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Dreams of you in colours that Don't Exist: interview with Glenn Thomson

Haute Features Presents Glenn Thomson as the Photographer of the Month

Glenn Thomson is a photographer from Kelowna, BC, Canada who started his photographic journey professionally at the end of 2018. According to Glenn, "photography is about capturing moments and emotions. Something that someone could look at in 20 years and still feel the emotions of that moment in." His main goal with his art is "to show that life, both externally and internally, is an inherently beautiful place to exist."

I think it’s important to cherish and romanticize the beauty of life, because everything is fleeting. I want to be able to look back and remember the beauty of any given moment.

"As well, I find it incredibly rewarding taking pictures of someone and having them love how they look in the photo. I think it can be quite healing for people’s self-perception to see a photo of them that they can connect to in a positive way."

"I try as much as possible to capture feeling and emotion in my photos, which usually involves taking portraits of other people. I get a lot of enjoyment from going out by myself and documenting what I see around me, but it’s hard to beat working with other people when the artistic chemistry is right.

"I’ve learned a lot about photography, and have been influenced quite a bit by photographers like Alessio Albi, Kai Boet, André Josselin and Polina Washington. They all have developed such distinctive and refined styles and perspectives that I can’t help but be mesmerized by their work. There’s inspiration everywhere though, lots of talented people these days."

"I tend to be drawn to creative experimentation, and if I connect to something I’ll continue experimenting until it integrates into what I do and who I am. In all my creative passions, I find I just “fall into” them almost by accident. I put a lot of emphasis on keeping my passions as personal as I can, but also to expand them as much as possible. I’m at an exciting stage with photography where it’s very open-ended, I keep myself open to any possibilities and would like to see how far it can go."

"I’m really inspired by music, in a sense it might be my biggest influence in my life. The way intangible emotions can be conveyed through music is what I hope I can share in my images."

There’s a poetry (both lyrically and sonically) in music that can induce such a beautiful and relatable sense of nostalgia, melancholy, beauty, and longing which I connect to deeply, and aspire to share creatively.

"It might be surprising, but a lot of heavier music inspires the feelings in my photos. The metalcore band Counterparts has been a huge emotional influence in my photography, particularly vocalist Brendan Murphy’s lyrics."

"I actually do very little planning with my pictures, I tend to joke with people when I meet them for shoots that I wing it nearly every time, but it always seems to work out [laughs]. I think I have my creative vision clear enough that I can make it happen on the fly wherever I am."

We can feel emotions like dreamy nostalgia and longing melancholy anywhere, in the same way that we can creatively convey those emotions anywhere as well.

"I very rarely use external lighting, I enjoy the minimalism and creative challenge of primarily using natural light in my pictures. I only use one lens/camera set up as well… I think limitations in gear can breed more creativity. I do all my work with a Leica Q-P, which has an integrated 28mm 1.7 Summilux lens. That’s all I’ll bring to a shoot."

"The comfortability of models is honestly one of, if not the, most important aspect of shooting with other people. Only when people are as comfortable as they can be can you get the best images possible collaboratively. Being relaxed and friendly, having a clear dedication to the art that you’re creating together (as in, no ulterior motives) really makes the difference in the relationship between photographer and model. Clear communication is so key."

Know what you want to see. Know what you want out of an image. Create the art that you want to see in the world, or as close to it as you can. The joy in any art form, for me personally, comes from striving for perfection, getting closer and closer each time, but never quite attaining it. There’s a motivation in that pursuit that sharpens your perspective and vision the longer you engage with it.

"I do all of my post-processing in Adobe Lightroom, as soon after the shoot as I can, and almost always at night. I love the dichotomy in photography where the first half of the process is quite extroverted - out in the world, collaboratively with another person, while the second half is usually by myself at home in the evening. It’s always a bit challenging deciding when an image is finished and ready to share. There’s a part of me that could tweak endlessly, but I try not to be overly tedious about it and can generally intuit when an image feels complete. I find that my favourite images are the ones that I didn’t have to struggle with too much in post-processing. The more effortless flow, the better."

"Photography is actually the latest of my creative pursuits, my roots really come from music and illustration. I’ve been a drummer for 20+ years, as well as a reasonably established geometric artist. Photography came quite naturally as an evolution from those creative endeavours, as there’s a lot of crossover. Both my drawings and drumming can be viewed on my other instagram account, @glennlthomson.

I ’d like to direct people to my website, as well as a platform I’m new to, Behance. I find it’s a great way of viewing photography sets in a more cohesive and cinematic way than Instagram. I have a lot of images on there that aren’t on my instagram, so it’s worth a look for anyone interested in my work


Photography by @gl.thmsn

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