In talks with – photographer Edward T. Cooke
Edward T. Cooke is a photographer & model from the hills of Surrey. With a ton of rad work already under his belt, both in-front of and behind the lens, Edward’s works appear to be going from strength to strength. With some incredible sounding projects in the pipeline, and hailing from the very same Surrey Hills as myself, I saw it fit to hook up with him for a brief chat about his work.
How has winter been treating you so far dude? What have you been up to?
This winter consisted of cold days shooting in Central London and the countryside, so nothing new! But I quite like the cold. I’d rather lug around kit in the cold than in the boiling heat, it also makes the tube journeys much more bearable.
I’m the same with the cold, such an awesome time of the year for early morning and evening shooting. So are you from the countryside yourself?
Yeah, I live in a quaint town called Guildford, which is situated with loads of countryside surrounding it, aka “The Surrey Hills”. But I’m never really here because I spend most of my time in London; there’s not much opportunity in a town like this.
Nice, I know Guildford. I’m from Dorking myself. There are some incredible forests in-between the two towns. Without giving away any secrets, do you have any favorite spots to shoot there? Mine has to be the Redlands Woods or Holmburry Hill…
Yeah, absolutely. I have a few favorites for sure which are situated in the Surrey Hills, and one would be ‘Leith Hill’, which was shown to me about 2 years ago by my good friend Lloyd. We use to shoot up there all the time. The views are insane and it’s apparently the highest point in Surrey, I think. One more would be a place I don’t even know the name of, but it’s covered in insane trees and huge stacked logs – this is a place I don’t want to giveaway too much though, as it’s pretty photogenic.
What area of photography do you mainly work in?
I mainly work in portraiture and fashion, also a little bit of music. I enjoy the feeling of capturing someone’s feelings within that moment, so I make sure it’s not setup. I like to make my subject feel comfortable before shooting them, for instance a brief conversation about how they are etc. I’ll start taking frames once I feel they have a sense of trust with me.
Seems like a good way to work. Where are your influences drawn from?
Well, I could list a few people who inspire me, but I think my biggest influence would have to be my aunty who introduced me to my creative side from an extremely young age, which kind of opened the doors for me. I felt very comfortable in her work-place making random bits and pieces, and I think that’s why I feel comfortable taking photographs, and being able to go home with a new product after every shoot is extremely rewarding.
Is there a certain shoot you have completed in the past, or perhaps a collection of your images that are your personal favorites? For what reasons?
I would have to say my favorite images are black/white natural light, which gives the best contrasts. One image that does stick out in my mind is model, Joe Sinclair’s (AMCK London) hands. He is covered in fantastic traditional tattoos by some extremely talented artists, and I caught an image of him playing with his ring on his little finger. I recently had a 12 x 16 of it printed and mounted on my wall.
Awesome. So what’s coming up next for you? Any big shoots or projects?
I have a few bits lined up, yeah. I have a fantastic feature for Hypebeast magazine coming up for a leading brand which should be great. That’s all I can say about that, for now. I’m also going to be shooting a few portraits in December, too!
Sounds interesting, looking forward to hearing more about that. As well as shooting photos, you are also doing a fair bit of modelling?
That’s right, yeah. I’ve been modelling since I was about 18 (now 21) and have worked with some fantastic magazines, photographers, designers, brands, and have made some fantastic contacts along the way. I’m very grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to work in front of the camera as well as behind it. I’m signed with AMCK London.
Great. Photography and modelling aside what are you listening to at the moment?
Well it’s been good to chat, keep us in the loop of your next projects, and maybe we can shoot something together. Take it easy!
Yeah sweet man, thanks!