Rapper King KaiowMax Colson
is a London-based "digital photographer with an eye on photojournalism". He submitted some work and we began an email exchange about his use of stills within video, his attitudes towards documentary photography, the weather (we are both British after all!) and since he had submitted an eloquent artist statement, we decided he should tell his story.
"I began making serious attempts at documentary photo projects at the tail end of 2008, so it's safe to say that I am an incredibly young photographer. Over 2009 I gained more experience documenting not only the participants of the UK's full contact fighting scene, but also the rappers involved in London's underground rap scene [in two separate projects]; by the end of the year I felt that I taken my two projects as far as they could go. I was completely wrong.
Although I was not quite conscious of it at the time, my aim was largely to go in and take 'great pictures' in quite a show and tell fashion. More than anything else, I took photos in order for people to understand that I was a photographer, and that I had the so-called 'eye'. Looking back on these photos now I can see that perhaps it was my personal quest for the dramatic which was often the overriding factor in my work.
I think the reasons behind why people take documentary photographs is an incredibly important area in photojournalism today. I speculate that the influence of commerce conflicts with representing things as they really are and I think that the demands of commercial news creates a tension in any profession which has appointed itself as a recorder of history. I am currently producing a video which deals with this topic, and uses my images."
For more on Max, visit his website
. I learned something new on his blog
All images from RAW: The London Rap Scene © Max Colson