Soon to close his teen chapter, Louie Banks is the first episode in our This Is How We Do It series, complete with his Cruella de Vil weave, he’s fast becoming a photographic force to be reckoned with.
Snapper fantastic Louie has photographed the likes of Fat Boy Slim, Ellie Goulding, Daphne Guinness and a tonne of raw fish for the Yo! Sushi campaigns! A scatty, fire-breathing Brighton kid and son of a human cannonball, Louie is a vital ingredient in our This Is How We Do It series. Encompassing everything the project aims to showcase, when we first met he was working from his 12ft by 4ft room in student halls off Brick Lane, using the corridor as a make-shift studio and his bed and computer for organising and devising his next shoot. Beneath metre-high piles of vintage clothing and Brothel Creepers, Louie would rummage away before whipping out his camera and lighting equipment, banging out shoots for Super Super, Disorder Magazine and a bucket-load of other publications.
When invited to join i-D online’s talented roster of youngsters for the series his monochromatic quiff sprung to attention in full salute. Erupting with ideas, locations, collaborators and a loyal legion of hair and make-up maestros, the good times rolled with the efficiency of a team who had toyed in the business for years.
Louie has been in front of the camera for Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, behind it for Yo! Sushi; has shot for The Sunday Times, the Metro and Observer Music Monthly, all the while harbouring a not-so-secret passion for shooting for Front and FHM! This bow-legged, buffalo wearing, snapper’s quest for photographic perfection is all over the shots for This Is How We Do It. In whatever weird, warped and wonderful way Louie chooses to interpret his subjects, he never fails to produce a picture that can stop one’s head fitting through a door. i-D online asked King Louie a couple of quick questions while his camera was catching a breath between shots!
Fashion, music, sex… you’ve photographed the lot, where do you feel most creative and at home? Fashion. As much as I love shooting musicians and personalities, you usually revolve the shoot around their character or persona. But with fashion it’s more about expressing an idea. I feel the most creative when I find an amazing location and I can work around and with it. But I’ve always liked shooting big personalties, I’d rather shoot an interesting friend of mine or someone off the street than an agency model.
What was the first photograph you remember taking? It was of my friend Elin Amos. We were in the same photography class at school. She is walking over a bridge in Brighton in not much more than a fur coat, Elin is still one of my favourite people to photograph! I loved it because it was the first black and white film I’d ever developed, I still consider them some of my best pictures to date.
What qualities do you most admire in a man? A good pair of breasts.
What qualities do you most admire in a woman? A large personality with a lengthy pair of legs.
Head here to see our This Is How We Do It series in full.