Like his compelling photographic art, a lot has gone into making Gavin Goodman a man so worth knowing. Behind this winner of last year’s Hasselblad Master award is a husband, a new father, lifelong surfer, dog lover and man who wants to tell a story in every image.

Although he worked as a cinematographer in the local film industry for numerous year, Gavin always felt a pull and strong fascination towards still-images. Despite working consistently as a director of photography, he found himself becoming creatively stifled. That is when he decided to make the transition to the incredible world of still photography.

“As a photographer, what I really enjoy is the fact that I’m in control of the aesthetic, the lighting, the composition, as well as directing the talent, and I love having both those roles,” he explains.

With an eye for storytelling and the technical knowledge of light and camera gained over the years of working in the film industry, Gavin has great versatility as a photographer. We joined him behind the scenes of one of his latest series.

“I love shooting in studio where I have full control over the lighting, I can craft it, take my time and create that look that really resonates with me,” he says, “and I love creating images that are African inspired but have got a very bold, modern, simplistic, aesthetic to them.”

“One of the things that I think is really exciting and fun about doing what I do is that you can you can never exactly master it,” explains Gavin, “as your point of view and your style is shifting and changing, it directly translates to the work and that’s why it’s important to kind of keep creating.”  But it was when the artist committed to time off each year, that perspective and serious recognition came.

Recently, Gavin received a prestigious photographic award called the Hasselblad Masters. For the competition, he entered three images in the art category from three different shoots.

“When I got nominated as one of the top ten finalists, that to me was as exciting as winning and then when I found out that I’d actually won the art category, it was really surreal,” explains Gavin, “it’s quite motivating …to get acknowledgment from people that are really well-regarded in what they do, just to remind me to keep going.”

Which he did. As well as getting married in lockdown, Gavin decided it was time to act on an idea he’d had for years.   

“I started this agency called Semblance Agency, where we specialise in photographic art for the hospitality market and when I was doing my networking and starting out with the agency, I came across a few people that mentioned that The Rockefellers is at a stage where they’re looking for art,” he explains. 

“I contacted one of the developers, and he showed my work to the clients and the interior design agency, and they really liked it, and they say an aesthetic fit for the style for the hotel that they were designing, and that’s how it started.” After Gavin’s eighteen years of dedication to his art, is there one key thread running through it?

“The overarching theme and message for my work is, for me it’s more evoking a feeling than saying anything very specific,” he says, “I like to keep a lot of my work a little more subjective in the layers of meanings and things that people see.”

“I kind of do that through a very considered colour palette, which subconsciously evokes a certain response when people see it and combining that with a really big, beautiful lighting setup.” And his advice to fellow creatives?

“The best advice I could give creatives is just to keep creating, it sounds simple but there are a lot of times when you’re not very motivated and if you just push through, keep creating, you start to hone and develop your point of view even further.”

The latest equipment, lenses or apps don’t make the artist, staying the course does.

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