Capturing Stories Through The Lens

What would the world do without volunteers?
Settle Stories is a small charity - we'd be lost without the support of our volunteers. This week we interviewed Jody Lawson, Settle Stories volunteer photographer so you can discover his fascinating story...
Alongside Psychology and Business, Jody studied Film and Media all of which have intrinsic value to his work in the areas of photography, illustration and other areas of story creation. Currently working with children’s comic group, ‘Team Ketchup’, as well as documenting a variety of events with photography, Jody is also working on a series of graphic novels. Early in 2014 Jody started voluteering with Settle Stories, capturing Stories through the lens at a series of workshops, events and at the Festival too.
1. Tell us about your practice.
I actually practice a range of creative media, from film, photography and illustration to writing, web design and video game coding, a common element of which, is it creates a unique world, with its own story and perspective. What I work on and the way in which I do it I like to think of as constantly evolving, depending on current events, audience desire (as I perceive it at the time) and of course, my own mood and influences.
2. What inspires your work?
Everything I’ve ever experienced. But more specifically, a big inspiration for me is Frankenstein, not just Mary Shelley’s original story, but the whole discourse fascinates me. There’s far too much explanation for me to go into here, but as well as its content, the general idea of taking several aspects and amalgamating them to create something greater and potentially more monstrous is something thats always in the back of my mind when I’m creating something.
In terms of people and their work, I gain a lot of inspiration from filmmakers such as Sam Raimi, who Directed the 'Evil Dead' and 'Spider-man' films, you'll be able see many of my current pictures have an exaggerated canted angle, similar to the comic book inspired angles used in Raimi’s work. I perhaps do that too much at the moment, that might just be a phase I’m going through. One other thing about Raimi which inspires me, was that a lot of his creativity in the early films was a result of getting around budget restrictions, just the general idea that problems are an opportunity in disguise.
3. What are the highs and lows of your creative process?
That’s quite difficult to put into words. One thing which can be frustrating is trying to recreate whats in my head and put that into its specific medium. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but sometimes what you end up with is something not as intended, but which is surprisingly effective.
4. Tell us about your relationship with Settle Stories. Has this helped you develop as an artist?
Settle Stories had been a great opportunity in terms of getting my work seen and giving me events and subjects to photograph in a documentary capacity, which I possibly wouldn’t otherwise have pursued. In turn I’ve continued my event photography in places such as the Thought Bubble comic festival in Leeds and formed a good network.
5. What motivated you to volunteer?
What actually motivated me was the realisation that my C.V. was looking a bit sparse due to a couple of years of debilitating illness, which turned out to be a result of a brain tumour. Too fatigued to maintain a regular job, I opted to provide service to a fellow group of storytellers in their quest to increase the skills and knowledge of storytelling for all.
Check out Jody's photography on our Facebook page here
Could you help Settle Stories through volunteering? Find out more here