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Published, Oct 22, 2020

Behind the Lens: Gary Van Handley

For our latest edition of Behind the Lens, we spoke to lifestyle photographer and friend of Origin, Gary Van Handley.

Gary lives and works with fashion, travel, and coffee brands in Hackney Wick, London. He's always been fascinated by light, from sunrises at old raves in the 90s to sunsets over the ocean. 'I love to tell a story, a narrative designed around light, moments full of colour, I try to keep this magic with me with every shot.'

We caught up with Gary after shooting for Origin last month to discuss his process, lifestyle, and latest collection 'Patience and Play', which explores the relationship between emotion and environment.

1. What was your motivation to start photography, and what was your educational process?

I studied Graphic Design & Photography at University. I explored the design route but after years of working with photographers I realised I was more passionate about that side of my skill set. So, I moved to Shoreditch 8 years ago to go explore and start a new chapter chasing light and working for myself.

2. What subjects interest you most as a photographer, and why?

I love natural light and lifestyle photography, fashion, people and adventure have so many options for me to find magic. They are very different genres but I feel I can address each one in my style. Adventure and lifestyle lets me explore and find new horizons, being out in nature gives me a sense of freedom, and to explore light with my camera is my favourite thing to do.

3. Is there a particular project you’ve worked on, which stands out most and if so, why?

I have recently released my first print collection that was shot on a surf trip to Sri Lanka in January. It was a chance to do something personal for me. Photographing moments, predominantly at sunrise or sunset, has always evoked a stillness, reflection and total freedom within me. The beauty of this project 'Patience and Play' let me capture this in its most simplistic form and also gave me something to do in lockdown!

4. What equipment are you currently using, and what do you like about it?

I've use a Nikon D850 full frame camera for the majority of my work. In my bag I'll always have my Canon AE-1 35mm film camera and a travel camera that I adore is my Fuji X-Pro 1. The D850 is a beast and personally speaking, produces the most amazing colours straight out of camera, and in low light is just awesome. The Fuji X-Pro 1 is just the perfect travel camera, not bulky or heavy and takes some gorgeous tones in natural light.

5. What are your working on next?

Due to the current climate I am putting together a collection that will be photographed here in the British Isles focused on the 'Patience and Play' theme again. Focusing on sunrise and sunset around some of the most beautiful locations we have on our doorstep.

Patience and Play is available to view on Gary's website, Reverb London. You can find more of his incredible work on Instagram at @reverblondon.