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Behind the Lens: James Hartley

Behind the Lens: James Hartley


Adelaide expat James Hartley has made a name for himself the world over with his candid and raw snapshots of everyday life - oh, and he's stepped behind the lens for some amazing editorials for C/MEO COLLECTIVE and BNKR too. We chat with the photographer about dream collabs, selfie sticks and the best place to grab breakfast in NYC. Age: 29 Birth place: Adelaide, Australia Current location: Brooklyn, New York Instagram: @hartleyphoto

BNKR: Why did you make the move to the US? Hartley: I’ve always dreamt of living and working in New York, so when the opportunity presented itself, I had to take it. Australia will always be home, but I’m enjoying the change of scenery.

How did you get into photography? Through skateboarding; filming friends and reading skate magazines.

What was the first camera you ever used? Probably a waterproof disposable camera on the Yorke Peninsula when I was in school.

How did you move into fashion? Charlotte and Simone from Attitude Magazine approached me about shooting an editorial for them about two years ago. It was something new and different; I did it. I enjoyed it. Working with a team to create an image or a look is something that really resonates with me.

Hartley's work for C/MEO COLLECTIVE.

What camera do you always carry with you? Fuji x100s – it’s the perfect walk around.

Dream location? Just moved to it!

Describe your feeling when you’re behind the lens? Happy...to not be in front of it.

Whose work do you admire most? Bill Cunningham. Bill Murray. Barnacle Bill.

Ultimate collaboration? Would love to work with Daft Punk on something. Anything. Please.

Soundtrack when you’re shooting? At the moment it’s D’Angelo - Black Messiah.

Do you use filters? Strictly selfie sticks.

B E S T   I N   N Y C

Coffee: Cafe con leche from Le Major.

Bar: Kingston Hall. Bossa Nova Civic Club.

Hungover breakfast: Champs Diner. Anywhere with bottomless Bloody Marys.

Place for hangs: Summer - McCarren Park; skateboarding and beers. Any rooftop. Rockaway Beach. Winter - my studio. Los Hermanos. The fireplace at Kingston Hall.

Touristy spot: Walking Williamsburg Bridge.

Neighbourhood: Bushwick or Alphabet City.

Photographer: Kalen Hollomon.

W H E N   Y O U ' R E   T R A V E L L I N G

Hostels or hotels: Hotels. Backpackers are weird.

First thing you do when you land: Smoking Area.

Cars, planes or trains: Planes.

Suitcase essentials: Beard brush.

Solo or with friends: Friends. 100%.



Type of photo to shoot: The candid ones. Time and place scenarios.

Destination: One with friends. Maybe I’m homesick.

Places to shoot in the US: You can’t beat the light in L.A. New York is amazing, although it’s cold as shit right now. Anywhere with interesting people. Middle America is something...

Way to unwind: Skateboarding.

All images courtesy of James Hartley. You can view James Hartley's work here, and follow him on Instagram @jameshartley.

Words: Lucy Ahern
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