A LITTLE TALK WITH DESIGNER AND PHOTOGRAPHER ULYSSES SANIEL

Ulysses is a London based Designer and photographer his works are inspired by city architecture, each image seeks to provoke the viewer with a rebellious attitude that balances passion and serenity. Once executed, the work is edited with a cool blue tone that helps take the viewer to another calm and concrete world. The photographs revel in brutalist and modern buildings and a wider sense of urbanity.

When did your interest in photography and fashion begin?

Growing up my creative headlights always gravitated towards capturing the calm chaos of the inner-city, but also marrying minimalist classic aesthetic side of things with my work and ideas. I like the way a person can say something through their clothing. Observing their body language can give away so much mystery whether it carry’s confidence, elegance, attitude, seductiveness….I like producing this certain protagonist and laying it over architecture, interior and so on to produce raw beauty, and emotion. 

What do you like the most about your job? 

The story telling aspect, the unpredictability, being unapologetic about creating an image, the ideation to execution, working with different muses and travelling to different locations, recently I gravitated towards studio shoots in Europe/Asia experimenting with interiors and lighting, before I’d be at other parts of the world shooting architecture specifically Brutalist buildings, in Asia such as the conventional centre in Manila Philippines designed by Leandro Locsin, or in Vienna’s learning centre by Zaha Hadid. But what’s the most important thing I like about my creative endeavors is the creative growth and collaboration between people and projects, photography is a we thing not me thing once you get to a certain stage… 

What do you find in architecture to inspire you in your photography?

It’s the idea of temporarily owning the space for a matter time, and painting the result with a story, how can I make this video or photo marry well with the muses I’m with, making the process effortless. Immediately arriving at some of these locations you are gravitated towards the scale, material, space, shadows, light, curves… it goes on, and that’s what excites me about architecture, as Zaha Hadid would say, “I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter, is only about very simple enclosure. It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think”. 

There are many architects out there that inspire me. 

What are the biggest challenges for you?

Sometimes a project can look excellent on paper, but different on execution, but everything is a learning process, you’ve got to adjust evolve and keep on creating. 

You are also looking for the perfect shot in an image-based entertainment industry, but that’s subjective as a creative you define what’s perfect or not, it’s the story/feeling that matters. 

Do you have any passion besides photography?

For the past few years, I’d always encourage myself to visit the latest exhibitions, travel, and read books that challenge my thinking and journaling… Sometimes it’s ok to just sit down and do nothing, gather ideas from another industry… you’d be surprised. 

Anything else that you would like to say?

Create more, with less, the best time to create was yesterday……..