One of the very first interviews I ever did was with a photographer named Morgan Tedd. From the first day I saw his work I knew that he was an incredibly talented human being, and he is yet to prove me wrong. After seeing him smash every shoot that he is a part of, I was very excited when I found out he was putting his hand to a different form of media. A book.
Now, when I first started thinking about the style of book he would be releasing I was caught between two ideas. One; it would be front to back images that he had taken, or two; knowing that he has a creative mind, it would be a story. Having had the chance to read it, I can confirm that it is neither and both at the same time. Yes, the book does contain his photography and yes he is telling a story. But it is far from what you would expect. The story he is telling is his own. Morgan has let us in to his personal life at a time he probably felt most vulnerable, and for that I commend him.
The layout and the imagery throughout the book play such a vital role in telling the story, although I didn’t realize this until I had finished reading it. What Morgan has done here is not only tell us how he was feeling (at any given time) but he is also showing us through his photos. There are the highs and the lows, but we also get the in-between, and that’s what really drew me in.
In modern society it’s rare for someone to lay themselves out bare for all to see, stepping away from the ‘likes’ isn’t always such an easy thing to do, but Morgan has done exactly that. He has broken away from the smoke screen of social media and allowed his vulnerabilities to shine in a way that should inspire us all.
If there would be one thing I would say to him after reading the book it would be ‘Thank you. Thank you for being so open and honest, it’s really refreshing to see. Especially from someone within the “industry”.’
If he doesn’t make your list of top creatives right now then maybe you should start a new one, because he certainly makes mine. I could make all the assumptions about the book that I wanted
but I felt it was only right that I got the inside scoop from the man
himself. So I sent him some questions, he answered them and that’s what I
have for you here.
The book went up for pre-release yesterday evening, if I were you I’d be
quick and try to grab a copy from www.morgantedd.co.uk. There are
only 50 copies being printed so fingers crossed you haven’t already missed
First and foremost, how are you man?
I’m great, better than I’ve ever been! I can understand why you'd lead with
that question having read the book, but I’m all good honestly.
What was the motivation behind writing the book?
I don’t want to go in to specifics, but at the tail end of 2016 my life changed drastically, the solid ground that I thought I was on, gave way beneath me and I was left with, at the time, what I thought was nothing. I took it though, and managed to start seeing it through different eyes, seeing it as a blank slate, instead of a void. I’ve always turned to making music as a way of coping with things, this time I turned to photography and writing, the outcome is Personal War.
Whilst reading the book I got a really different feel to what you’d expect from a book. It felt more like a diary. Was that the intention?
It was meant to be small snippets from my day-to-day thinking; sometimes the photos match what I’ve written, and other times they stand in juxtaposition. The thoughts I wrote down were my strongest, from elation and happiness, to the other end of the spectrum. The book sometimes falls into conversations with myself, it can seem like I'm talking to someone, reaching out to them, when in fact it is my own inner monologue, which I've chosen to share.
I feel as though I’ve seen some of the imagery before. Did the idea form after those or was that the idea behind them from the beginning?
You would have seen some of the photos, some were shot with the intention of just using them in the book, and others were shot and kinda wormed their way in. They were used because they took me back to a place or a moment that held great emotional meaning to me, such as the shots from the Lake District and New York. Back then, I didn't know I was going to do this book, and although I have previously released a few shots, they've been used due to their emotional connection to what I have written.
Your trips to Berlin and New York seemed to really help, would you ever move abroad or is England your home?
England will always be home to me, but over the course of the last 6 months I have found myself looking abroad, and at the possibility of living elsewhere. New York and Berlin are my favourite cities in the world, so they would be my first choices if I were to move.
What’s the idea behind the layout? I kind of want to print it out to try and piece it together like a puzzle (haha).
The book is a little disjointed at times, the layout does shift, sometimes the photos are straight and lined up, other times they are broken across the page. I’m not too sure why I did this, but I think the layout speaks more about the mindset I was in when I was writing it than anything else. So at the beginning, it is quite sparse, there really isn't much of anything, as at the time I was numb to everything, and as the book progresses we see the pages start to spiral as I do, and finally start to straighten out again towards the end.
Clearly you were going through some things, do you feel that writing the book has helped move on from them?
Yes it has, creativity in any form has always been a catharsis for me. It took me a long time to really find my feet with releasing emotion through photography, but by combining the photography with the written work, I think I've found my sweet spot. There are certain things I talk about in the book that will never be 100%, but I have my family and my friends, and my cameras, and as long as I have them I’ll be fine.
Can we expect more books from you in the future?
Personal War is a standalone book, meaning that it will probably be the only one of its kind from me, I doubt I’ll write stuff this personal ever again, as to me, it’s a risk. However I am going to start work on a second book, which will be very different, focusing more on my actual work, which I'm looking forward to starting.
To purchase the book, head over to...