“Pictures tell a wonderful and sad story.” Meet Deaf photographer Davy Priestley, who has won praise for his photos of transgender people

Posted on March 2, 2015

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Davy Priestley

Deaf photographer Davy Priestly has recently made a breakthrough with photographs of transgender people, which has led to an exhibition in Miami. His artist biography states:

Photography has always been such a huge part of my life. I’ve always tried to capture the perfect feeling, compassion and drama through a picture.

Even before I started taking my own pictures, I’ve always been intrigued by other photos, past photos and then visualised them and memorised it.

Pictures tell a wonderful and sad story through which you can travel to your past and I believe you can capture true emotion on a piece of paper.

Nothing makes me happier than to witness the look on your face when you visualise the images that I have captured. My goal for you is to remember those exact feeling every time you look at the photo.

I love working with people and taking the decisive moments of people everyday life – it gives me satisfaction on a personal level. At this point of my life, I don’t ever want to take that away.

Davy Priestley

Davy Priestley

How deaf are you?

I was partially hearing until I got tinnitus 20 years ago, and now I am profoundly deaf.

When did you first become interested in photography?

I took photographs since I was 13 but stopped when I joined the deaf world when I was about 20.

I then left my camera on the shelf until I was 35. I got into digital photography, which I hated, but got back into analogue when I joined an evening class around the same time.

Which photographers do you admire?

Helmut Newton for his fashion photography, Gregory Crewdson for his Staged Narrative works.

Nan Goldin and Gary Winogrand for their story telling, Lewis Hine, Bruce Davidson and Walker Evans (Documentary), William Eggleston for his snapshot contemporary photos, and Irving Penn for his studio-based portraits.

I liked Diane Arbus and Christain Stromholm for her intense and disturbing portraits on people and transgender.

What did you do before you took your degree?

I was a industry shop fitter in my father’s business before I did my evening class when I achieved my HNC/HND, Foundation Degree.

I achieved my B.A (Hons) last year and I am now thinking about taking my M.A. next year – but I doubt it!

What success have you had since?

I’ve had four exhibitions of my work and I’ve sold many prints in America.

Below are some of Davy’s photographs of transgender people:

What led you to take photos of transgender people?

I was interested because I felt a need to understand transgender people and their everyday life.

What is next for you?

I am hoping to have my works published with help from a book editor, but I’m still searching for the right publisher for my signature works.

Check out Davy’s photos on his website here: http://www.davypriestley.com/

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