Alexander Coggin

Apr 25th, 2018

Alexander Coggin


Alexander Coggin is an American photographer living in London. He is a self taught photographer, formally trained in Theatre. His work is interested in augmenting reality through flash mediation. His use of the flash allows for the omnipresence of the photographer to come through the image. Coming from a Theatre background, Alexander works with his subjects, whether still life or portraiture, to show us their character and often indicating circumstance.

Tell us about the works we’re featuring?

These images are all from the repertoire of imagery I’ve been working with lately. I don’t shoot in typical series, but with an ever-changing cast of images that I edit and contribute to on an ad-hoc basis.

How does technology affect your work?

Since I work digitally, I feel that having my images backlit by a screen has changed the way that I see the world. I’m more interested in how things will look like on a screen than on paper, although that’s changing for me.

Why did you start taking photos?

In 2010. I’m a self-taught photographer, formally trained in Theatre, and shooting was a way to, similarly to Theatre, control narrative and tell stories trough the hyper-specificity of Character without my creativity being contingent on a production and collaborators.

Do your parents like your work?

My parents are very confused by my work. They don’t have a huge vocabulary in describing it, and my Mom doesn’t understand why I won’t put a watermark on everything (“People can steal them!”).

How do you determine if a work has been a success?

I’m not sure – something within me will sing when I’ve hit the mark. It has to delight me, make me look twice, and have a magical feeling to it.


What other forms of art inform your work?

Film and Theatre, for sure. Written plays.

How do you get your practice out when it is stuck?

I low-stakes shoot – I take my camera and an extra card out with me and I shoot all day and then delete everything from that day. When you know you won’t process images or use them for anything at all, it’s amazing how much you can discover, how outside of your typical style you can be.