It seems that there are few people out there who wholeheartedly love what they do, but I can assure you that Gavriel Maynard is someone who is content in his craft. A photographer based in Sydney’s Bondi Beach, he regularly shoots for celebrated titles such as Oyster and Brace Magazines, and it would also seem that the free-loving, energetic cool of Sydney’s sometimes hidden beachside lifestyle is imbued in every one of his images. I had a chat to Gavriel about his love for Lars Von Trier, finding beauty in Paris and his distinctive ‘freestyle rap’ photography.
Sophie Flecknoe: Firstly, can you tell me a little about yourself? How would you describe what you do?
Gavriel Maynard: I am a 22-year-old photographer from Bondi, Australia. I like junk food, tattoos, vintage t-shirts and girls who surf.
What is your definition of beauty? Where do you find it?
Charlotte Gainsbourg. Paris.
Do you prefer to shoot on film or digital?
Can you tell me about your recent collaborations with Oyster Mag? How did they come about? What do you like about the Oyster team?
Mark Vassalo sent me to meet the creative director of Oyster, Shane Sakkeus. He said he liked my work and to shoot something for them. I shot an editorial with Valentina Sykes in Byron Bay and then got asked to do some more things. They are a very creative, open-minded group of people and have always respected what I want to do and not tried to censor it.
What have been some of the best moments on the job?
For me the best moment is seeing the final product. All the casting and planning can be strenuous but it’s all worth it when the final result is something I am proud of.
And the worst? Any unfortunate moments?
I really can’t think of any. I am happy to be doing what I am doing.
Who are some of your style and artistic icons?
Woody Allen, Juergen Teller, Lars Von Trier, Christopher Hitchens, Werner Herzog, Robert Crumb, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, I could go on forever.
What are some other publications you have worked for?
Is travel a component of your job? Where is somewhere you’d love to visit?
It is, but I HATE traveling. I’m so happy to be at home and in my familiar surroundings. I’d love to go back to Stockholm though; it is my favourite city on earth.
Do you aim to tell a story through your photo shoots? What is the process behind your shoots?
I find it impossible to have an aim and make big plans for shoots. I am only able to see ideas for shots when they are right there in front of me. It’s like freestyle rapping photography (laughs).
How would you describe your own personal style?
I wear the same shit everyday. Band tour t-shirts, old surf-wear shorts, socks and [Nike] Free Runs.
What are you currently listening to?
Gucci Mane, Bjork, Ween, Lou Reed, Pavement, Dipset and PJ Harvey
And watching? Any good films/TV series to mention?
Check out ‘The Idiots’ by Lars Von Trier. It would have to be my favourite movie ever.
If there were anyone in the world you could photograph, who would it be?
Where do you see yourself in the next five years or so? What’s next for you?
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow haha! I’m just enjoying doing what I’m doing and hope to keep doing it.
Words: Sophie Flecknoe. Image courtesy of Gavriel Maynard.