Interview with James Moore (2020)⁠

“Lost then found, from darkness to light”/Interview by M. Solav

Untitled (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.

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.⁠

Untitled (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.
Spin (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.

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.⁠

Untitled (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.

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. […]

Lights Out (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.
Untitled (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.

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.

Untitled (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.

[…] 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.”

Untitled (Mansfield, 2020) by James Moore.

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.

Self-portrait of James Moore.

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.⁠

Interviewed by M. Solav.

New digital magazine that seeks to portray the abstract photography scene and the human-beings behind the pictures in all their depth and diversity.