There are many inspiring and established street style blogs out there. The Sartorialist,Jak & Jil, Street Peeper to name just a few. But right on our door step, and winding through the streets of Melbourne, Sydney and soon, the world, is Dan Roberts. Photographer, fashion enthusiast and creator of street style blog ThreadsLike. I had the pleasure of meeting Dan earlier this year through mutual friends, and have been following his blog closely ever since. Not only is Dan a really nice guy, but he has an incredible eye for capturing the beautiful, stylish and inspiring moments happening just around the corner from us. I asked Dan to tell us a little about himself and the journey of ThreadsLike, which has now become one of my favourite street style blogs. Seriously, keep your eye on this guy, He’s going places.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start ThreadsLike.
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, which is where, in a way, I fell into the fashion industry. Ever since, fashion has become an integral part of who I am, and my intrigue into the creative/design side of the industry grows each and every day. I was working for one of New Zealand’s preeminent fashion designers for about 4 years before I decided it was time for a change of city, and also a time to start developing my own body of work.
ThreadsLike was in motion a long time before it actually took on it’s own domain name and before I was prepared to share it with the world. I went on a trip to Tokyo, which kind of changed the game for me. I’ve always had an attraction to city culture but something in the intensity of Tokyo really clarified that for me. It gave me more perspective and respect for how city culture works, and how it influences so many aspects of our lives.
Photography has always played a large part of my life, ever since my sister gave me my first camera back in the day. It was something that’s always been there in my life but I’d never taken too seriously. While I was working for the designer in NZ I started shooting a few fashion shows and behind the scene type frames and really fell head over for fashion photography.
I touched down in Melbourne and knew it was time to show the world what I had to offer, that’s when ThreadsLike was thrown into the mix and it’s been a work in progress ever since.
What catches your eye when you’re out on the streets?
Personally when I’m out on the streets I’m looking for frames that are more than just ‘good’ fashion. I think what I’m looking for at its simplest form would be called ‘style’. I think the most memorable frames happen when there is cohesion between my subject, their fashion and the environment. In my eyes Streetstyle has so much more to offer than a static, up and down frame of someone wearing something cool. As a photographer I try to capture a story in all of my frames.
It’s really situational, you can be out all day, and at one moment during that whole day, something happens and you see an outfit, a personality and story right in front of you. You have to react straight away or the moment disappears and you’re left kicking yourself for missing the frame.
Lately I’ve been shooting a lot at fashion week material and that essentially is the same deal. It’s hunting out those little moments that happen when most other photographers have put their cameras down. I think creatively it’s really challenging shooting at fashion shows. There are a lot of people shooting, and finding your own rhythm and standpoint is really important in getting frames that are engaging.
Do you ever go out looking for a specific theme? Or is it a matter of just keeping your eyes open at all times?
I mean everyone has a preference/style, but I try not to specifically look for themes when I hit the streets. I would view my work as documentary so keeping an open mind is pretty important. I think themes naturally happen over an unknown amount of time. There might be a theme that only lasts a season, or there might be a larger theme/idea that is present for a few years. One of the exciting things about the documentation I do will be building a body on a timeline that will be able to be viewed in years to come.
Who are some of the people that inspire you and why?
Like a lot of people in my position, the first inspiration of mine was Scott Schuman. He took me to exotic streets around the world and introduced me to an array of interesting characters. Scott produced, and continues to produce some of the most romantic frames in the Streetstyle scene. His photographs tell stories unlike many others, and I still love looking through his blog roll regularly.
More recently I’ve been influence by the likes of Tommy (Jak&Jill, Tommy Ton), Phil (Streetpeeper), and Nam (streetfsn). The way these guys are documenting international fashion weeks around the world is quite inspiring. Tommy especially has been a huge influence in my work over the last 12 months. Tommy has an eye for detail and a way of framing an image that is pretty unique. He’s captured some incredibly provocative frames that have definitely been an inspiration.
Plus it helps that I got to shoot shoulder to shoulder with these guys recently up in Sydney. They are genuinely nice, fun guys and it was an honor to be running down the street chasing elusive girls with these three.
What’s involved in a typical day of blogging for you?
Generally I’m up and about pretty early. Ready and out the door with my camera around my shoulder on my way to the first coffee stop. It’s really just a matter of where my feet take me on the day. Sometimes I can spend a whole day in town discovering new laneways, popping into a few stores I regular, going from coffee stop to book store and back to the streets. I spend a lot of time in the inner suburbs too.
At the end of the day you can find me at my computer in the editing suite, with the music turned right up before I pop out to meet friends for a few drinks or go to an opening or viewing of a new collection. I try to keep in contact with local designers as well as looking at what’s going on internationally.
If it’s a typical day during a fashion week then it’s shooting from sun up to sun down. Usually a quick dinner with friends from the industry follows, then into a long night of editing and not much sleep. Fashion weeks are definitely all action, but I thrive in that environment so it seems to work out.
I’ve been working on a few different photography projects and collaborating with a few bloggers etc around Melbourne lately, so it’s definitely been a busy schedule over the last few months. But I love every second of it!
What are some of the most interesting reactions you’ve had when taking photos of someone on the streets?
Recently there was this cute little Japanese girl who I’m pretty sure I made feel like a superstar by asking her if I could take her photograph. She actually screamed and jumped around the pavement when I asked her, which as you can imagine isn’t the greatest thing to happen on the streets in town!
Generally people are really good about being approached though, which I really appreciate. Sometimes I’ll end up and a great conversation with the people from in my photographs, and it’s that social side that I really enjoy also.
What is next for ThreadsLike?
Right now I’ve got a few projects happening here in Melbourne, which I’m in the storyboarding/idea building process of. I find it a really interesting part of my job, and one that’s become a rather constant evolution. Whether I’m being kept up at night with a million ideas for photographs shooting around my head, or whether I stumble upon an amazing location somewhere out of the blue, it’s a continual process/journey for me.
ThreadsLike is also looking to go international in the next few months. There are things in the pipeline to get over to a few international fashion weeks and cover the streets from different cities around the world. Travel is an essential part of my growth and interpretation of the world around me, so I’d like ThreadsLike to travel as much as possible and continue to grow. In what direction it may go, who knows, but I’d love you to come along for the ride!