Luke Stepheson is slowly but surely clambering his way to the very top of my list of new favorite photographers.
It all started with these chirpy little pictures of posturing parakeets and sassy show birds. Then it escalated with this grab bag of ice creams vans. And it truly came to a head with the discovery of his excellent documentation of – yes! yes! yes! – The World Beard and Moustache Championships.
Like an everlasting Gobstopper, the joy of Stephenson’s work is breaking through each candy colour layer and finding that even better, tastier surprises are still to come. Take a trip to his website and you’ll be treated to a milieu of delightful projects, including a catalogue of balloon animals, circus marionettes, darts champions, face painters, and something called “clown eggs” (which are so brilliant I won’t spoil it for you). It’s his capacity to capture the quirky and multivariate - what he calls “the eccentricity of Britain” - with a universal affection and lightweight pleasantness that makes his work accessible, yet without ready definition.
Making it all look so simple actually take a great deal of talent. And giving life to the inanimate and dignity to the bizarre… well, that the kind of talent that makes Luke Stephenson pretty memorable.