Q+A with Banjo

We had a chat with Australian born, Brooklyn dwelling, banger of a photographer, Banjo...

Hey Banjo, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Banjo, I am an Australian living in Brooklyn NYC. I’m 28 and I am a Photographer.

How did you get the name Banjo?
Parents thought it was Kool but they gave me ‘Thomas' as a middle name in case I didn’t like a weird name and wanted to change it.

What sparked your move from Australia to NYC?
My Girlfriend is a Fashion Designer and moved here for work. So I sorted my shit and got over here as quick as I could.

How do you like the big city compared to back home?
Wow it's so much different.
You definitely work harder being in the hustle and bustle, I thought that was a cliche thing but its crazy how busy you are here compared to back home where you are comfortable and surf everyday.. ! I like it here but you have to get the hell out every few weeks to stay sane and to get inspiration from other things elsewhere.

How long have you been shooting photos and how did you get into it?
Dad was a Photographer then transitioned into Video so he always had cameras I could use whenever. I hated school so much so my parents bailed me out when I was 16 and i did my Photography Diploma for 2 years. Very thankful my parents did that for me !

What do you shoot with?
Canon 1DX mkII mainly, also a Fuji X-PRO II and a Bronika 645 Medium Format

A lot of your work seems to focus on the in-between parts of life, ranging from truckers to trash on a sidewalk. What inspires your work and what draws you to this type of work?
I Find myself in the street everyday because I Photograph Celebrities for a living. So you can imagine the different types of people I see everyday.You get all walks of life in the street. Rich people, Junkies etc. So I guess I approach the people in the street the same way I shoot the celebs, sometimes your blatantly obvious and other times you are very discreet and don’t get seen at all. I have gotten more street smart for sure because you have to be careful ! I like to Document the People in the street or at the beach or whatever with this style cause its more candid and Real and you may feel as if you are there.

What’s your most memorable and/or notable work to date?
I like Doing Pictures out at Rockaway and Longreach because you never know what your gonna get. I had a show of some pics but I still have lots of gems I am holding onto for the future. I need to find a Good Gallery though !

You and Jason Woodside just released ‘Generator’ a book that dropped in Colette, how did that project come about and how was the response?
Sarah from Colette hit up Jason and said if you make a book we will sell it. Jason has had shows and done work for them before so he told me we had to pump out a book asap. So we did ! Its a Crazy Shop, so much inspiring Books too, Its crazy to have my pictures and Jasons Art next to Photographer I look up to.

How cool is Jason?
Jason is very Cool. Takes 3 years for him to finish his beer though..

Do you get to surf often living in the city? What’s a typical surf day look like for you?
I don’t surf as much as I would like to. This summer was pretty bad with not much swell but this time of the year there should be some Hurricane Swells around. If you keep your eye on the conditions you can get some really nice uncrowded waves. Winter is sikk its just stupidly cold !

What kinda boards you have in your apartment?
I got my trusty 9’8 Kookbox Longboard and a Panda 7’3 Mid-Length and a Panda 5’3. I have all bases covered !

Do you travel often?
I just bought a van so i’m ready to hit the road and find some waves and travel cross the country and do a Project. I’ll let ya know when I do!

Any upcoming projects you’re working on?
Yes I am always thinking of Projects and Ideas. I’m working on a Book right now which is exciting. You don’t have to look far living here to get inspired by things. How you put it out there is the challenging part !

See more from Banjo on his Website and his Instagram