s hard to beat them.
But even though I’m buying selvedge denim at a high price, it will last years and years and I wear them until they fall apart.
I think a lot of the stuff I wear kind of gets better with age. I’ve seen people write down on the inside of their jeans pocket where they brought them from and when they washed them. Documenting their life and wear.
EON: How often do you wash your jeans?
RE: Probably about once every 6 months. Depends how dirty they get on a photoshoot! But I kind of like the marks wearing leaves, it tells a story…
Ryan is an award winning sports and lifstyle photographer www.ryanedy.com
Interview conducted [September 2016] and editing for post by Eleanor O'Neill www.study34.co.uk
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