a little bit of everything and a whole lot of film

5 Feb 2018

Interview | Pablo Strong

It's funny how my long and somewhat painful search for the MJU ii has introduced me to so many phenomenal YouTube channels and photographers. I found Pablo through his Olympus MJU ii videos, particularly this one:

I must have watched this countless of times. Firstly, because I needed to justify my overwhelming desire to have the MJU ii in my arsenal, which if you shoot film, you'd know that this nifty little camera now costs an arm and a leg (and probably a kidney). Secondly because the UK is one of my favourite places in the world and this video made me feel as though I were walking the streets of London myself. Imagine my delight when I saw that he has an ongoing series called "Streets of London" wherein he interviews people on, that's right, the streets of London.

Pablo has a way of bringing out the personalities of the people he interviews that makes you feel as though you've taken a glimpse into some of their deepest thoughts. He presents the videos in such a way that you feel comfortable; as though you are listening to two friends chatting. Inspired; because the stories that these people have are relatable, as life is to everyone (up and down, happy and sad, trying to get on). Bittersweet; because some stories may tug at the heartstrings. Interspersed with shots of everyday street life in lovely London, Pablo's videos have actually inspired me to resurrect this interview series from hibernation.

A theatre performer by night and a photographer by day, along with running his YouTube channel, Pablo has his plate full but he exudes happiness and contentment, as with all people who live out their passions and follow their dreams.

May this remind us to always follow our dreams.

1. Place of birth.
Pablo: London

2. Most inspiring travel destination?
Pablo: It would have to be the Scottish highlands. My wife and I stayed in a secluded hunting lodge for a week with not another human being for miles. No phones, no clocks, no tv, no internet. It taught me to unplug from everything and relaaaaaxx.

3. Top 5 things on your bucket list.
Pablo: Recently I stopped setting myself goals and cleared the bucket list. For me, goals distract me from enjoying the present, and once I've achieved a goal, the satisfaction is short lived before another goal takes its place. For what it's worth, I think that goal setting is at the heart of so much disappointment in our world! Sorry, that answer was a bit heavy...

4. What is your greatest extravagance?
Pablo: Indulging in guilt-free free time. And drones.

5. What brought you into film photography? How long have you been shooting?
Pablo: I first got into photography as a child. I bought an Olympus OM10 on eBay and with the help of my dad, learned the basics of photography right through to developing B&W film. Back then digital cameras were either very expensive or crap so film was actually the cheapest option!

6. Favourite film stock?
Pablo: At the moment, Kodak Portra 400 although I'd love to try some of that CineStill stuff.

7. Why film though?
Pablo: Film is a good way of learning how to use a camera properly. It is very unforgiving so it teaches you to really work on your use of light. I have to say however that I am primarily a digital shooter. It just gives me so much more control in post production over the final image and gives me much more control in low light than film could.

8. YouTube or Instagram?
Pablo: At the moment YouTube.

9. Colour or black and white?
Pablo: Colour. I've never really seen the point of black and white photography I'm afraid. With my photography, I aim to capture what I see and interpret with my own eyes. I see in colour, so why remove colour from photographs?

10. Early bird or night owl?
Pablo: Well, as a theatre performer I work mainly at night which I love doing but since getting a dog I am having to learn to be an early bird too... so a bit of both really.

11. What was one insecurity you had about yourself and what did you do to overcome it?
Pablo: When I started my 'Streets of London' series on my YouTube channel, I felt uneasy about asking personal questions to strangers on the street but what I quickly found was that people love to have a chance to talk about themselves and to be listened to. A bit like me answering your questions!

12. Describe yourself in one word.
Pablo: Content.

13. What makes you happy?
Pablo: Having absolutely nothing to do.

14. Name three inspirations.
Pablo: The Beatles, Eckhart Tolle and my dog! Haha. Watching how much enjoyment she gets out of the simple things in life reminds me that life needn't be so complicated.

All photos by Pablo Strong

Follow him
Instagram - @pablostrong
YouTube - Pablo Strong
Website - www.morepablostrong.com

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