Sean Hartgrove is one of the photographers which contributes to “InkSpired” every issue. A lot of his work is documentary based, using environmental portraiture to show tattooists and piercers among other interesting individuals.
In this story for Issue 52, Hartgrove uses a documentary style to follow a man helping homeless people. The choice of using documentary over studio allows for the images to be seen as a more serious matter by the readers, and also it adds a realistic element, whereas studio can be seen as being perhaps manipulated and seems “fake”. I think the use of natural lighting versus studio lighting helps to soften the images also, as this is a serious story the images have to be quite calm and soft to help the readers to establish an emotional response to the story. I feel the use of the image overlapping the title page is a way of doing this, by putting a face to the title of “Man on a Mission” allows the readers to establish a relationship with who this story is about and who this person is straight away.
In Issue 51, Hartgrove attends Decadence 2016, and documents the festival. Again, he is using documentary style photography to do so, with a mixture of images of people attending the festival and images of the stage and lighting layouts.
I feel his layouts below work well – having large images of the stages and performers, with smaller images of the attendees accompanying them. He has clearly used flash to take images of the people, and not used one with the stage and lighting. He seems to have used a wide angle lens, with a large aperture such as f1.8.
I also like the way he has allowed for the flash to be quite a harsh light on the subjects, allowing for the images to have an almost snapshot feel to them, adding to the idea of the images being more realistic than a studio setting. This use of documentary photography in an otherwise stylised and manipulated magazine is a great way of gaining readers as more people can relate with subjects if they are “real people”.
This is an article from Issue 43. His use of documentary photography here is slightly different to the previous two articles, as these are very much posed images in a natural environment, whereas the others depicted images of things as they were going on (apart from the festival goers above, however they would not have known that they were going to have their photographs taken at the festival, whereas the subjects of this article are obviously the only intended subject matter.), and also the general layout of the article is much more stylised than the previous.
Overall, I like Sean’s work as it is all location and using natural lighting, which is something that I am more comfortable with recreating. I like how his use of environmental portraiture resinates with the reader and draws you into the story.