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Work / Photography

“It’s your own way of seeing the world”: A look into David Abrahams’ bold and emotive visual diary

Like many photographers, David Abrahams started playing with a camera from a young age. This sparked an early interest in the art of photo-taking, leading to his first Pentax Spotmatic camera he inherited when he was 13. Having studied Graphic Design, David showed his true passion by turning all of his briefs into photographic projects — he later studied Photography at the University of Gloucestershire where he developed his technique and signature style.

“I’ve always loved all forms of photography. When I first started, I shot a lot of street photography and documented seasides, landscapes and interesting characters. I’ve also always loved the sort of fantastical style of Jeff Bark, Gregory Crewdson and that type of narrative-based, large-scale gallery work,” David tells It’s Nice That. “I’ve actually gone back to shooting a combination of landscapes and street documentary, combined with studio fashion and still life. Although, I do love a Ted Talk and I would like to tackle some bigger ideas with my work in the future.”

When observing his imagery, it’s clear to see he has a knack for capturing all kinds of stories on the go. Some would say it’s a form of photojournalism, but David explains that it’s a “sort of interesting observation or documentation of things that you may or may not notice; the fine line between beautiful and ugly.” Fashion photography and still life take up a large part of his portfolio, yet for him there’s always room for experimental travel shots endorsing a desire to combine photographs with artful narratives. “My travel images are a combination of stories, graphic elements, portraits, beautiful emotive scenery and everything in between,” says David. 

Besides these concrete factors, what exactly does David look for in an image? “That’s a tricky thing to answer,” he says. He then goes on to explain how it’s a “gut reaction, a feeling” that purely depends on how you perceive the world and what you’re accustomed to. “You choose things based on your cultural background: how you have grown up in your own world and your day to day influences from your surroundings. You make unconscious decisions based on that, it’s your own way of seeing the world,” says David. “Over the years I’ve learnt what I do and don’t like — in a very non-verbal way.”

David has worked with various clients, including British Vogue, AnOther, The New York Times, Rika, Miu Miu and many more. On the side of his impeccable commissioned projects, David experiences great pleasure with shooting his travels: an abandoned car in Los Angeles, Moroccan boys in Taghabalat, a birthday trip in Barcelona, the Sahara Desert; all of his personal endeavours present a glorious colour palette infused with bold compositions and compelling landscapes.

Even with such an extensive portfolio and huge diversity of work, David explains how there’s one sole purpose for it all. “I like how every picture transports you to where the photographer stood, looking through their viewfinder. I like how it shows their decision on what to crop into, what they have cropped out and how they have approached their subject. Is it squared off? Is the framing loose? Is it tight in or is it pulled back, involving more of the context? Is it emotive, is it cold?… Creating your own visual language is something that’s really interesting to me.” 

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