Interview: Will Sanders

Having already shot for M+C Saatchi, VW, Audi, Ikea, O2, TfL, i-D, Nylon, and pretty much every British newspaper, Will Sanders has an exciting career ahead of him. We had a quick chat to find out a little more about the man behind the camera.

Hi Will, how are you?
Good thanks.

The first series of yours that caught our attention was "Places & Things". In it you pick up on strange, funny, and uncanny parts of our world. Do you actively go out to seek these scenes, or do you just come across them?
A bit of both really, I love travelling and there are counties where you're more likely to see strange and amazing things. Mexico is heaven! I'm sure there are loads of countries I haven't been to yet that are also amazing, but photography to me is about how you see the world around you and if you see the world a certain way then you see the kind of things you respond to everywhere.

Is the series ongoing?
Yes. I don't really see it as a series. It's just the way I take photos.

You've shot a lot of commercial work, do you enjoy shooting it as as much as personal stuff?
I love shooting portraits and being sent to different places for magazines. A few years ago I was sent on a road trip of the black sea coast of Bulgaria in an old Mosqvich which was amazing. Advertising is good and I've had some really great jobs recently, but sometimes it can be hard to keep the spontaneity. To answer the question - I enjoy shooting my own stuff more and if I was made to choose between only shooting commercial or personal I'd go with personal every time.

When did you first realise photography could be a career for you?
I didn't really start taking photos properly until I was 26. I'd always loved taking photos but "proper" cameras always seemed so technical to me that I avoided them. Then when I met my wife after shooting photos on road trips across America, she convinced me to do an evening course at our local college where I found out that cameras aren't actually very complicated. Whilst still doing the course I had a fashion story published in TANK magazine (she did work there at the time though)!

Do you prefer viewing photographs printed or online?
A few years ago I would have said prints, but now I don't really have a preference. It's all getting people to see your images.

What's your go-to camera?
I've got a few. A Nikon D700 a Canon 5D Mark II and a Fuji X100. If I'm travelling I take them all and let the situation decide. I just got a D800 last weekend so one of the old ones has to go but I can't decide which one. I get very attached to my cameras!

What's your dream camera? If you don't already have it that is…
I'd love a Leica M9.

What photographer do you most admire?
There isn't one in particular but here's a few in no particular order - Joel Sternfield, Ernst Haas, Wim Wenders, Juergen Teller, Guy Bourdin, Martin Parr. There are loads more.

To finish, name five photos you wish were taken by you.
Can't think of five off the top of my head, but all of the photographers in the above list have photos that I'm in awe of.