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365 Days of Alex Stoddart

Most of Alex’s works are self-portraits, but one can’t notice a shade of narcissism or self-admiration. Here Alex-model and Alex-photographer are joined in an ideal creative tandem, where participants literally can understand each other without words.

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Daily I’m watching Flickr of Alex, to see what will take my breath away today. In every photo you can find things that are so close to any of us, especially to those who are young and inexperienced – search of own way, association with surrounding, interaction with society, attempt to overcome child and adult fears, find answers for questions that almost everyone has at 17, and, sometimes, just to forget about everything and have fun.

Seems I can talk for hours about concepts, but here, I guess, photos will tell you more than words and give better understanding of Alex’s art, and introduce to you his young sensitive open soul and share his world full of fantasies.

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I couldn’t resist contacting Alex and asking several simple questions about sources of his inspiration and creative process.

J.B.: When did you understand you’re into photography?

A.S.: That’s actually a hard question to answer. I don’t think that there was ever a defining moment where I realized that I loved photography. It was a really gradual thing. When I first started out, I would get very frustrated with my camera. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t producing these amazing photographs that I saw everyone else taking. I didn’t realize at the time that it had to come from myself, and that the camera only captured what I put out myself. As the weeks and months passed, though, and I experimented more and realized that I had the ability to tell stories through my photographs, I fell in love.

J.B.: Why did you decide to do 365 project? How much time every day you dedicate to it?

A.S.: I decided to start a 365 project after seeing Rosie Hardy’s on flickr. Seeing the sorts of photographs she took, as an amateur, just sparked my curiosity, and I wanted to try my hand at it myself. There was also the aspect of improvement that I sought. I wanted to become a better photographer, but I don’t think that, at the time, I realized how much I would grow from day 1 to day 244 where I am now. I’m determined to finish the project completely, because I’ve never finished anything before, and I’ve come much too far too quit now.

J.B.:Where do you get your inspiration, what can inspire you?

A.S.: Inspiration comes from so many places. The natural sounds of the forest, the way a tree’s skin can be so rough against your own, the concavities of a contorted body, the way someone’s face is spattered in a galaxy of freckles. I’m a very visual person, so every sight can become a story. I like that photography has given me an appreciation for the weird, the unusual, especially when it comes to a person’s features. Someone that I might have never given a second look, appearance-wise, can capture my attention now. I’ll think of all the ways they would photograph, which angles would be best, how their body would look in a natural setting.

J.B.:Can you tell me about your best picture (one that is your favorite)

A.S.: I consider this my best photograph. It was such a spontaneous shoot (as most of mine are.. you can’t really plan too far ahead in a 365 project; you have to focus mostly on that day.) I had the idea to thread a bunch of fake spiderweb into the spokes of an umbrella, almost as if to show that it hadn’t rained in so long (100 years) that cobwebs had begun to form inside the umbrella. I then had rain in the background and posed myself and constructed a hopeful expression… like I was amazed to see the first rain of my life. While I was putting together the umbrella, all of my cats kept jumping into it and ripping the spiderweb out and running away with it. It was funny and frustrating at the same time.

J.B.:If you had a chance to shoot any person (even from past) who would it be?

A.S.: Sasha Pivovarova, Lily Cole, or Lindsey Wixson – Any of the three would be incredible to work with.

J.B.: How do you see your future in photography?

A.S.: I want to take photos as a career. Now that I’ve started, it would be impossible to stop. I think that I want to start moving more in the direction of fashion photography, however. I don’t mean taking those boring, pretty girl standing against a wall sort of pictures, though. I want to keep with my method of storytelling and try to incorporate concepts and whimsical elements into the photos as I do now..just have them more focused on the individual. I want to travel often around London and New York City, but have a little house somewhere in the middle of nowhere where I can live when I’m not working.

Now Alex has successfully finished his 365 project, but still continues his photography. You can follow his work at his website www.alex-stoddard.com , Flickr or page on facebook.

John Berd

John Berd is a well-known fashion photographer that lives in Paris and studies history of art.

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