Meet Declan May, ‘Student’ Winner in the MC Photo Comp

Declan May, winner of our Student category hails from the Gold Coast.

Shooting with his Dad’s Pentax Spotmatic since he was a grom, Declan’s managed to amass shoeboxes and suitcases overflowing with prints. Spending a year in Denmark finishing his engineering degree made him realise that taking photos didn’t have to be just a side hobby, and he went on to finish up a Bachelor of Photography back home at the Queensland College of the Arts. Preferring digital for work, and film for everyday personal projects, Declan’s aim every time is to create genuine, simple imagery. We caught up with Declan to find out if whether he’d spend all his prize money on beer.

What are you gonna do with the 5k?

I barely know what to do with the novelty cheque you guys gave me, let alone the real deal. Probably new gear, there’s a bunch of gear I’d love to experiment with.

Has taking a photo ever gotten you in trouble?

Not that I know of, hopefully it stays that way!

If you could be on a shoot with any photographer, who would they be and why?

Living? Inez and Vindooh, when I saw the campaign they did for Chloè Fall 2010 it was clever and refreshing for the time. Dean West has some pretty awesome personal stuff too that I’ve been digging lately,plus he’s a QLD boy doing big things in NYC.

What do you dig most about your winning photo?

It’s nostalgic, it’s multi-layered and fractured, and it takes a while to figure out exactly what you’re looking at and even then your not sure. Like déjà vu.

What’s the one shot that got away? 

My first trip to Europe when I was a kid was amazing and eye opening, I have so many magical memories of the north coast of Spain. Not long after that trip some asshole broke into the family car and stole the camera and hard drive, losing almost a decade of personal images. Losing all those images sucked so much. Probably why I prefer to shoot my personal stuff on film, and I am OCD about my backups.

Dream subject/location to shoot?

That’s a pretty tough question, I would love to do a campaign up in Kimberly region. Get a good crew together and really celebrate the Australian landscape, draw some direction from the great Henry Talbot. It would be a pretty magical trip.

Check out more of Declan’s work on his website here or on Instagram @ddeclan and while you’re at it, why don’t you just pick up a copy of our Photo Annual?

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