Snapping his way from the sticky floors of booze-fuelled Vice parties all the way to sleek shoots with world-famous footballers, London-based photographer Alex de Mora was signed by agency DMB represents last week. “Being on the same roster as Martin Parr is kind of nuts as I’m a big fan of his!” the photographer laughs. Curious to find out more about the man behind the lens, we caught five minutes with Alex.
To begin with, tell us when and why you started photography?
I studied film and media but never thought I would end up as a photographer because music was always my obsession growing up. It’s probably why I work with so many musicians now. I started taking cameras to gigs when I realised my band wasn’t really going anywhere, and began shooting parties for Vice. Everything progressed pretty quickly from there.
And how has your style shifted since the Vice days?
My earlier style was pretty much just lo-fi documentary, but has become quite colourful and conceptual over time. It’s evolved and become more psychedelic as I’ve experimented with lighting, but I still like things to look a bit rough around the edges. Imperfections make the world go round.
Tell us about your favourite project from the last few months…
I shot a fashion story for Kiosk magazine at the end of last year that felt really rewarding, as I had sat on the idea for a couple of years beforehand, and waited until the right opportunity came along. I location scouted this (secret) far away location, that basically looks a bit like the surface of Mars, with a shiny, iridescent surface. I wanted it to look like film stills from a 70s sci-fi movie, and the whole team just totally got the concept. It was a lot of effort to get there, but it was so much fun. As for commercial jobs, I was flown out to Barcelona last month to shoot a famous footballer who I can’t name yet, which was pretty exciting as I’m a nerdy football fan.
What have you got lined up for the rest of the summer?
I just signed with DMB Represents which is really exciting. They’re such lovely people with a great reputation, so I am buzzing to be represented by them. Being on the same roster as Martin Parr is kind of nuts as I’m a big fan of his! I’m directing video on shoots as well now, and have a couple of music videos coming up with some talented artists. It’s a fun new challenge coming up with narratives and so on. I’ve got a personal project in the pipeline called Mosher which I’m working on with a writer, as we both grew up in small towns with posters from Kerrang! all over our walls.
We want to meet provincial punks, emo kids, metal heads and goths in their contemporary form. The heavy metal aesthetic has become so popular in modern culture and fashion; from brands like Vetements to Slayer T-shirts in Primark. Even Justin Bieber uses metal fonts on his T-shirts, but the real mosher kids are so much more fascinating. They will probably always will be seen as the outcasts, despite the current trends. If this sounds like anyone you know then please get in touch!
Who – or what – inspires your work?
The best inspiration comes from people out in the real world – away from your echo chamber.
Which currently-working creatives do you admire and why?
Juergen Teller’s work first showed me that fashion photography can be raw and show real human character. I think before that I just assumed fashion photography was all just contrived and ridiculous and fake. Tyrone Lebon’s work is a continual inspiration, and Richard Mosse is on another level as an artist. Musically, my friend Benjamin John Power of Fuck Buttons/Blanck Mass is really pushing the boundaries at the moment.
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