Interviews

Published on March 19th, 2020 | by Hansen Bangala

Two friends chat over coffee about old times – and bikes

Alex Duffill is a young photographer and short film-maker specialising in cycling photography. Currently based near London, he is originally from Bedford and an old schoolfriend of mine.

He has set up his own freelance photography studio, and meeting him after a few years produced a mixture of feelings, but mostly excitement. He won’t admit this, but Alex is one of the top cycling photographers in the UK, with a client list which includes some of the biggest companies in two wheels.

Rapha, British Cycling, Harley-Davidson, Subaru,  Johnson & Johnson, Rouleur Magazine, Cyclist Magazine, Browns Fashion, Leigh Day, the Neon Velo and Vitus professional cycling teams have all hired Alex in what was a very busy 2019.

One thing that is underappreciated in life is the moments that are not captured. If only I’d have taken a picture. A picture can tell a thousand stories, victory, defeat, happiness, sadness. They hold a special place in our hearts. Whether they are digital available or physically held. 

Talking with Alex, I was impressed at his professionalism and obvious passion for his craft. The origin of his decision to pursue photography isn’t out of the ordinary but was filled with curious intent. 

What was it that made you pick up the camera? 

“I was always into media growing up. I loved cameras and everything about them. I knew I was going to go into photography but I think I just started for fun and just kept going.”

Did you ever think it would lead to so much so soon?

“No, not ever, funnily enough. I just started taking pictures of the things I liked and my surroundings and then I started specialising more in cycling.”

Last time I saw you was on set for a short film. Is that something you see yourself doing more of? 

Yes! My days! Yeah that was such a good project. It’s good that we were able to collab on a proper project knowing where we’re from and now we’re in London and whatnot. But, yeah, film-making is definitely in the pipeline. At the moment, I’m working on building my photography portfolio up and just getting my content out there to bigger brands.”

What, bigger than Rapha?

He laughs and continues  “I just keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve done alright so far and I’ve been to so many places I wouldn’t have without this camera. So I’m glad I’m able to do that and have fun at the same time.”

“You didn’t really steal bikes did you?”

Cycling is one of my vices. The feeling I get when I’m freely pedalling, whether it’s in the sun or the rain, is unmatched. Cycling mimics the feeling of freedom. You’re not just sitting down and pushing pedals and shifting gears. You’re working constantly building a relationship with your bike, cleansing the body and getting healthier as you ride.

Alex and I share a love for bikes I told him I wouldn’t have stolen his bike. He says I wouldn’t have got past the lock; the pie was therefore left on the windowsill.

Favourite bike?

“Road bikes, man. Carerra, all about the elegance. I was in Austria for an event last summer and the views there were insane. Those bikes can really roll, such open smooth roads.” 

Carrera, a man of talent and taste. My last bike was a Carrera, and I miss it.

Feature image courtesy of Alex Duffill; visit Alex’s website here. He is also on Instagram.

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