Whilst researching Wood’s other book Photie Man, I ran into one of his older books Still Looking for Love (1988) which co incidentally is all about nightclub life in Merseyside. This book is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I cant beleive i’ve never found it before. It goes into the nightclubbing life in Merseyside in 1988 on film, beautiful stuff. It’s stupid of me to compare it t Photie Man, as Photie Man was published in 2005, however you can see that Looking for Love heavily influenced Photie Man with the use of hard hitting flash, ascew angles and a close relationship with the subject. It shares properties with that of Gary Winnobrand also, as Winnobrand in an interveiw says that he doesn’t really care about the technicalities of straightness of the photograph when he’s working, which is a characteristic of his works which helps make him stand out.
I love this photobook. I found an interview with Tom Woods about his career, and here are a few questions/answers that I thought were most relevant to what i’m after.
So what it is that drives you as a photographer; is it a desire to engage with these people?
I was just lucky to end up in Merseyside, I mean the people there were just great and the energy I got from just going out there. I used to go out with my camera, I mean I didn’t want to photograph in the nightclub but it was there on my door step. I’d go in there to party myself upstairs and you’d go down to the main club and I just thought I should do this.
It’s really nice, that element of your work. I mean people think you take a photograph and you’re taking something from someone else but you’re actually giving them something and there is a real exchange going on in your work. What is it about you as a character that makes you able to do that?
I just felt that I never had the right to exploit them in any way. On the cover of Looking for Love, it was my first book (in 1988), it was about nightclubbing. So the 2 girls on the front cover saw themselves in the book shop and they thought I was making loads of money and they came around to the house; I showed them the accounts and how I was making a loss every year, so I gave them a print and they were happy, you know?
Quotes source: http://paper-journal.com/tom-wood/
Here’s another little flick through video on Vimeo showcasing Wood’s work:
“Still Looking for Love is a chance to revisit a series of photographs by one of the true underground heroes of British photography and catch a glimpse of British nightlife on the cusp of rave and the acid house phenomenon”
All images from: http://www.sorika.com/product/coming-soon