July 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

“Allow yourself to become distracted. It's the essence of my work.”

Kim SalmonKim Salmon Live by Barry C. Douglas                                                                                Barry C. Douglas - Kim Salmon Live

Born in Scotland and arriving to Australia at 8 years old, Barry C. Douglas is growing very quickly in popularity amongst the live music scene in Melbourne with his portrait and live photography. However, he documents the city’s progressing life in society and this world for what it is from the sidelines.

His documentary style is what it should be, raw and does not falsely advertise a different reality, just what is there in front of you in that moment of time, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you.

On his website ( he states “…I'm hardly a leader. I'm a bit lost to be honest, always looking for a way to go back on my word. “

In this article, I will be digging deeper to see what lies beneath and behind the lens to see where this unpredictable map will lead…

“I have spent my whole life watching people and want to see things unfold as they would without my influence.”

We tend to forgot that life can be less from what we try to trick the world with in our marketing schemes, overly touched up photographs and smiling people posing to make things look amazing. There is a lot more to this reality than we actually care to notice.

What influenced your decision to be that person that doesn’t get fully involved and capture moments in time?

I'm not sure it was a decision as much as it was the natural way to approach the work I do and I was happy with that arrangement. 

I'm actually very involved with my own work and ideas, just not with world around me.

I have spent my whole life watching people and want to see things unfold as they would without my influence. Not being involved means I don't like interfering. I need to be able to watch without tripping over people and who they are.

“I don't want to take a photo of someone drunk with their arm around their best mate at a party, or a corporate headshot for a pamphlet.”

I'm a CCTV operator not a reality show producer. 

During your photographic studies, what challenges did you encounter and overcome?

I'm still studying, probably always will be. As far as the actual college I attended. I wouldn't suggest anybody studies photography. It's a dying industry and nobody is willing to tell you that. If you like taking photos, do a marketing course and learn how to sell yourself. You can do that as a bad photographer but being good at it and having no idea about business is the real challenge.

Coming from a broader sense of your creativity, who inspires you to do the work that you do?

My own imagination is my biggest influence. My imagination can be inspired by a lot of things but rarely other photographers or photographs. 

It's mostly triggered by sounds, music experimentation by people like Jason Lescalleet and Oren Ambarchi. Films too, like David Lynch for more dreamy personal work and People like Woody Allen for the street photos. That is quite broad though as any given day or mindset can give me something.

Barry C. Douglas - Self Portrait                                                                      Barry C. Douglas - Self-Portrait

Being visual, how do you see the world around you and how has this work impacted on your views?

The world around me scares me and makes me very anxious, similar to a horror film. Not scared enough to stay home but scared enough that I might find something. 

I always see sadness and chaos in life, rarely do I see something warm and photograph it. This is all relative to me however, someone might see a photo of an old man in the city that I've taken and think it’s beautiful. Whereas I think, this man is so lonely, all his friends are gone, it's cold and nobody visits. I better get a photograph and record this before we're too late to say anything...

“The impact of thinking this way is heavy. I've given myself a huge responsibility.”

Where do you see your creative journey taking you?

No idea. I'd like to do a book at some point. I'd also love to be commissioned by the city for something.

For those inspiring creatives, what lessons or words of advice would you give them?

“Allow yourself to become distracted. It's the essence of my work.”

Barry C. Douglas - Big Day                                                                         Barry C. Douglas - Big Day



By Tjanatja Cavenett (Lilly Pilly Arts)


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