Steve Braiden may have come to the internet’s attention through his regular radio show on Rinse.fm but behind the voice and the music selection lies a deeper, more considered eye for visual compostion. With his portraiture published globally - spanning our own website as much as the likes of URB.com, XLR8R and more – he stands on the precipice of notoriety using his documentation of his dubstep contemporaries to gain something of a cult following.
His shots of Deadboy, Blunted Robots and Bok Bok are all fine examples of his photographic style, but rather than giving you a gallery to gawp at, we wanted to take you a little deeper. We caught up with Braiden ahead of his Room Three slot on Friday, 23 April.
How would you describe your photography, to the uneducated?
My approach to photography has always been with quite a refined aesthetic. I experiment with different styles and techniques but one element that has remained constant has been my consideration of light in the image. I find lighting particularly emotive, not only in imagery but even the way places and rooms are lit, and I think that comes across in my work.
How did you get into it? Was it something that you were always into, or can you pinpoint down a moment of realization (of sorts)?
I got into photography fairly late on in my life compared to some. I never considered it until I finished school, and picked it up when I was around 19 or so. I always used it as a tool to create pictures rather than to document anything in my life, and that remains true today. I love great documentary photography but am not so inclined to do it myself. Anyway I decided I wanted to study photography so I got together a portfolio in about 6 months, and got myself into a foundation course at London College of Communication, where I went on to study the BA Photography course.
Can you give us a little insight into your techniques?
I'm always looking to push myself and do something new. There are no singular techniques I rely on, some shots I've done have used about 5 lights, some shots are just natural light outdoors. The best technique is not to use a technique. Use your eyes and think about how you want the light to fall on your subject(s), and how things are interacting with each other compositionally. It pays to be able to adjust to the situation...I say the same thing about mixing records too.
You are also a regular DJ on Rinse.fm. How do you find time to work on shots as well as holding down a weekly radio show?
Good question... yeah, I DJ as Braiden which is my surname. Simple answer though, I am very busy! I have gotten into producing music now as well which has taken up any spare time I might have had, but that's fine; I love to keep busy. It can get quite stressful but I think I'm blessed to be able to pursue two different creative paths. They're both very important to me.
Your portfolio seems to be growing by the week, with go to shots of some of dubstep’s leading lights…where do you go for the inspiration behind these portraits?
I'm always looking out for inspiration or new ideas. There are so many great photographers out there that aren’t so well known, especially within the advertising world, that give me inspiration. As my style is so visual, I can be influenced by advertising just as much as an art photographer's exhibition or a photojournalist's visual style. I am influenced by strong design work and colour as well, but my immediate influences probably do come from top photographers in other fields to my own.
Have you ever been to fabric? If so can you describe the experience(s) you had there?
Yeah of course, many times...I hate to sound sycophantic as this is the fabric website but it is my favourite of the big clubs in London. I'd really like to play in Room One someday... the setup is great. I'm not sure my mind has recovered from seeing Audion there last August but that's fine. I like it that way.
Anything else you’d care to mention?
Sure. I'm available for photography work and collaborations if you like what you see. Also look out for my music productions coming very, very soon!