One to Watch - Josh Griggs, NZ Photographer

You with your lovely eyes that see things will have noticed we've started to collab more and more with a few amazing 'emerging' photographers, in order to bring you inspiring and super-very-good-looking stories. I wanted to start introducing you to some of these photographers - so let's meet Josh Griggs, shall we, and see some more of this work.

Josh - just 21 - graduated a year ago (Bachelor of Design) and immediately went freelance. He figured if there was any time to see if he could make it 'on his own', it was while he's young and hungry, fresh out of Uni. 

In just a year, he's racked up commercial jobs for the likes of Air New Zealand, Kokako Organic Coffee, Coffee Supreme, Rouge Society Gin and more. He's also shot for Metro magazine, and has features coming out soon with Dish and Homestyle magazines. 

Here's some imagery from a recent commercial shoot Josh did for Al Brown's bagel brand, Best Ugly:

Josh - tell us about this 'Picture Package' shoot for Best Ugly?

The concept of the Picture Package is something I developed over the last year or so, and represents the culmination of the natural progression of my approach to photography. A Picture Package is a collection of imagery that tells a story... It consists of a broad mix of photographs - product shots, small details, portraits, candid moments, textures, landscapes - whatever is needed to truly encompass the story of a brand. 

When I'm shooting, the more immersed I can be in a brand the better. My best clients are those that I consider friends - when the professional relationship is one of trust and collaboration the work benefits immensely. Being able to collaborate with great people doing great things is why I love what I do. Collaboration is absolutely vital in generating great work. I don't simply want to be a service provider, but to actively participate in and contribute to every one of my clients' brands.

Best Ugly is always a favourite of mine to photograph. The team there are beyond helpful and just great to chat with. The process of how the 'uglies' are made is definitely worth checking out too. If you are in Auckland, pop in, grab a bagel and watch them work for a while. 

Josh particularly loves to tell stories around food. One such is The Hive - a photo project he's developing on an ongoing basis, around the lives and purpose of bees...

Tell us about The Hive - why does this project resonate with you so much?

The Hive project is an ongoing body of work I have been shooting of the beehives on our family land up North. I get kitted up in a beesuit so I can get right in amongst the hive. The lives of bees aren't really something that we normally get to see - so being able to show people a small taste of that with my photos is a great feeling.

As an extension of my love to tell stories through my photographs I have a particular interest in telling the stories around food. I find that there is often such an amazing backstory to how a plate of food came together. With the current interest in provenance it's great that people are beginning to have a greater awareness of the importance of knowing where their food comes from. This kind of project is my absolute favourite - documentary-based story telling in the places where food is produced and grown. 

Over Christmas and January, Josh plans to shoot a lot of personal work. He's also heading to Europe for a couple of months next year, to travel and do the same.

Josh - you obviously make time for a lot of personal projects - why are these important?

I think personal projects are absolutely vital for a healthy photographic career - perhaps even more so than commercial work. Photographers are photographers because they love being able to express their creativity through the photographic medium. Doing personal projects is the most pure form of this expression. There are no boxes to tick off and no clients breathing down your neck. What you shoot is completely down to you. 

The funny thing is that art directors are often more interested in personal work than commercial work. The personal work shows the unique way that you see things. 

This winter just gone, Josh went exploring in the Central North...

... and in the Kaimanawa Ranges


You might like to check out these stories Josh has shot for Fancy:

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