Interview with Street Style Photographer "Blouchiano"
Growing up in the South of London, most young black men succumb to being a product of their environment; often finding solace in the street life and getting involved in a lifestyle that typically leads them astray. This was the past reality for Marcus Buckley who found an outlet from the fast street life through discovering his love for photography.
Undoubtedly, the fashion industry is already cut throat and competitive as is and being a street style photographer is no different, especially as a freelancer. I had the chance to catch up with Marcus, known professionally as “Blouchiano” and ask him a few questions about being a street style photographer in such a competitive industry.
Q: Where are you from?
A: "I am from London, UK and my background is Caribbean of Jamaican decent."
Q: Why the name Blouchiano?
A: "Blouchino is a combination of the first letter of my surname starting with a B and my middle name being Luchiano. The story behind it is that I basically started fashion week and needed a profile page and coincidently woke up in the middle of the night before fashion week started and shouted out the name Blouchiano. When I woke up and consciously wrote it down on a piece of paper, I realized that I had combined the first letter of my last name and my middle name and creatively came up with that name which has just stuck with me."
Q. How did you get started and why do you do what you do?
A: "I got started with photography because I found a common similarity from a deceased cousin of mine that genuinely didn’t take pictures. We both never really took pictures of ourselves or capture any memorable moments, so I started taking pictures not only as a way to capture moments, but also to engage more with people. I felt the need to engage and connect with people and I admire the concept of capturing moments. Now I live through some of my images and if there are any moments from the pictures I take, I can look back and know that I took that picture and it brings back the essence of where I was and what I was doing at the time."
Q: What made you interested in street style photography?
A: "I got a camera and started taking pictures of people on the street. One day I was out taking pictures and I bumped into a girl who asked if I would be attending London Fashion Week. It wasn’t anything that I ever thought of, but when I looked up I saw a billboard advertising London Fashion Week and decided to go for it and the rest was history. That is how I got started with street style photography for fashion weeks."
Q: How long have you been doing photography?
A: "I’ve been doing photography for about 5 years, but if was to count the amount of times I’ve picked up my camera and add up the amount of months I’ve been consistently shooting specifically for fashion weeks, then it would be about a year."
Q: What is your personal style when taking pictures (photographic style)?
A: "That’s a difficult question, I haven’t really mastered the art of identifying my specific photography style, or what would be considered a style. At the moment I tend to shoot what I like or what captures my eyes. I find that I’m really into accessories at the moment, so like footwear, bags, leather goods, and earrings things like that. I like women jeans and a nicely put together blouse, ideally just someone that looks well put together and stylish. I do also like portraits and I like items that have bold sayings. So if I can see clothing that has writing on it, I tend to also want to shoot that."
Q: What kind of camera do you shoot with?
A: "I started off with a Nikon D3100, I then went to a D7000 and now I’m currently using a D810."
Q: Who inspires you and what work has influenced you the most?
A: "I wouldn’t say anyone specifically inspires me, but a majority of the photographers that I shoot around and within my field are very talented, and I try to immerse myself around them and learn as much as I can from being around them."
Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do and why?
A: "It’s just an excitement, there’s so much adrenaline in this type of photography. Running around from place to place and trying to find the right opportunity to capture the perfect image.
It has also given me the opportunity to come in contact with a lot of celebrities that I’ve grown up watching and admire. Sometimes I do get star-struck, but I try to maintain my composure even though I am secretly bursting on the inside."
Q: What would you say is the most challenging part about what you do?
A: "Ha, that’s the story of my life when it comes to photography. I’m more of a hands on person so I haven’t rectified my difficulties as the industry I’m in at the moment is very fast paced, meaning you need to be consistent and fast and I’m also not as tech savvy as I need to be. Adapting to being a creative and not allowing competition to get the best of me, because I guess the idea of being a creative is still new to me and until I really grasp that concept of being a creative and owning it as mine, it’ll be a challenge for me."
Q: What are your long-term goals with photography?
A: “Photography is obviously always going to be a part of my life and what I enjoy, but I guess taking my photography to the next level and getting to a point of building more of my brand “Blouchiano” by going towards design. I like to consider myself as a jack of all trades, meaning that I think I am pretty good at most things that I try. I feel like I have a good taste when it comes to women’s clothing, so that is something I am interested in getting my hands in, but more in the direction of a luxury brand."
Q: Do you feel like where you’re from has had any significant impact on your work in photography, whether positively or negatively?
A: "I think where I am from has actually given me a positive edge in terms of steering me away from the direction I was headed, because it is obvious that the black minority are slightly deprived of opportunities. If I had better opportunities in life growing up, I might have not seen life from a certain point of view. The negatives of my background and surroundings definitely have inspired me and taken me to this journey that I am in now. So I guess my upbringing has played a role in where I would ultimately like to go."
Q: What advise would you give to anyone else trying to do what you do?
A: "The advice I would give, is study the industry that you’re going into, or want to get into, have fun and go for it. You can never be too prepared but try to prepare yourself as best as you can. Regardless of your doubts, just go for it and never give up, NEVER!"
To see more of Blouchiano's photography, check him out on Instagram: @mr_blouchiano.