Gavriel Maynard is a Sydney-based, self-taught photographer. He's the kind of guy you think might be a bit too cool (some might say he's got every reason to be working for The Cobra Snake) but in actuality he's totally approachable and friendly. His party photographs instantly transport you to the best saturday night of your life, while his editorials verge on unposed and lo fi. You can tell from looking at his work that Gavriel just has a really intense interest in all humans whether they be models, drag queens, his own friends or the homeless, and he manages to capture them all with the same honesty. He captioned his top 20 shots for us, and answered some questions.
Ingrid Kesa: Hi Gavriel. How old are you?
Gavriel Maynard: 22
Where did you grow up?
And where are you based now?
How did you get into photography?
I'd finished high school, had some spare cash and my friend suggested I buy a camera one day when we walked past a camera shop. I walked in and bought it. It sat in a box for half a year until i went to Europe and decided to take it with me. I photographed everything on the trip: girls, cars, boys, parties, and it just kind of came from that.
Do you remember the first photo you took?
What camera do you always carry around?
How did you start shooting for The Cobra Snake?
Zara Mirkin hooked that up. She put him in touch with me, he liked my work, we Skyped and that was it. Shout out to Zara!
You must go to a lot of parties. Best party you've been to this year?
Without a doubt the first 'Girl Thing' I ever shot. It's a once a month lesbian party and the theme was Jumanji. It was me and 300 lesbians all dressed in Jumanji costumes.
Sounds hectic. I just lurked you on Instagram. How did you meet your girlfriend? Is she a model too?
No she is not a model, she hates when I take photos of her! [Laughs]. I used to carry my camera everywhere with me when I first started shooting and did this online diary kinda thing. If I saw someone who I thought was dressed cool or looked interesting on the street I'd ask to take a photo of them. One day I saw her on the street and asked to take her photo. A month later I bumped into her again and she remembered me and we started chatting, and that was it, it just kinda clicked. That was two years ago and I still have that photo of her from the first day we ever met.
Pet hate on Instagram?
Pictures of quotes.
Does it piss you off when you see your images on Tumblr without any credit?
I don't have a Tumblr so I never really see them. Every now and again someone will send me a photo they have found of mine with something ridiculous like 30,000 reblogs. It's just nice to see that many people appreciated it, I don't need my name on it.
There are quite a few NSFW shoots on your blog. How do you make people feel comfortable enough to get naked? Or do you just target exhibitionists?
I would never ask someone to be naked for a shot if it wasn't right for the mood of the story. Knowing the line between when it's tacky and when it's not is important, and I think the person can sense that.
You've got a great array of stick and poke tattoos. Which one is your favourite and why?
I have an asthma puffer with 'puff puff pass' written under it, maybe that one. It's hard to choose, I have around 35 now and some are stupid ones and some really mean something to me. I like getting them for people I love and care about. I have one for each family member, a couple for my best friends and I got one last week for Siobhan, my girlfriend.
You also have excellent taste in t-shirts. What is the best one you own?
That's even harder to choose [laughs]! It would have to be this original Jerry Springer security t-shirt I found.
As for role reversal, how do you feel about being in front of the lens rather than behind it?