Three years ago, at a party in Brighton, London boys Alex and Matt got chatting about cameras. Not long after, they formed Holy Ghost Zine. It’s an online photography collective intended to bring together a network of both amateur and professional photographers. We caught up with them to hear more and take a look at some of their favorite photos.
How did Holy Ghost Zine come about?
Alex and I met in Brighton through a mutual friend. He was studying there and I was down for the weekend. We were both hooked on cameras and started posting work we’d made to Blogger. Neither of us really knew what we were doing at the time, but we did know we wanted to work under an alias as a collective. One day we started receiving emails from people asking to be a part of it. It has grown naturally from there.
What’s the main idea behind Holy Ghost?
Our main focus is to give photographers a space to show work. This can take the form of books/exhibitions/features and soon to be T-shirts! We do not discriminate between professionals or amateurs. In terms of contemporary discourse theory I guess you could say we’re interested in the idea of relational aesthetics. It’s responsible for the look of the new website and something we’re going to be exploring further in future books.
You’ve had a lot of interesting press and success – has it all been easy?
We work well together. Both of us have had different things going on over the past couple of years but we always get it done. We’ve certainly had our fair share of help along the way. We’ve got some great people around us who have helped with everything from design to giving us gallery spaces. We like to think we’ve made the most of the opportunities.
You’ve done a fair few collaborations and exhibitions. What have been your highlights? Any upcoming projects you’re working on?
A definite highlight was our first exhibition and our first book. Those are things we dreamed of doing when we started Holy Ghost. To see them happen gave us a real sense of achievement.
We’re working on a lot of things at the moment. This always seems to be the case. At the moment we’re doing a book with the photographer Cody Cobb and also compiling the initial images for the next Holy Ghost volume.
We’re almost finished working on an exciting new venture for a live show. We can’t say too much at the moment but any galleries out there reading this, send us an email! We’d love to work with you.
Which photographer are you most excited about at the moment?
We’re into the work of a few photographic duos that we’ve come across recently such as Daniel Evans & Brendan Baker and Luke Norman & Nik Adam. They both produce images with a fresh interplay of still life and documentary styles that offer an odd photographic surrealism. We like it!
What do you look out for when selecting photographers to showcase?
Always the photograph has to attain a certain quality, whether it’s in production value or conceptual merit. It has to be able to stand out from a very saturated field of images. Like with anything it’s hard to say specifically what makes each image beautiful. We feel that there’s an underlying sense between us of what we like and don’t like.
What other photography resources do you recommend?
We recommend keeping an eye on Wandering Bears. They’re running a great project at the moment called Class of 2012. If you like photo books, or books in general, then check out Self Publish, Be Happy. They are working with some awesome photographers for upcoming projects.
ASX is a photographic archive with some great interviews on leading contemporary photographers. Also JSBJ, a great French publishing collective that we had the pleasure of hanging out with in Paris recently. They just released a film about Alec Soth, titled ‘Somewhere to Disappear‘. We definitely recommend taking a look.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Get started now!
To see more photos on HolyGhostZine or to try getting your stills submitted, go here.