Earlier in the month, Thomas Giddings launched his second book ‘I Will Make a Way’. Thomas is a British photographer who has been Sunspel’s campaign photographer for the last two seasons. His passion for exploring different countries and communities is reflected in his series of evocative photo studies on India, America and the UK. Now living in New York, he has shot commercial and editorial photography for publications such as W Magazine, WSJ Magazine and Interview, as well as brands including Burberry, Calvin Klein, and Bottega Veneta.
We sat down with Thomas to talk about his inspirations, his love of travel, working with Sunspel and his approach to image making.
‘I Will Make a Way’ collects photos taken in India, America and the UK. Irrespective of location the photos document a common humanity in their subjects. Can you tell us more about how the work came about and the motivation behind this book?
The images in this book have been taken over the last 5 years. I was always working on personal studies and began to discover visual and narrative similarities between the images, and ultimately began to weave them together to present a picture of the human spirit, unrestrained by subject or location. The title was inspired by a trip to India at the beginning of 2017. We were stopped at the roadside and this car pulled up and on the side was painted the phrase ‘I Will Make a Way’. In a time where I think a lot of people were full of unrest and confusion, its positive message really stuck with me. When I got back to New York I felt inspired to turn it all into a book and put it out into the world.
Sometimes I think it can be important to go away in order to return and notice things in your everyday environment that may previously have gone unnoticed. Thomas Giddings
What draws you to your subjects?
I love to observe amazing characters and getting a glimpse into their lives. Whether that was a stuntman on set at Universal Studios in LA, a drummer in a marching band in Alabama or travelling 1000 miles with a motorcycle guide across India. It is amazing to watch people achieving goals, dreams and desires.
You travel a lot, does this feed into your work?
I was born in South Africa, moved to England when I was 2 and spent a lot of my childhood travelling as my father worked abroad a lot. I remember getting my first disposable camera from Snappy Snaps when I was 6 on a trip to Disneyland. From that moment on I was always into documenting and seeing unfamiliar things around me.
What makes a great fashion image?
Especially right now, I think the most important thing is to try and create images that are memorable.
You’ve shot the past 2 campaigns for Sunspel, which is so rooted in its Britishness, do you approach these assignments differently to your other work which are more global in subject?
From doing this book it made me realise I approach many subjects in the same way. It is really exciting when your personal work can inform your fashion work.