Interview with James Moore (2020)
James Moore is a twenty-two years old photographer from the United Kingdom who has recently started exploring the world of self-expression through ICM photography, which has acted as a therapy for his OCD. Here’s our interview with him.
MS／What do you find most compelling about photography using intentional camera movement (ICM)?
JM／I never knew it was called ICM until this very year. I used to do it occasionally, but not that often. Now it’s the only technique I use and I love it — the movement and the motion — its a way for me to express how I feel living with a obsessive-compulsive disorder.
MS／I noticed that you put forth your diagnosis. How has photography helped you dealing with these conditions?
JM／It has helped me so much! I’d probably be lost without photography. It is a way for me to express myself and my feelings in a safe manner.
MS／Had you tried other art forms before turning to photography?
JM／Not really. I mean, I did do arts and craft stuff as a kid and had art lessons in school, but back then I’d just tell myself that I was never going to be doing art again. However, around the age of 14, I picked up my first ever camera and that changed everything.
I was diagnosed with autism at the age of twelve, and later with an obsessive-compulsive disorder at the age of fourteen. Those issues made talking to people and having new friends a real challenge. I attended a mainstream school where I went through a hell of a time. Nobody understood me, I had no friends or hobbies whatsoever; I was lost. I ended up in this place called the “student support centre” at senior school and spent two and a half years there. Although I did not like that place so much, it became my hiding spot in order to avoid social interaction. One day something happened that would change my life: I stumbled back on that point and shoot Fuji camera that had been given to me as a birthday gift, picked it up and just started taking random images. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was supposed to be doing — all I knew was that I’d found a thing I enjoyed. I specifically remember approaching my sister and telling her that I want to be a photographer. She told me I could be anything I put my mind to, but I thought: ‘No, I’m not good at it. In fact, I’m not good at anything’, and put the camera away. […]
MS／How do you see your future with photography?
JM／I am going all the way with it at the moment and not making any money from photography, but I would love to have my work featured in an art exhibition or a gallery someday. That’s definitely one of my dreams. I haven’t yet printed my work and might do this soon, but I’m not too sure where to start yet.
MS／Regarding the technique of intentional camera movement, I was curious to know how you found about this type of photography, especially since you’ve mentioned you’d just learned the term.
JM／I think I saw some YouTube videos about it when I was younger, but I just thought it was some camera movement, but when I found out the actual name at the start of this year and I also knew that that was what I wanted to do. I had found this whole community under the name of ICM on Instagram, so I decided to only do ICM, but using black and white the way I did before that. Actually, before I found out about ICM, I’d put photography a bit on hold and didn’t shoot anything for ages. With this discovery, I went back to my old self and renewed my love for photography. The community here has certainly helped a lot, because it made me confident that I could do anything I want.
[…] The very next day I decided to pick the Fuji camera back up, then went into the garden with my dad, where I went around and once again took some random pictures. I just loved the buzz I got out of capturing those images. Later that year, I got my very own DSLR camera for my 14th birthday; it was Nikon D3100, and I fell in love with it. I started scrolling through photography magazines, which inspired me to develop my newfound passion, and discovered the educational side of YouTube, where I began to teach myself photography. I often paused the videos and wrote notes down in a notebook. Gradually, I went out from being in a place where I thought I was never going to come out of alive, to becoming completely invested in an art-form that took my focus away from the negativity in my life.”
MS／So you feel like the community has enabled you and gave you more confidence in your talent?
JM／Yes, as soon as I found out about this community, I felt like I could also do this. And people welcomed my effort.
MS／Is there any photographer that you look up to, that you feel especially inspired by?
JM／I actually get inspired by a lot of photographers on Instagram. But only to name a few, I’ve really enjoyed the works of @keisot_, @siqlucianophoto and @hansstrandofficial. They inspire me in many different ways, but they especially show me how to accept myself and my art instead of struggling to become someone else.