Reece T. Williams’ photography reveals soft and intimate stories about his subjects
“I’m inspired by my familial history and the histories of people groups,” he continues to explain. “I’m inspired by learning about the things cultures share, oftentimes despite natural physical barriers.” This enables Reece to turn an analytical and inquisitive lens onto his subject matter, whether that’s through a portrait series or an honest and revealing snapshot of his neighbourhood. It might sound simple but, when coupled with Reece’s love of all mediums and his considered compositions and technical use of light, his stories are elevated. “I’m inspired by other art forms – I’m often thinking about music as I’m photographing, humming to myself on the street,” he adds.
It’s while strolling the streets that it all comes to life for Reece. He’s greatly inspired and enjoys working in the traditional street photography manner, meaning that he walks aplenty and, resultantly, does a lot of waiting. “I try to anticipate things when I can, but there’s a lot of just trying to be ready when I see something – ready so that I don’t miss the moment,” he shares. “I don’t really ever rush though. Right now, I’m like, if I can’t make something I think will be good, then I don’t make the image. I kind of file it away in the ‘be ready for that next time’ chamber of my memory, and I keep it moving.”
Although a long and enduring process, Reece’s portfolio proves that patience really does pay off. For instance, a recent image shows a subject that he ran into on the street, donning a fur-lined jacket and brimming with confidence. “This brother was so fly, beautiful and soft,” adds Reece. “He saw me setting up to make a photo of him as I walked by and gave me a subtle smile. This moment brightened my whole day.” Another depicts a couple in a sweet embrace, the light protruding through the side of the lens and giving it an almost dreamlike, romantic quality. “This is actually an early photo of mine, but it will always be one of my favourites,” he says, explaining how the piece is currently being exhibited at Unit London until early November. “I can still hear the music from this night.”
There are many stories and histories to be uncovered throughout Reece’s photography, both the personal and the more universal. A snapshot of a moment, time or place, his imagery has the power to provoke a response from his audience – especially when it comes to learning more about the people he features. “I want the viewers of my work to be inspired to get to know their neighbours,” he concludes. “To be curious about the people they share spaces with. I want folks to find the people in the photographs beautiful, soft and interesting.”