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Urban spaces photographed by Tom Westbury

5 QUESTIONS TO TOM WESTBURY

Can you tell us a bit about how you became a photographer? And please tell us something about your Pictures.

It's quite a mundane story really! Actually, growing up I was never that bothered about photography, although I've always been into visual art and design. Then I started a job in my mid-twenties which required me to use a camera. The job involved taking corporate portrait and event photos and I had a basic DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) that I decided to teach myself to use. That's how photography took hold and it shows no sign of letting go anytime soon.

About the pictures... well I'm not very good at putting into words why and what I photograph. The pictures themselves are what I am trying to say, if that makes sense. I suppose there's a documentary element to the images, and something about the value in noticing the overlooked and the ordinary? But also some places just have a certain vibe - a feeling about them - that I feel compelled to photograph.

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Photo: Tom Westbury

How do you get inspired? And what inspires you the most? Movies, books or magazines? Or is it just what’s around you?

I enjoy photobooks as a way to engage with artists' work and this is definitely a source of inspiration. It's a pleasure to sit with an actual, physical object and take the time to really appreciate the images, the sequencing and the design. Otherwise just getting out and being present in a particular place is sure to get me wanting to make work. That's the beauty of photography - it transforms anywhere into a visual playground to explore.

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Photo: Tom Westbury

What’s been the biggest highlight in your career so far?

Getting my first photobook, Commonplace, published last year. It was a challenge to condense and sequence over five years' worth of work but hugely rewarding and I had great support from the publisher, Another Place Press. 

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Photo: Tom Westbury

What are your plans for the rest of the day?

Well, I am writing this around midnight so I suppose I should try and get some sleep! My wife and daughter have just returned from a holiday so I'm looking forward to spending the day with them tomorrow :)

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Product recommendations by Tom Westbury

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Hahnemühle Fine Art PrintHahnemühle Fine Art Print
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GALLERY STANDARD
Gallery Frame With Passe-PartoutSolid Wood Frame With Passe-Partout