Stephen Harper

Where are you from/based now?

I'm based in Calgary Alberta Canada, I grew up here as well.

What is your background in Photography? What got you started?

I'm self taught and photography wasn't something i took very seriously until I was about 20. I started taking pictures on a DLSR but it wasn't until i started shooting film that I really became enamoured with photography. Not only do i prefer the tones and textures that film produces I find the process much more satisfying. There so much more that goes on between noticing a picture and clicking the shutter.

What equipment do you use?

I have used a variety of different camera's over the past few years but nowadays its either Mamiya RB67 for 120 stuff and a Contax G2 or Olympus Stylus Epic for 35mm.

What is your creative process? Are your shots planned?

Unless I am shooting a portrait assignment my work is never premeditated. My process is pretty simple, go somewhere new, shoot what I find interesting. My favourite photographs are never those of grandiose subjects or beautiful people but rather those that display a unique view of everyday life. I also think its far more challenging to make an interesting photograph under these circumstance.

What drives you to keep taking pictures?

Photography is so easily accessible and what i love to do, there has never been an instance where i thought to stop. I keep taking pictures because without it I think I would live a very unfulfilling life.

Who or what inspires you?

Everyday I'm on the internet looking at new and great work from a variety of different photographers. Going to a new place is also very inspiring for me. Not necessarily a new country or city but perhaps down a street you have never been down before or someones house your visiting for the first time. Being in a new place without a camera makes me uneasy.

What does the future hold for your photography, where do you want to go with it?

In the near future I want to get into making some of my own small publications and would really like to start doing some more collaborative projects with printed matter. Other then that just trying to keep making interesting work, meeting rad people and get out of town as much as possible. I've never really been one to make plans or be very structured, I live a pretty easygoing life.

Are you working on specific projects at the moment?

I've been trying to get out camping more and more this summer. I hope to put together a project documenting the small mountain towns of Alberta and British Columbia I encounter along the way. I have also been working, albeit slowly, on night photo series of Calgary with the RB67.


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