After a few months trying to pin the talented Peter Hudson down, we finally managed to get his attention for long enough to find out what makes him tick and exactly why he is so highly regarded in the industry. This interview will show you the passion behind the man, with him telling it as it is. Yes some of you might have your own opinion on the man, but you can not take away the fact that he is extremely talented!! So sit back, soak it in and take it for what it is…a talented individual explaining the industry as he sees it. This was one of my favourite features to do, hope you enjoy it:
MA: Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little bit of background on how you got started in photography?
My ‘journey’ has been, I guess, a sort of roller coaster kind of experience. I’ve been shooting for about 8 years now, exploring all different aspects of it. I tried all the boring stuff like landscapes, fashion, weddings etc. Personally I think that it’s soul killing. I eventually stumbled upon shooting parties and festivals. That’s what really keeps it exciting for me. From there I moved on to shooting video at these parties, which is a whole new creative angle to work with.
MA: What have been some of your influences in your career choice?
I’ve never really been an ‘academic’, so to speak. I’ve always enjoyed playing with cameras, and messing around with Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects. It seemed natural to head down the creative road in life and see where it takes me.
MA: What do you say your style of photography is and what has inspired you into that specific direction?
Over the years I’ve come to develop this sort of grungy and refined style. I also like to use a lot of fish eye where I can. I went this direction because it hadn’t been done in this scene yet.
MA: You are easily one of the most talented live event/party photographers we have come across, what has been your stand out event of the year so far?
Hahaha, thanks bud. Unfortunately due to having a full-time job and the amount of traveling I’ve had to do over this past year, I’ve sadly missed out on most of the big shows and festivals.
However, I was lucky enough to be in South Africa for this year’s Grietfest. Personally, Grietfest is the event I look forward to most. It is always a pleasure working with Johan Auriacombe. He is one of my favourite promoters in South Africa, and always throws a banger of a party that one should never miss!
MA: There are many amazing talented photographers in SA at the moment, what has you most excited about the industry at the moment?
I read this question over and over again, trying to think of some positive bullshit about how great it is shooting events and parties, or to inspire others to pick up a camera and start shooting. Instead I thought an honest, real answer would be better suited.
I’m probably going to end up alienating myself and come across as this arrogant cunt, but I really need to get my point out there. So here we go…
In the last few years, for professional photographers, shooting at events and parties has taken a huge hit. It has become so saturated with shit photographers just looking to make a quick buck, over charging and under delivering to the promoters. Quite honestly, this has really fucked me off. For the few photographers that actually take it seriously, it makes it almost impossible to get a promoter you’ve never worked with to trust you. It has taken me many years to get where I am now, and grow the relationships that I have with many of the big names in the event industry. I’m sure if you ask other photographers that have been around as long as I have, they will most certainly agree with this statement.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not having a go at everyone out there. Because through all the bullshit that’s around, there is some talent.
Now, I could be going out on a limb here by saying this on behalf of everyone, other photographers don’t have to agree with me and might not share the same point of view, but I can definitely say this for myself;
I believe that most of us have reached our peak here in the South African music industry. Slowly but surely our careers have begun to flat line at this level of strange limbo where we end up shooting the same events/festivals every month, every year. Some of the other photographers may be happy doing this for the next 5 years. However, I am not…
I’ve done my time. I sucked the industries proverbial dick for a long time to get where I am. But I feel I need more. My opinion is that Africa is the wrong continent to have a flourishing career shooting festivals and parties, and South Africa is going to take many more years to even begin to compete in the same league as American and European events. We will get there in due time, every year we are blessed with bigger artists coming to our country. But how long is it really going to take to get there?
I have decided to give myself a break, so to speak. Shooting fewer events than what I did before. I’ve begun to focus my energy on moving my career abroad, and within the next year I’m starting a new exciting journey, where doing what I love is taken seriously and you are given credit where it is due.
So either take what I have said and give it some good thought, or just brush it off as just a crazy rant from an arrogant cunt that doesn’t know what he’s talking about. After all, it’s just my opinion.
MA: To date, what has been your best achievement as a photographer?
Wow, this is actually a difficult question to answer. To choose one achievement is almost impossible. If I have to choose, I reckon it would be working with one of the world’s largest and reputable record companies, Sony Music Entertainment.
But to be honest, this is just one achievement out of many that I am extremely proud of.
MA: Is there anything you are working on that we would be interested in?
In fact there is. I was recently approached by the manager of DeaderThanDisco (South Africa’s biggest up and coming electro duo) and do some video work for them. We’re currently in the production stages of their EPK. There is also talk of doing some tour ‘webisodes’ for them. I can’t go into too much detail at the moment, but it’s going to be some pretty epic shit!
MA: Where can people follow you?
MA: Lastly, if you could shoot any festival in the world, what would it be?
This is also a tough question to answer. There are so many epic festivals around the world that I would love to shoot
Vans Warped Tour (US)
Reading Festival (UK)
Download Festival (UK)
-here is a whole bunch of more photography by Peter Hudson-