Stevie Singh is an Edinburgh based, freelance lifestyle, portrait and events photographer. SJS Photography has shot for Red Bull UK, Southern Comfort UK, Crystal Head Vodka, Dewars Whisky, Elephant Gin and evenings with Lamborghini (to name a few) and is a regular on the Scottish events scene.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Stevie’s career launched during his first year as a photography student and he plans to continue into his HND in Photography, despite his early success. As well as brands and events, the photographer’s social media accounts focus on detailed images of the general public, each with a story to tell.
1. What was is that fuelled your interest in photography to begin with?
To be honest, growing up in a city with stunning architecture played a big part in it. It always grabbed my attention and when camera phones came out, it was an opportunity to take pictures and experiment with everything around me.
2. You regularly approach members of the public for portraits. Why do you think this appeals to your audience so much?
Everyone loves a story, don’t they? When HONY first appeared on Facebook, I was hooked and loved what it did, which was grabbing peoples attention. People could relate to strangers from the other side of the world and I just wanted to take a slice of that an implement it here. There was already a Humans of Edinburgh page, but I just wanted to put my own spin on it.
3. Do you have any influences?
Yes! Henri Cartier – Bresson, Steve McCurry, Jimmy Nelson, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Nadav Kander. The list goes on.
4. You are a regular photographer in the Edinburgh events scene. How do you make sure that you capture shots that will interest people?
To begin with, its being able to anticipate peoples movement and reading their body language. When seeing a group of people, you can tell when someone is telling a joke, story, whatever it may be. Its being able to see it happen before it actually does and then being able to freeze that split second to capture what I need.
5. How do you ensure you get natural shots whilst taking photos of people?
It can be difficult when that person sees you, because then the moment is gone, so it comes down to carefully watching people and reading their movement.
And just for fun…
6. When you’re old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about
I’m a little unsure, children can be very unpredictable (as I’ve found with my 2 year old nephew). If it’s anything, I’d tell them stories about my travels and stories of the people I’ve met through photography.
7. What was the last photo you took just for fun?
A selfie with my nephew.
8. What are you interested in that most people aren’t?
9. What’s the most interesting thing/person you’ve ever taken a picture of, and why?
I took a portrait of a man I’d met on Frederick Street and asked where he was from, his reply – “ I moved over from Perth, Australia but I’m not telling you why”. I just thought his response was brilliant and honest. You can see his portrait if you head on over to my Instagram account. Give me a follow while you’re there 😉
10. If you could take the photographs for any event/person in the world, what/who would it be and why?
Stevie Wonder performing his greatest hits at Edinburgh Castle with an orchestra – I’d die a happy man. I’ve been a huge fan for as long as I can remember, and we share the same name (haha!). I was lucky enough to see him perform in Brooklyn, New York and I cried like a wee girl.