large image

Friends of BEGG & CO Joshua Atkins

Joshua Atkins is a portrait and events photographer based in Kent, taking commissions throughout the UK. Joshua has worked with clients including Rough Trade Records, Tate Modern and Converse, and his work has been featured in publications such as GQ, Vogue and Financial Times.

What are you doing to stay positive in this current climate?

My girlfriend and I moved house at the start of the month, the timing of which has been interesting. It has given us a lot to do around the new place to keep busy and start getting organised but has also limited how we can really put our stamp on it, as it's tricky getting out to get bits that we need. We have a sofa now so it's at least more comfortable when we are stuck indoors.

To help me creatively, I have been taking my camera with me more when going for my allotted daily exercise. I have found myself looking more and noticing things that perhaps I wouldn't have photographed before the lockdown, so it's been really refreshing in that regard. It's hard having work cancelled and being uncertain about your future as an artist, but trying to maintain positivity and continuing to make images for myself has been important.

How are you staying connected with those around you?
It's hard not to feel cut off but like most people I'm making the most of the internet and have done more 'pub' quizzes with friends over the past couple of weeks than in the previous couple of years.

Is there something that you've watched or read recently that you find uplifting?

I'm not a huge reader, it's just something I struggle to keep my mind concentrated on. My bookshelf is populated by photo books and those about taking care of house plants. I did get a copy of Tom Oldham's project 'The Last of the Crooners' recently, a record and series of photographs produced at the Palm Tree, his local pub in Bow. The images document the singers and musicians that perform there each weekend and are so wonderful. Tom is a good friend and an incredible photographer. Not only do the images feel rich and full of life, showing a part of the UK that has to be treasured, it also reminds you of what will hopefully still be there once this crazy period in time is over. Something to look forward to.

Are you WFH, if so do you have any advice to stay focused?Make lists! I've been trying to make a list each day of things that I need to do. Even then I get distracted, but I'm slowly getting through stuff that I should have been on top of a while back. Reward yourself with food or some fresh air.

Who is your favourite artist?

Artist artist would be Matisse, specifically his cut outs. The freedom of them is amazing, especially when you consider his condition when he was producing them.

Music wise, always going to love Bowie but at the moment I'm listening to Black Midi, 404, Mount Eerie, Madonna and Pinegrove. Not all in one go.

Any recipes perfect for self-isolation?

My girlfriend made an amazing sweet chilli tofu dish today. Super easy, just fry off some tofu with garlic, sweet chilli sauce and agave syrup for whatever sweetness you want. Serve it up with coconut rice and what vegetables you've got in the fridge.

You can follow Joshua via his Instagram: @joshuaatkins

Friends of Begg & Co