Artist Statement - Shaun Armstrong


How do you approach photography?

I actively observe reality for aesthetic moments, rather than constructing the content of an image from scratch. This applies to all aspects of my photography, be that commercial client commissions or personal projects.

Almost all images, across all genres, are shot as found with no intervention or staging. The only exception may be a posed portrait where, even then, I aim to capture the person as quickly and as naturally as possible. Whenever possible, light is used as found, rather than created to suit.

My ongoing challenge is to evolve this approach to dealing with pre-determined themes or topics upon which to build a narrative, exposé, or photographic essay. These may be self-initiated or from the ideas of, and collaborations with, others.

What subjects do you photograph?

I work across many genres expressing my photographic eye, in any situation where I can.

This is done by finding a position, perspective or moment to capture that supports a story, poses a question or just resonates aesthetically with me at that moment. Perhaps the way people, objects, shapes, textures, contrasts and light interact; in an old building, the workings and lines of a machine, an interesting person or a crowd, everyday patterns within wide streets or the wild outdoors, or in the detail and shape of ordinary and extraordinary things.

Which photographers and artists inspire you?

Within my own field, Elliot Erwitt, Vivian Maier, Don McCullin, June Bown and Henri Cartier-Bresson who all prove great photography is the ability to observe and document a wide variety of reality in an aesthetic way. For more constructed work, Albert Watson.

Outside of photography, I love anything from the 1960’s and PopArt culture both in the UK and USA which saw an explosion in mass media creativity, diversity and expression of human consciousness.

What would you do with unlimited time and energy?

Travel - far and wide. And photograph. There is so much diversity, beauty and wonder around us to drive every emotion. Link that with local food, live music and a cool beer and all’s good…

Shaun Armstrong 2019