James Bellorini is a localBrighton-based commercial & editorial photographer who has been taking obscure and iconic photos of our city for his latest social media campaign. BN1 spoke to him about his photographic treasure hunt, #BellorinisBrighton.
“My grandfather always had a camera with him, always taking photos, always teaching me to how to holdtheuse a camera.”
His grandfather’s passion was passed down the bloodline to James Bellorini, a local Brighton photographer. PerhapsMissing a generation when his father was gifted with a camera in the early 1980’s, telling James: “I can’t work it out, you try.” His father never saw that camera again. Currently, Bellorini is working on a project For his campaign James has been taking obscure shots of well known Brighton landmarks to encourage people to look at normal places in more detail. “I wouldn’t usually shoot like that, it was good for me to look at things in a different way. I’ve been looking forIt’s an optical illusions of what people see around them.”
Attention to detail isn’t an unfamiliar concept to James, who is trained in fine art and photography. He was a keen student and was taken under the wing of his tutor, despite being marked down for spending too much time in the darkroom. Fresh from his studiesfoundation course, he became a commercial photographer, focussing on interior design, until life got in the way and he hung up his camera to begin a career in television, theatre and film. When heBellorini eventually returned to his roots, he was to find that the darkroom was no more, the move to digital had happened. “I bought a digital camera, I’d missed all the changes but this was fun, I can develop itimages on my own on my computer.” In 2013, he quit his job, started his own business and picked up where he left off. In terms of style, he loves to capture something authentic. “I do whatever it takes to tell the story. This is perhaps where the unguarded or unpolished moments are the ones that win for me. They don’t fit the bill of what is deemed ‘perfect’ photography but they tend to hold more immediacy, spontaneity or emotion.” He brings his knowledge of improvisation from his years in theatre and TV to his photography often to keep his subjects engaged and himself present in the moment. BelloriniJames is excited by new trends evolving within the artphotography scene, such as the recent ‘colour surge’, where colour is used a compositional tool. “It is quite profound in helping us see the world differently as we don’t often see things of similar hue captured together in the real world. I want to respond to this trend, it makes me want to experiment with ideas and my cameras.” He seems to always want to learn more, within the world and within his own craftart. “I always consider myself to be a novice, I want to know what can I do better next time, I don’t want to rest on my laurels.”
Looking to the future, alongside working relationships with Glyndebourne and the National Theatre, BelloriniJames is currently hoping to exhibit a project with two other photographers, displaying on the topic of gender-defined objects. A lover of rebellion and kicking against the norm, this project will show his work doing just that. “We always consider lipstick to be female and Action Man to be male, I am doing a project which is subverting that.”
His dream project is to honour his Italian heritage, with a photographic journey from Northern to Southern Italy, however being the busy man he is, he can’t see a time he’ll be able to take six weeks out to do it.
The future will, of course, include more photographs of Brighton, Bellorini’s home. “It has an edge to it which London has lost. People are proud to live here. We’re so lucky, how cool is that?”