suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
nicholas BENTHAM: better than we expected is a collaborative project between myself and karina LAX. in a world of disposable photography where thousands of photo albums float around on websites such and flickr & facebook, not just the price of an image but the worth and emotional connection to images has been lost. when we collate the final images for our printed portfolios, we neglect images that although important to us just don’t fit or work with the overall portfolio or may have been a personal favorite, however photo editors choose otherwise.
we aim to remind ourselves of the value of these images and give them a showcase. over time it will become a library of work that will take on its own identity, pushing our creativity and inspire our future work. we aim to create a book of these images that never fulfilled their potential; it will give purpose to them, after all everyone loves an underdog.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
nB: when both myself and karina sat down to crit each others printed fashion portfolios we quickly realised that we could not agree on the final image choices. we headed out for a bike ride and to shoot documentary images as we both love to do. we discussed how our overall creativity can be lost in translation to a client when the emphasis of your portfolio is the stand out images. we decided that we needed a place for our work to thrive and hopefully inspire each other to create new and exciting projects either individually or as a partnership.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
nB: we were watching a group of four inner city kids around the ages of 11/14 use a rope swing over a river in the woods near chorlton, manchester. as karina shot images of the kids with her twin lens medium format camera i decided that i needed an out let for work that only ends up as a contact sheet or a small print in my folder of prints/instants/negs/etc. i asked karina and she loved the concept. she’s been a great friend for the past 3 years and a huge inspiration, plus she’s a yorkshire lass who loves most haunted and tracksuits so its great to work on something with her.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
nB: i’ll just list this months bookmarks from my broswer
photographers: guy aroch / brantley gutierrez / tim walker / reed+rader (pam reed and matt rader) / ben toms / jolijn snijder/ jeremy&claire weiss / ami sioux / quentin debriey / olivia frolich / daniel jackson / alice hawkins / ryan schude
others: sang bleu magazine / same teens magazine / mark mahoney (tattooist) / itsnicethat.com / theworldsbestever.com / tom waits / j dilla / delphic / jeff soto /
karina LAX: gemma booth’s my current favourite – amazing. also hedi slimane and vincent peters are my all time favourites that i always look to for inspiration. i’m really inspired by sarah jones too to inform my documentary/ art stuff. basically anyone with really strong art direction that comes from them. music-wise i’m only really listening to old psychedlic stuff.. stuff like love, cream, jefferson airplane, and also the coral, super furries etc.