VIEW | 1 April 2021
Photos & Text: Stewart Bywater
Model in Title Photo: Amelia Clarkson
Intro: Celine Lika
When Stewart moved to Paris, his father gave him a special parting gift: a digital camera. Today, he's a portrait and fine art photographer based in London. During lockdown, like many of us, Stewart has had to rely on Zoom for work. However, in a slightly different way than most: He used the programme to take pictures. This resulted in the following photo series, which features a number of amazing high-profile actors.
While I’m very visually minded, I think the main reason I’m drawn to photography is my love of people. My job has enabled me to connect and create with so many people from incredibly different backgrounds, cultures, countries and lifestyles. I can’t think of any other job that would have led to my meeting such a diverse and wonderful number of people. I like to make portraits that empower people to feel good about themselves, but also to celebrate their idiosyncrasies and that which makes them unique.
Over lockdown, I had to learn to shoot in a completely different way, and as Zoom started to take off as a way of staying in touch with my friends, I decided to try and use it as a way of shooting with people too. It has been such a godsend to me, as not only did it mean I could carry on creating with some of my amazing friends all around the world, it also threw me a bit of a lifeline in terms of providing some human contact during a time when I’ve been separated from everyone I know.
I got into photography when I was living in Paris, as my father had bought me a Konica Minolta digital bridge camera to take with me. I started out taking shots of flowers in the Jardin de Luxembourg at weekends, but this quickly progressed to taking pictures of my friends and a bit of street photography. A year and a half later, I was the Features Writer for one of the UK’s top photography magazines, and then moved into television where I worked for a few years, ultimately becoming a shooting producer/director before deciding to return to my true passion of photography.
Having said that, I’m working on a couple of film projects at the moment that will hopefully come to life in the next few years once I’ve exhibited and published my 2 current projects.