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Conversations with Creators: Josiah Bice
A new photo story featuring photographer Josiah Bice.
Our photo series this week is with photographer Josiah Bice. Josiah works at State Film Lab in Louisville, KY and in his work he tries to capture motion and emotion in a distinctive way to try to create a different perspective.
Recently, I spent an evening with Josiah in Downtown New Albany, Indiana where he now lives. Here are some images from my visit and a glimpse into my conversation with him.
What excites you about the work you're creating right now?
I'm really excited about my book coming out and figuring out my style of photography. Since the year started, I've been honing in on the question, "What do I see?" “Not what do other photographers see that I'm trying to emulate, but what do I see differently than other people?”
Sometimes it can feel like a lot of the same images are being created. What drives you to try and create something different?
There's so much work that's not really seen as beautiful - the close-up, harsh light, zoomed-in kinda stuff. People just want to see cars and landscapes which is great, but I think what drives me is to create stuff that people don't find beautiful and make it beautiful in my own way.
What's in your current rotation of cameras right now?
I just picked up the Leica M6 in the Fall, so that's been an every day carry for me - I take it everywhere with a roll of HP5. I also have my Pentax 67, that thing is a beast and I love it. Whenever I have a shoot, that's what I'm shooting with. And then flash as well.
So why film? What attracts you to the medium and what do you think people often overlook?
I think it's the mistakes in film photography that really are exciting. If you make a mistake, you have no idea what you'll get, and it could turn out to be something totally different, something beautiful.
The mistakes you have to make in order to grow as a photographer, especially with using film, can be really impactful. Because it costs money, the next time you shoot, you're going to try as hard as you can to make it how you want it to turn out. And a lot of my favorite photos are mistakes, whether it's light leak stuff or weird shutter-related stuff that turned out really cool.
What was it like selling your first NFT?
It was super sick. I took that photo like 5 years ago I think and taking it on film and developing it and scanning it on my own and then processing it into the blockchain is just really interesting.
The whole experience was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Gas prices, minting, listing, all this stuff was totally foreign to me, but it felt like I was just uploading a photo to my website. Promoting the heck out of it was really hard, but the experience was great. I have four up there now and we'll see if anything else happens.
Tell me about this book you're working on. What is it about and what should people expect?
It's called One Quarter, basically, me turning 25, a quarter of a century. The book itself if a compilation of photos I've taken since I was 17 or 18, all on film, developed at home or in the lab. Through putting it together and going through the photos, I realized there was a huge emphasis on living life slowly and not trying to compete and live a fast-paced life all the time. It was cool to see a lot of the moments were mundane, every day moments that can just pass you by. So the book is about living in the moment and realizing how powerful that can be.
What projects are you keeping an eye on right now outside of your own work?
There's a guy Hythacg in the NFT space who's a photographer and digital artist, but he basically takes photos of Philadelphia row homes and then he creates this beautiful digital artwork behind it. He's been really cool to watch, and he's going to be doing skyscrapers soon.
And then I used to work for a guy named Ryan Standler. He's a wedding photographer, but he's not like your typical wedding photographer. He really sees things in a different way and makes them unique and beautiful - just even the way he can capture trash on the table at a wedding. I feel like I've learned a ton from him and I never really realized it until last year.