Photographer Joseph Ford’s subjects include dynamite fishing, butterflies flying out of people's mouths, a railway line merging into a zipper and a crocodile attacking Lacoste sneakers, but a series that also stands out is his Knitted Camouflage.
The work saw him commission custom knitwear (made by Nina Dodd) for a selection of images that blend people with their surrounding landscapes including well-known Parisian twins, Mady & Monette Malroux, and street artist Monsieur Chat AKA Thoma Vuille.
Born in London, Ford studied languages before he “moved sideways” into photography and horrified his parents with the decision. He then spent three years assisting before shooting advertising stills and more recently films.
“The best summary of what I do is 'storytelling with a side order of off-beat creativity',” says Ford of his style. These days, he works internationally with clients like Disney, Hennessy, Lacoste, Mastercard, Mazda, Missoni, O2, Pepe Jeans, Renault and Visa.
“I'm all about ideas. I'm lucky in that my personal work influences my commissioned work, so my projects feed into each other creatively,” explains. “I like taking small details and making them the centre-point of a picture or film – using a patterned bus seat to construct an idea for a whole image, for example.”
This Side Up featuring Joseph Ford
The evolution of technology has made photography possible for the masses today which means naturally more content is being created. Ford says it’s sped up the consumption process, but he believes quality over quantity is key to capturing viewers’ attention.
“Smartphones and social media mean that people consume imagery faster and faster,” he muses. “This has made it increasingly important to produce unique images which get people to slow down and pay attention, which is what I enjoy creating most.”
Knitted Camouflage is certainly a unique series. It features a bearded man blending into a seat on a bus, a lady dressed to look like the clifftop behind her and a girl becoming cherry blossom in a tree. The garments were painstakingly knitted by hand rather than being created in CGI and Ford has published the work in a book called Invisible Jumpers with Hoxton Mini Press.
Ford says if he could change one thing about the industry, it would be to help more commissioners recognise that quality of advertising will attract more attention than volume of advertising. And as for his advice for other aspiring photographers? “Concentrate on creating thoughtful, thought-provoking work.”
View a selection from Knitted Camouflage below and connect with Ford on Creativepool here for more work and social profile links.