Embracing your weird. / by Alex Bamford


I'm currently building a photographic business after leaving a career in advertising. Originally, photography was my way of injecting a bit of unshackled creativity into my life, untainted by restrictive briefs, creative directors and clients. Like most arts it takes a while to find your 'thing', (I seem to remember someone saying 10,000 hours) and my early shots veered in all directions, some atmospheric, some graphic, some captured, some set up. 

11 years ago I discovered shooting by moonlight and the otherworldly qualities that the full moon bestows on land and seascapes. On October 15, 2011, I took a decisive step and changed everything. Instead of hiding behind the camera I stepped in front of it. 

It wasn't a narcissistic move, I'm a balding middle aged man not taken to taking selfies. It was just that I wanted a figure to regularly inhabit my moonlit world and at 2 in the morning on a cold, windy beach, there was only the one person I could ask. 

To make me stand out physically and fit in conceptually to the nighttime landscape, I decided to don a pair of pyjamas. I found a perfect pair - flannelette with a classic blue and white stripe - oversized so they'd fit over my clothes (I might be a bit weird but I'm not completely stupid, it gets bloody cold out there).

After years of telling clients that they need to celebrate their differences in order to stand out from the crowd, I'd found my difference.

Since then I've shot over a hundred images in my Sleepwalking series, exhibited them in the UK and Europe and they've got me more work than any other project I've photographed.