Joshua Sneade

Joshua Sneade


Capturing the Essence: Exploring Joshua Sneade's Photographic Journey.

I like to make my fashion work seem real, even if it is an idealised version of real.

Joshua J Sneade, a young photographer based in London, UK, has carved out his niche in photography through self-teaching. Transitioning between fashion and documentary photography, Joshua embarked on a quest to capture life's raw essence. His inaugural documentary endeavour, Nomads, received acclaim, earning him a Silver Award in the Association of Photographers' Emerging Talent Award 2020. Seeking to inject a personal touch into his craft, Joshua embarked on his latest project, ‘On the Idle Hill of Summer’, delving deeper into the human experience.


Throughout his photographic journey, Joshua has remained loyal to film photography, appreciating its unhurried, intimate process. Embracing the tactile quality of film, he finds solace in the darkroom, meticulously bringing his images to life through traditional printing methods.

Joshua Sneade
Joshua Sneade

Hi Joshua, Id like to take a different approach to start our conversation. REBIRTH: could you assign a word to each letter that best represents your identity?

R - Reflective

E - Ethereal

B - Bold

I - Immersive

R - Reverent

T - Thoughtful

H - Honest

Can you take us back to the beginning of your photography journey? What inspired you to pursue both fashion and documentary photography?

I originally started taking photographs for a hobby, focussing on things in my everyday life – so much more in line with what would be considered documentary photography. Along the way I was approached by brands wanting me to apply this more documentary-esque style to their clothing. Since then, I have delved more into the fashion side of photography, however I try to remember what made me first pick up a camera and maintain an honest and documentary approach to all my fashion work.

Joshua Sneade

London is renowned for its vibrant cultural scene. What drew you to the city as a base for your photography career, and how has its influence shaped your artistic vision?

I moved to London once it became clear that my fashion work was increasing, as I found myself travelling to London for jobs more and more and, with the Covid lockdowns over, I felt that moving to London would give me the kick that I needed after so much “time off”. As well as this, I also came to London for the darkroom anyway and as my workload increased, this commute was becoming very time consuming. Moving has been great, I’ve really enjoyed having easy access to studios and models which has helped me to explore the fashion side of things a lot more. I’m also able to spend a lot of my free time in the darkroom, refining my style and process.

Do you see London remaining your home for the foreseeable future, or are you considering other locations for your work?

I think that for now, London is where I need to be to have ready access to the tools to further my work. In the long run though I’d love to be based in the countryside somewhere. I’m lucky enough that quite a few of my jobs get me to travel abroad and to natural areas within the UK, so that’s a good way for me to get the break that I need from city life.

Balancing between fashion photography and documentary work requires navigating diverse creative processes. How do you find harmony between these two genres in your work?

As I said before, I think that I approach my fashion work through the lens of a documentary photographer. I like to make my fashion work seem real, even if it is an idealised version of real. My favourite fashion projects are ones which try to convey a story through the imagery, not just a series of well executed, but separate, images.

Joshua Sneade

Documenting places and communities often involves deeply personal experiences. Can you describe the feelings you encounter upon completing such projects? Is there a sense of rebirth in the process for you?

The most important thing for me with documentary work is to do justice to the feel of the subject. When I have the finished images, and the project conveys the emotions that I felt whilst with the person/in the place, then this is deeply satisfying. As far as rebirth goes, I think that because documentary projects take up such a large time period and mental energy, that once they are finished, I personally feel refreshed and renewed to start the process all over again – like a weight has been removed, but not with the normal negative connotations which this phrase implies.

Do you have any personal projects that hold a special significance for you? If so, what inspired their creation and why are they meaningful to you?

Yes, I have a project entitled ‘On the Idle Hill of Summer’ which I shot during the summer lockdown in 2020, which I am currently revisiting and hope to re-release as a book soon because it holds such significance to me. The project documents May-September 2020, where myself and many of my old friends found ourselves back in our hometown because of the lockdowns. To fill our time, we got super into wild swimming in lakes and rivers in the local area, because the weather was so hot that summer and the project documents these excursions. The project holds such significance to me because it was such a pure time and it’s rare in adult life that you get a chance to regain the feeling of true freedom with a large group of your friends. Since that summer ended, myself and my friends involved look back at that period of time extremely fondly.

The most important thing for me with documentary work is to do justice to the feel of the subject.

Looking ahead, what new directions or future projects are you considering exploring in your photography career?

Releasing the above-mentioned book is a big project that I’m working on at the moment, which I’ll hopefully do mid/late summer ’24. Outside of that, I really want to do some more strictly documentary projects, as I feel like moving to London has led me to naturally focus on fashion work for the past year or so. I have a couple of projects in mind, similar to my project ‘Nomads’ which I shot several years ago. One of them, I’m hoping to shoot all black and white in an old school/ Magnum style as this is something I’ve always wanted to do. Fingers crossed they all come together! I’m also waiting on a couple of big Spring/ Summer campaigns to release which I shot over the course of last year. These are my first proper campaigns so I’m excited to have them out in the world.