Interview with Martin McQuade
I am a freelance cameraman from Liverpool and work mainly in television news and documentaries. I love my job. Ever since I was a child it’s all I ever wanted to do, but it took me a while to get here as after I left school I just drifted around in ‘normal’ office jobs for a couple of years, not having any definite plan of what I was doing with my life, which was slowly driving me insane. Until one day I saw an MTV interview with a singer who said that if there is something in life you want to do and you really want it enough then you will get there. So I quit my office job and got a job on a cruise ship sailing out of Miami as a videographer and I’ve never looked back.
I never plan to go and get a specific shot – they are always spontaneous moments I happen across when I am out and about. All the images I shoot are taken on my iPhone as it allows me to shoot instantly a moment I like the look of, coupled with the anonymity required not to freak people out. I’m not a professional photographer so all my photos are taken for my own fun, and Instagram is the only platform I post them on. I find it a good way of sharing my photos with like-minded creative individuals, many of whom I’ve met personally on my travels around the world.
Whenever I see something interesting I try to get a shot – that could be anywhere. Most of the time it doesn’t work out, either because it wasn’t good enough technically or maybe just not visually strong enough, so I am left with just the memory of that moment, which is OK as I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.
I am drawn to shooting images with a clean and simple composition – it acts as an antidote to my hectic mind! But I also try and include another element that has some mystery or sometimes a bit of the absurd. Needless to say, photographers such as Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones are personal favourites of mine. Anything to do with seaside towns and the people that flock there looking for fun and escapism will always be a magnet to me too, as I’m looking for the same as them.
I turned 40 last year and the older I get, the more I wonder about whether I am doing life right. So although I am incredibly lucky to have the life I have, I am fascinated by other people around me – strangers I mean. Quite often I’ll see a person that makes me wonder what their life is like, as very often I can see in their faces that they are lost in their own thoughts, so if I think I can get a decent clean shot that portrays this moment, I’ll shoot it.