Last week I caught up with the extremely talented fashion photographer, Darcy Campbell. This guy is young, passionate and super chill. Kicking back after work, Darcy filled me in on his creative evolution, how he’s finding small city living and lets us in on his plans for the next 12 months.
How did you start your photography journey?
I get asked this all the time and I have no idea. In a non-typical 18 year old boy way, I just love girls. Not being a weirdo, but I do. I just love their faces, the shape, everything. In year 10 or maybe even year 8, my mum gave me a camera. We were into skateboarding so it started off with skateboard photography and then urban photography and then when I was hanging out with friends I’d take photos of them. It ended up turning into what it is now. There was never really a big, “Hey, this is what I want to do.” It was very gradual. An evolution. That’s why there’s a big street influence in it, because of the skateboarding. Then it turned into streetwear, and girls in streetwear. Now I’m doing more studio stuff which is different. It’s the next step.
What do you look for when choosing a model?
Not your typical pretty face. I mean, pretty faces are great but sometimes I prefer something that sets them a little bit aside from the rest. Whether it be the shape of their face or their size (if they’re really short of tall), but there’s no real process.
Do you feel your style has developed from street to fashion?
Well street is very in fashion now. Just look at New York Fashion Week and it’s all about streetstyle, who’s wearing what. I love clothes, I love shoes. Shoes in streetwear is a big culture in itself. I guess to make money you need to photograph something that is sellable, so thats where clothes come in as well.
You’ve started to work with some emerging designers who all share your aesthetic. How is that going? Who have you got in the works?
That has been super cool! I found Miss Liu through your photos [Miss Liu at Designer Q]. I emailed her the second I saw them and I was like, “We need to collaborate!” She was really cool. She emailed me back the next day. We made a Pinterest board before we even shot and there were pins saved on her mood board that were in mine. We had the exact same look, the exact same eye for fashion and just imagery in general.
“She sends up clothes, I send back photos. It’s been working really well!”
I’ve been talking to some fashion students and Jessinta Jones, one of the Undress Runway organisers. We’ve already done some stuff and have more projects in the works already. Working with someone who’s actually studying fashion has been super helpful for me too because I haven’t done any sort of education in photography or fashion so surrounding myself with people who are educated has been very helpful.
You’ve spoken in previous interviews about your decision to study business rather than photography. Can you tell me more about that?
Just working here [Photopro Toowoomba], so many photographers come through the door and they’re like, “I’m a good photographer but terrible with money.” I kept hearing this over and over again, so I thought I’d study the money. I didn’t really want to be taught photography either because it has evolved for me over time and I didn’t want to hear someone else’s thoughts on how I should be doing things.
“I’m not interested in learning the traditional stuff.”
Do you have any plans to expand the Darcy Campbell brand?
For the time being I really want to put my head down and finish my degree. That’s really the only thing stopping me from leaving Toowoomba. As soon as that’s done, I will be off to Melbourne, or anywhere but here. There are a lot of closed minded people here, even with what I wear. I’m loving the Yeazy thing, but a lot of people look at you strangely, going, “What’s that thing you’re wearing?” But definitely, I’ll get out of Toowoomba and continue to work with the same sort of labels I’m working with now, but in a bigger sense.
“Long term goals are like, New York. Somewhere bigger than here.”
I was going to ask you, how do you feel about Toowoomba’s growing creative scene?
Don’t get me wrong, there are some super talented people in Toowoomba, but for what I want to do it’s not there yet. Everyone’s like, Toowoomba is a mini-Melbourne, but it’s a tiny Melbourne. Just because we have a laneway culture doesn’t mean we’re Melbourne. At all. It just means we’re trying. We’re opening cafes and all of a sudden we’re being compared to something we’re not.
Congratulations on your recent exhibition. Were you excited about how many people turned up for that?
Yeah! When it started, there was no one there so I was going to go home. Then people rolled in pretty quickly. My girlfriend said, “All of these people are here for you!” That was really cool.
How did you feel seeing your work on the wall?
It was cool! I’m kind of used to it [some of Darcy’s work hangs on the walls of Photopro Toowoomba]. It was good seeing it, but a bit nerve wracking. There were people I didn’t know coming through and picking it apart, in a good way, so it was cool.
Is the exhibition thing something you’ll do very much?
I actually have another one in the works for June/July. I’ll keep you posted!
What are your plans for 2017?
Just refining what I’m doing. Getting more of the streetwear stuff on the go, but also exploring other avenues. I’m keen to do more of the studio stuff but trying to bring the streetwear into the studio. I’m working on a book with a designer and it’s all going to be very streetwear, but in studio. That’s a good experiment. Plus another book with another fashion student, Jessinta Jones who is Sint. which will be a super cool collaboration so I’m keen to see how that goes.
All photos by Morgan Smith for the Morgan Journal.