Radiomoths belongs to photographer and all round nice bloke, Lee Jones. I first met Lee outside a bar in Scarborough where he was shooting nightlife pictures of routine Wednesday night carnage. My friend had just been ejected from the venue due to his somewhat hammered state and I was annoyed as I’d just bought a not very cheap round of cocktails.
I recognised Lee as being the chap I had just started stalking on social media the weekend before after seeing his amazing photos taken during a frankly hilarious visit to Scarborough by the EDL. And the subsequent irritation of rational thinking residents. I approached Lee and handed him one of the drinks asking him if he wanted it. He accepted without even asking what was in it. And a friendship was born.
Lee is one of those rare people with a big heart and big opinions. He clearly has a passion for what he does and alongside the Radiomoths website, he successfully crowdfunded and released photo-zine, ‘CVNTED’ documenting the darker side of seaside nightlife and debauchery. As well as this, he found time to direct the video for York Brit Pop legends, Shed Seven’s 2018 single ‘Victoria’.
Lee maintains a strong presence online with regular blog updates and his YouTube channel is well worth a look too (particularly his 49 Seconds series). You can check that all out here.
And so! I naturally wanted to interrogate Mr Radiomoths on what makes him tick. In a creative sense of course because otherwise we’d be off on tangents all over the spot. Which is exactly what happened. Word to the wise? Don’t attempt to conduct an interview after sharing a bottle of Russian Standard Vodka and staying up until 5am listening to Nine Inch Nails. You might feel creative and think you’re asking some cutting edge, original stuff.
You would be be wrong.
So here is our little natter that was had over the oh so modern medium of email. Ohh errrr.
1. How did you get started with photography?
My beginnings with photography go as far back as my first band, and every band since I was like 13 or something. I was always the one p*****g about documenting whatever we were doing. Creating posters, ads, pretty terrible websites and all that.
In college my parents gave me a Minolta 35mm camera which was rad. I subsequently failed my course and my photography was terrible, but I like to think that was more down to my lack of enthusiasm about the way I was being taught over any potential ability at the time.
I didn’t consider it something I’d do for a living until a friend a few years later wanted to be a porn star, so I had to film her and her boyfriend f*****g and that kind of went from there for like a year in my early 20’s. I think before I sacked it off I just wasn’t comfortable in my role of the outright sexualisation of women. Don’t get me wrong, it was mostly fine, and everything has changed since then but I much prefer the nude s**t I do now. That’s down to it being more about the women having fun and being themselves than directly catering and satisfying any males who want a look.
2. Do you have a creative process?
My process is quick, I don’t like messing about. Once I’m at the editing stage if I don’t just sit down and get it done it could be months before the work even surfaces because I like focusing on the next thing and getting that done instead.
I refuse to ‘photoshop’ people, and by that I mean airbrush. I’m not into physically altering how people look, and photo adjustments rarely go beyond exposure/contrast/colour, the basic stuff. There’s way too much trickery going on in the most mundane of places that just don’t need it and like it or not, it damages how we as humans view ourselves. What I mean is when you view a photo of, I dunno– a heavily photoshopped female about to blow her nose promoting tissues or something -and all it’s really doing is making you think “my body isn’t as nice as hers”. Then it’s gone a bit too mental really, ‘cause the tissue ain’t durable, and you’re gonna end up covered in your own snot, and to top it off you feel fat and want to kill yourself even more. Well done, advertising. Well done.
3. Whose work do you admire/find inspirational?
I’m terrible at being clued in to what other photographers are on with, or larger bodies or work beyond an occasional photo I like etc., so I unfortunately don’t know a great deal because I try to keep myself kind of removed from it all but there’s obviously a few exceptions.
I f*****g love Dennis Morris, his work documenting The Sex Pistols in particular, and Steve Gullick who is just a master with bands. Both their work shaped how I saw and experienced music as a child growing up before I eventually clued in to who they were after I picked up a camera.
Nate Igor Smith. To be honest I feel that sometimes little aspects of the s**t I do maybe get’s a little too close to what I see him as being about. I feel kinda uncomfortable admitting that even though it’s unintentional ‘cause I hate talking about myself, but I do dig his vibe and there’s an integrity about his work that I rarely see elsewhere. Truth be told I discovered Nate’s work at a time I was wondering if there was even any point in continuing to take photos at all, so it is what it is. His work inspired me to just f*****g carry on really.
Eve Luchs is someone I stumbled upon a little while ago and she posts a lot of Instax photos from her travels and adventures and basically they’re just great to look at. They make me feel nostalgic for places I’ve never been which feels weird to write, but sometimes when I’m feeling s****y I just look through those and I feel pretty good again.
4. What are your favourite types of shoots?
I really do just enjoy walking about and photographing things that visually strike me, be they beat up phone boxes or how the light falls against a wall in a city or something. I shoot anything that I am on with, because it all usually ends up in a blog somewhere down the line or after a while I notice a pattern in subjects, and maybe eventually I’ll be able to make books with them.
In terms of working though, any shoot where a female has felt comfortable enough to take their clothes off while I take photos, that’s a pretty rad thing and it sure helps traffic flow to my website. I like adventuring though, so while bedroom shoots are great I do prefer being outdoors somewhere depending on the situation.
Also a really cool thing right now is that more of the nude stuff I shoot now will be for specific women and their businesses, ‘cause platforms like OnlyFans are gradually making it easier for these women to have a place to sell their work to the people who actually respect and care about them enough to pay for it.
5. Any plans for more zines? Feel free to plug anything you like at this point!
I’ve got plans for zines in the future, and I’m working on three… maybe four right now, but progress is slow because I always get roped into doing other s**t for other people first.
In the meantime though, I’ve just set up my own OnlyFans account which is going to involve all sorts of content. So for like $5 you can access the photos I’m putting there along with my private photoblog with over 5 thousand photos to date. I’m figuring out more cool s**t to involve down the line but getting involved now will ensure I’m able to afford to at least eat once a day.
I photograph models, friends, adventures, and parties, while often straying down the rabbit hole of what comes off the back of those experiences. Once subscribed, you will receive access to all my exclusive content on a private password protected blog featuring 5,500+ photographs!
6. Would you rather have hiccups everyday for the rest of your life or constantly feel like you need to sneeze but not be able to?
Eternal hiccups just sounds end your life bad, whereas the not-sneeze is just an irritant. So yeah, not being able to sneeze wins hands down, ‘cause what’s one more thing to contend with when I’m used to being permanently irritated anyway.