Richard Youngs: Holding On To The Holga

Glasgow-based musician Richard Youngs has just released his latest album called "Belief" and the front cover is made up entirely of analogue photos. We talked to him about his relationship with film photography and why he chose these images for the cover.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I live with my family in Glasgow where I make music. I've made too many records, but I can't help myself. It's a compulsion. Many of my more recent records have had photos taken with my Holga camera on them. The Belief cover is all Holga shots.

How did you get into film photography and what cameras or film do you like to use?

I dabbled as a teenager, mostly bleak industrial wasteland images - I was intense, you know... But, I never really enjoyed having to fuss about shutter speeds etc. So, when I found out about the Holga, I had to get one. This would have been about 4 or 5 years ago. It's got a Zen no-mind aspect to it that I love. I can just point and shoot, bypassing any conscious thought, the moment isn't lost to technical considerations. My excitement was ramped up no end by the possibility of multiple exposures, cross-processing, expired films... the more wrong, the better, really. I'm on my second Holga, I wore the other one out. I use Lomography films - I like the colour 800 one, always get nice results with that. But I am also fond of trawling ebay for expired 400 films, and bargain slide films. The oldest film I've dared so far expired in 1975. I took it to a beach on a very sunny day, and just about got something out of it.

Your film photos were used on your latest album, tell us why you decided to use these images?

I was in Barcelona, recording with my friend Raul at his studio. We broke for lunch and I handed him my Holga saying: "can you take some photos? Don't think what you're doing, don't care about winding the film on accurately, all mistakes are good." He took the portraits of me in probably under a minute. The black and white photos happened to be on another film I sent away for developing at the same time. There are a couple of some hills in Andalucía (I took a black and white film on holiday by mistake) and the central one that says 'Kindness' was taken in Todmorden - as you leave the train station you are greeted by this wonderful message. When these came back from the developers I laid out my favourites on the kitchen table, they formed a chequer board, I liked it, and thought... that'd be a nice album sleeve.

What's coming up in 2018 and will you be shooting more film?

I have some shows lined up. And, of course, I'll be taking my Holga with me. Tim Burgess who is part of O Genesis, the label that's releasing Belief, has asked me along to play some of his Tim Peaks diner events at various festivals including the Vinyl Adventures Record Fair in Northwich during May and in July, Kendal Calling - they'd be great to shoot some film at. A lot going on, lots to see and shoot.

Belief by Richard Youngs is out now on O Genesis

2018-03-16 #people #glasgow #uk #holga #richard-youngs #o-genesis

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