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Interview Anna Christensen
You’re in Sydney right now, what are you
doing over there?
Well, I’m sitting at Bondi Beach right now, people watching.
When you people watch, do you single people out and
ask if you can take their photo?
(Laughs) No, not here, not at the beach. It might be
slightly creepy, you might get arrested. When I was
travelling overseas, approaching people feels less weird.
You just say you’re a photographer from out of town.
But when you’re in Perth, people are like, “What are you
doing?!” In Europe last year, I approached a stranger a day
to take a street portrait.
What was your favourite one?
One time, I was in Amsterdam, completely lost. I was
walking in the same direction as this girl for ages. It started
looking creepy, like I was following her. But I asked to see
her map and it turned out she was lost too, and she was
Australian, from Sydney. I was on tour with Passenger at the
time and she said she was a big fan so I invited her to the
show, then we ended up hanging out in Sydney later.
It was just so weird, both lost, both from Australia, walking
side by side, but because we were strangers there was no
reason to talk to each other. When you’re taking photos, it
gives you a reason. That’s what it was like with my
24 Hours in Perth project.
How many people did you capture for that?
In the end, it was a little over 300 people, so one portrait
every five minutes without stopping. It was non-stop walking
around for twenty-four hours.
Having worked with Ed Sheeran, Matchbox 20 and Rolling Stone magazine, Jarrad Seng is one of the most
famous faces (and hairdos) on the Perth creative scene. We chat to him about approaching strangers, the
Instagram follower he freaked out over, and that hair...
Non-stop?! How many coffees did you have?
I had one coffee. I didn’t want to crash too early so I was
saving it, then in my twenty-first hour I realised I hadn’t had
any! I took a photo of a concierge standing outside a hotel,
and he invited me in and made me a coffee. He was so nice.
Did you get any creepers out in the early hours
of the mor ning?
No, actually! I was expecting a little trouble, I had organised
a few friends to kind of tag team, so there was always
someone with me, just in case. There were a lot of crazy
characters but sometimes the craziest-looking ones are
the nicest. There was this guy called Kenny, he has tattoos
covering his entire face, and
he was really cool to talk to.
Since then, Kenny came
past the window by chance
when I was installing it and
I showed him his picture.
You have a pretty
intense social media
following.When new people
follow me on Instagram, I’m
like, “Yes! New follower!”
Do you ever get
(Laughs) Well I check them
out! Though you know you
can only see something like
eighty notifications at once,
TEN MINUTES WITH
so a lot of the time I just don’t see things... I’ve never
had that issue. But I definitely get excited if people
I look up to or want to meet stumble across my work.
It’s a bit embarrassing but if you look through
my phone you’ll see screenshots of things like ‘John
Butler Trio likes your photo’ or ‘James Vincent McMorrow
likes your photo’. I play James Vincent McMorrow’s album
at least a few times a week, so it’s pretty surreal to see
something from him pop up. I met him, I was like (nonchalant
voice) “Oh I like your work, that’s cool” – but he doesn’t
know that really I’m a super fan boy! I go to sleep listening
to this guy’s voice!
“I definitely get excited if people I look up to or want to
meet stumble across my work. If you look through my phone
you’ll see screenshots like ‘John Butler Trio likes your photo’.”
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