Gareth Priest is a photographer from Cardiff, South Wales, born in 1983. He grew up drawing self portraits, characters and urban landscapes and as a teenager discovered graffiti. For several years he was involved in writing lyrics as a way of coping with issues in his life, but when he had worked through those issues he found that there was nothing he actually wanted to write about.
He didn’t discover photography until November 2011. His skills in camerawork, photography and processing are entirely self taught, and he has never studied photography or attended any courses. His style is extremely varied – from warm peaceful sunrises at the beach to dark misty eerie shots at the graveyard. He also creates self portraits, and has begun working with models in order to further his creativity and, in his own words – “getting the images in my imagination combined with the moods and atmospheres I capture from my camera and out in to the world”.
When Gareth first began developing his skills, he was very interested in sepia tones due to the way they enhanced the mood of the image and the vintage style.
Gareth explains “After the Sepia I went through a Blue Period or as I called it ‘Tone cold’ for a while every shot I did I had to be cold dark and sombre and this blue really brought out that mood I felt”
Gareth most enjoys creating self portraits with spooky horror themes.
Because he doesn’t have a make up artist or make up skills, he finds other ways to bring the edge to the shot like selective colour and other processes.
He also believes that it’s important to combine portrait and landscape to really capture mood and atmosphere and prefers to find places to go instead of using studios.
As a child, Gareth was terrified of spiders, but feels that photographing them helps him to feel more at ease, explaining – “it helps me to see their beauty and respect their genius web making abilities”
Strangers in the Night is Gareth’s latest series, going out with his camera at night around the city and capture peoples silhouettes by using the light from the streets. The pictures are inspired by novels, and he plans to create a book based on the images.
Gareth explains the following image – “This place is called The old boys village in Saint Athans, Vale of Glamorgan. It is by far the best place I have been to since starting Photography, the entire village is abandoned and derelict, there’s vandalism and graffiti and empty flats, houses and a church too, very spooky I was there alone but it all added to the atmosphere of the place, I will be visiting this place again soon with a model and getting some more spooky shots so stay tuned.”