MEET BRIAN WALKER, THE PHOTOGRAPHER BEHIND “ELVIS BIS BIS BIS”
“I’m a big fan of Martin Parr”, Brian Walker says. When taking a look at his portfolio, you can easily spot the influence. With an interest in photographing traditional happenings and festivities of the British culture, Brian’s previous projects include a series on Speaker’s Corners and another one on Car Boot Sales.
“I love to shoot people. I would say my style is something in between documentary and advertising, which is where my background comes from.”
Born in Patagonia, Argentina, Brian studied Advertising and worked in Buenos Aires before moving to Madrid in 2000. He spent a big part of his career working in advertising agencies as a copywriter, and later on as a creative director. In 2009, looking for an alternative career path, he left the agency and started as a freelance photographer. This was not, however, something that came naturally to him.
“I never studied Photography. As a kid, I didn’t even like to take pictures. But as a copywriter, you always need to check websites like gettyimages, and this helps you to train your eyes. Eventually, I started to take photos during my spare time and on holidays, and when I found I needed a change in my career, many people told me that they really liked my photos, and that I should start as a photographer. I am self-taught, and I wasn’t very sure it would work, but I thought I might give it a try. And that’s how I started.”
In 2016, he moved to London to be closer to his children, and had to start all over again. “It was really difficult to move countries again, without knowing many people in your 40s. It was very different than moving to Spain in my 20s. But now I am very happy with my work. I managed to get good clients with long term projects, which is not always easy in this field.”
Brian is always working on his own projects alongside his commercial work. The ‘Elvis is Alive’ project came about when he saw a short documentary on TV about the Porthcawl Elvis Festival in Wales, where every September thousands of Elvis fans gather at Porthcawl beach and dress up like the king of Rock’n’Roll. Although he likes his music, Brian is not a huge fan of Elvis, but he was intrigued by the event and decided to see it for himself, with the intent of shooting all the colorful and happy people.
Getting there, he was lucky to have sunny and warm weather, which is rare in the area. As he walked around and spotted an interesting character, he would approach them and ask them to follow him to a background of his choice away from the crowd, where he could better portray them. Two days and many pictures after, he found himself with a selection of around 70 photos, and thought he had enough material to put together a small book of photographs.
“The exhibition at the Print House Gallery will showcase 23 images, and if you would like to see more, you can purchase the book, which has around 60 photographs”, he explains.
‘Elvis Bis Bis Bis’ will be displayed at the Print House Gallery from 26th June to 28th July. The private view will happen on Wednesday 26th June, from 6pm to 9pm. Expect to listen to a lot of Elvis!