UNSETTLED met with Sam Monroe, an eighteen years-old wannabe pensioner who grumbles over his work, the disposable natural of digital photography and above all, the superficial state of humanity and what it has to offer.
Who are you, what do you do and where do you do it?
I’m Sam, I live in London and amongst doing the absolute minimal and pissing about, I go to LCF, wish I didn’t have to and sometimes go out and take photos.
When and why did you start taking photos?
I was young and into skateboarding and everyone had a film camera, it was kind of the ‘in thing’ at the time (and probably still is). So I bought one when I was 15 and just started documenting everything I was doing. Even now that’s still how I regard my photos; just a collection of moments, things I’m seeing and the people I’m experiencing all of that with. Sometimes they come out okay and people like them, so that’s a bonus.
Who/what has influenced your photography?
I hardly consider myself a photographer. I'm just someone who looks to document certain times of my life I might otherwise forget, or sometimes just things people wouldn’t usually take photos of on their iPhone or whatever. I don’t particularly put loads of effort or thought in my work so in the end, the photo looks how it does because I took it's like that, not because I partially aspire to become or replicate anyone.
Describe your style in a sentence.
I dunno, I guess ‘mid 40s deadbeat dad’ springs to mind. I’m pretty inspired by how comfortable old people look and Frank Sinatra.
Why do you shoot in film?
I want to say ‘because I’m a gentrified millennial twat’ but I’m not sure that’s allowed or the complete truth. On a surface level, I like how it looks but also think that photos should happen in the moment and to me, film reflects that. It’s not the take 200 shots until it looks perfect or ‘edit it to be something else’ shit that digital has become. Phones shouldn’t have cameras and people should stop trying to warp stuff into something it isn’t.
& why do you think there’s been a boom in film photography when digital is more
It just goes back to the idea of people trying to be something, trying to make one thing look like another, both in a more general sense as well as within modern day ‘photography’. I guess film is a rejection of that because you can’t edit it. That will change though with the invasion of the Huji app, which is an absolute atrocity and defeats the whole point of film. Can we end the interview now?