Sonny Witton: humans being humans

Where are you from and where are you based at the moment?
I’m from a lovely little island toward the southernmost part of mainland Australia called Phillip Island. Currently based in Melbourne.

What was your childhood dream job?
Hello! Why, a race car driver of course. Sometimes I even continue to fantasize.  Alas, I’m too cautious.

How and when did you become interested in photography?
I worked a lot when I was in my early teens and decided I would get a nice camera for myself for no real reason. My great friend had the same camera (550d) and was pretty into the art. I caught the 3 hour bus to the city to pick it up and read the whole manual on the way home to feel worthy of owning such a thing. Very exciting.

What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Humans being humans and their marriage with the environment.

When you are shooting how much of it is instinctual vs planned?
Hmm, I think photography even when planned is still completely instinctual. I think a photographer should always be wielding a camera.

What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
When I was a beginner I would always look at work of other photographers in complete awe. Since then I have realized that these opportunities, these photos, present themselves to everyone you just have to look, see it and want to capture it. I have this constant filter over my eye and it has completely changed how I see the world. For this I’m forever grateful and if I could help anyone find beauty in the simple everyday life then I’m successful by my own measure.

Can you define your photography in three words?
Human, tree, sun.

Do you think Instagram is good for photography and photographers in general?
A great question I find myself thinking about regularly. I have Instagram to thank for a lot of opportunities. It’s undoubtedly a powerful platform to share. Although it can be soul crushing. Maybe that’s me though!

What do you think makes a powerful, compelling image?
I think the image must have a certain aesthetic quality (light, form, color, composition, etc.) combined with a subject matter that gifts the viewer an emotion or feeling of some description.
Simple! (Ah, if only)

What city do you like the most?
I’m 25, jeez. I don’t know yet!
Ask me a little later.

What is the last book you have read?
I’m a compulsive book starter and a constant book un-finisher. Currently flipping through The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Both I can strongly recommend. I recently read ‘Interviews and conversations with Henri Cartier-Bresson’ pretty quick! Would also recommend.

Your favorite movie and why?
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This movie is weirdly beautiful, imaginative and heart breaking. It’s a realistic film. Love & life is so full of mixed emotions and all of those emotions should be cherished.
Jeez, what a deep way to go out of this interview!

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