A Photo Exhibition: James Adams

  • Life
posted by James Willmott

If you were in Byron Bay last Friday night, we can only hope you attended the magical evening that was the James Adams Photo Exhibition. If not, never fear… we’ve got you covered!

Held at none other than Afends HQ, the exhibition focused specifically on James’ favourite pieces captured while on the road shooting some of the world’s best musicians. With the town’s best Mexican food on hand and beers by Young Henrys thrown into the mix, it was a night everyone would remember.

We were more than happy to get the invite down, where we caught up with the man himself to talk about the exciting event, what favourite pieces were featured and what makes these opportunities so special.

Tell us about the exhibition?
Until recently, I’d never done a exhibition before and I was really keen to start exposing my work. I had a bunch of bands that were willing to show support by playing for me, so I thought the most appropriate thing to do would be to have this particular exhibition, which is my second, dedicated to my music related photos. There are a couple of live shots presented, but the night basically focuses on musicians just hanging out, that’s the stuff I really love to capture. In the future I’ll definitely feature other styles of my work, but for this one I was really keen on showing off my music work, I feel like it’s my strongest suit. I didn’t want to do an exhibition in the formal sense, I wanted it to be in a party style atmosphere so people could see my photos in the same type of environment that they were taken in.

Why did you hold it at Afends?
I’ve got old friendships with some of the guys from Afends. I invited them to my last exhibition in Sydney, but they couldn’t make it, so they asked when I was bringing one up this way. I quickly just said ‘I’m willing to take it anywhere as long as the place can hang my prints and have a band play.” They just recently had a space made available and offered it to me, so there was absolutely no reason to say no.

What’s your favourite piece in the exhibition and why?
A lot of them have a heap of sentimental value to me, but I really like one in particular, this one on the subway in New York. It was my first time to New York and The Delta Riggs were a lot smaller than what they are now. I wasn’t really getting paid, it was just like a project made of love. We would all get the subways everywhere with all the music equipment. The feel of the image is really strong, and you almost can’t even tell who it is. It almost looks like he doesn’t know me, and I don’t know him, I just like it.

What was it shot with?
It was shot on a Contax G2, which is pretty much my go to camera at the moment. One of my friends was selling one and I didn’t really know what it was, but looked at some photos taken with the camera and realised that I really liked the style. It’s quite contrasty and dark, but it’s well suited to what I like to shoot and since then it’s been my favourite camera.

What’s the best thing about having these exhibitions?
It’s a lot of work and a weird feeling to be honest, especially when you are hanging all your work for everyone to see. Because it’s so personal, the whole feeling of strangers looking at work so close to you sometimes makes you pretty nervous. I just want everyone to be able to come together and enjoy it as much as I do.

You had your last one in Sydney, and now this one on the shores of Byron Bay. Can we expect a third?
I don’t have anything planned yet, but I’m definitely not counting anything out. It just depends if there is something available at the time and the situation is right. I’m really open to all these ideas and I love bringing people together for all the right reasons. I think sharing this kind of vibe is really important, and it feels good to be able to give back, even if it is just a little bit at a time.

Check out some shots of the night:

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An obvious man of talent behind the lens, he has recently joined the SurfStitch family as an official ambassador. To see more, check out his official interview HERE, or see him kicking around in our Distressed Denim Campaign for some inspiration on must have wardrobe staples.

*Imagery by Chris Cooney