Whenever I find that my inspiration is waning, or I’m feeling unsure of the road ahead, I always stumble across someone or something that picks me up and gets me right back on track. I was having one of these moments recently when I was introduced to Josh Hedge’s work. Josh is a self-taught photographer based in Byron Bay, Australia, who has more recently delved into the world of writing, with the release of his first book Seeds For Truth. At just 24 years old, Josh’s free-spirit along with his perspective and inherent knowledge of the World we live in, is both thought provoking and inspiring; his views on the backwards way in which our governments and societies are run, as well as the importance of love, happiness and self-worth, should strike a chord within us all. Whilst fairly spiritual in nature, you don’t have to be on a spiritual path to enjoy and appreciate both Josh’s images and words. They will, however, make you think about your life and inspire you to live a happier, kinder and more conscious existence. Josh kindly took some time out to chat to me about his work, his passions and hopes for the future!
Hey Josh! Where are you in the World at the moment and what are you up to? I just got back to my hometown Byron Bay, I have been away for the past few weeks. I’m in my studio by the beach, it’s properly raining for the first time in so long as we’ve just finished a hot and dry summer, I have a coffee in hand and it’s safe to say I’m feeling extra content!
So how did you get into photography? I was 19 at the time, I was jobless and suffering from depression quite bad and my friend was selling his DSLR to upgrade to another one, so I bought it for $200 (which I had to borrow off of mum, as I literally had no money). And as soon as I took a photo I just knew this is what I was going to do!
How would you describe your style of photography? It’s very freedom provoking. A lot of people have told me my images make them a little nostalgic in a way. But yeah it’s supernatural. A lot of the people I do shoots with always take time afterwards to say they had such a good time shooting and that the images represent them so well, as I’m not too into doing huge production shoots with makeup etc. Very much just enjoy photographing a person in a natural, vulnerable and open way! I don’t ever use studios – I love being out in the elements and playing with different light and moods from clouds and the Sun.
For those who haven’t yet read your first book, Seeds for Truth, can you tell them a bit about it and what to expect? I always get asked this by people, and I feel a little silly in not being able to give a definitive answer haha. I guess it’s just so hard to condense an entire book that varies from subject to subject down into one answer. But I personally feel like Seeds For Truth is something that relates to anyone, no matter where they’re at in life or who they are, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity. It’s relative to us all in the way in which we all need to start caring for one another again and break down the barriers that have separated us.. That’s definitely a reoccurring theme throughout the book as well as finding personal belief and love on an individual level through self-worth which is something that also continues to pop up throughout the book a lot too. But like I said, too much to condense down haha.
What led you to write such an inspiring and emotive piece of work? Well, to me this whole thing is quite strange but in a good way of course, as I really never ever intended to become a ‘writer’. I always knew I would branch off from photography in a certain way but I wouldn’t have expected it to be a writer. I’ve had a pretty up and down journey so far on a personal level, having experienced extreme lows of depression, to then finding my release and purpose being art which has lead me to these beautiful highs. So I think being able to experience both ends of the spectrum definitely helped me in being able to write from an understanding of both ends if that makes sense. But I think I also just reached a point in my life where you just kind of really don’t care, because you care so much. As in, I believe wholeheartedly humanity are becoming better people and I care so much about seeing this change continue that I don’t care what I have to do in order for this to happen. Whilst writing the book though I just allowed whatever came through to come through from the heart, and never let my mind interrupt and go ‘oh nah don’t do this, or that isn’t good enough’ etc and that’s probably the most important aspect of it all coming together.
What were your dreams growing up and what are your dreams for the future? My earlier kind of aspiration in life I can remember was to be a VET, I’ve always deeply loved animals and loved the thought of helping them recover from an injury or illness. But through my teenage years I was super clueless to ‘what I wanted to be’ and I don’t necessarily think that’s bad, I feel a lot of people are the same just we’re so pressured into having to choose something. But in regards to the future my dream is to most definitely continue following my heart and become the best person I can be, it would be super cool to do what I’m doing now but on a bigger scale, I’ve got a lot of travelling to do, especially to ancient sites and would love so much to be able to give back to some less fortunate places.
Who or what inspires you? I’ve never had a certain thing so to speak that inspires me, it always varies. But something that always helps promote creativity is music and having that in the background kind of thing. I obviously love other artists, readers, people and a few of those are Jim Morrison as an individual and his work with The Doors, Pink Floyd, Aldous Huxley, Vali Myers. Of course Nature is a huge one for me, I need to be near something that’s untouched whether it be the Ocean or a Forest, I really don’t do well in cities it makes me feel pretty strange and I don’t feel like ‘me’.
When you’re not writing or taking photographs, how do you enjoy spending your time? Absolutely love surfing, it’s one of the most therapeutic and meditative things for me. I actually just the other week over done it, from surfing a total of 17 hours over 3 days and pretty much got heat-stroke haha and it really threw me around, so I might have to tone it down a notch next time the surf is good. Up there with surfing is playing music, I play didgeridoo which people overseas might not be familiar with but it’s an Aboriginal indigenous instrument from here in Australia that’s made from the branch of a certain type of tree and it’s often said if the Earth had a voice it would be the didgeridoo, has such a beautiful deep, heart hitting vibrational tone! I’ve been learning piano as well which I’m enjoying so very much but aside from that I enjoy just simply time with friends and goofing around. As much as I enjoy doing things like writing books / making change in the world I always make sure I leave time to have some fun as well I think that’s super important.
Is there a motto that you live your life by? I don’t have a certain one in particular, but I write a quote in every book I send off and one that has come to be the most popular is “if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is; infinite”.
Your second book is due for release shortly, what can we expect? You can expect to gain a bit more of an insight into me as an individual. It’s a bit odd to think so many people know of my work or art but perhaps not so much about me as a person (even though my expressions are me, hard to explain but you might get the drift). I go into more depth in regards to technology, the human mechanism on a further level and a lot of beautiful connections between man and nature / cosmos. But of course, much, much more 🙂
And finally, what’s in store for you for the rest of 2017?I’ve been working pretty hard on both books over the last 5-6 months, it’s a super big energetic put out and devotion into something and there’s a lot of technical stuff that has to be done. So once the second book is published and off in the big wide world I think some travelling is definitely on the cards, especially camping! I’m starting to get back into photography a bit more which is exciting and I would very much enjoy doing some concept type series of works, but of course, who knows!
Thanks Josh! 🙂
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To purchase your own copy of Seeds For Truth and to pre-order his second book, visit www.seedsfortruth.com