Interview with Urban Photographer Ness Cohen

Today we bring you our latest exclusive interview from the world of photography, this time with North West creative Ness Cohen. Here, we chat about Ness’ style, inspirations and experiences and showcase examples from her latest photo-book ‘The Writing’s On The Wall,’ which focusses on the art of graffiti and its relationship with urban landscapes – enjoy!

Hi Ness, it’s a pleasure to continue our interview series with you. First off, could you explain for our readers how you fit into the creative world?

I’m an urban, creative photographer from Manchester. I’m fascinated by urban culture and I seek out work with a street sentiment ordinarily. I have a creative angle to most of my work, whereby I think up innovative concepts relating to the subject.

When did you first discover your passion for photography? Did your education play a large role?

Left to my own devices on my Art & Design degree, I borrowed a Film camera and using the ‘Auto’ setting I started photography projects. Once I finished my degree I travelled on and off for the next 8 years, clicking away with a digital pocket camera, putting off getting a proper job. Then I thought I’d do a Masters (in Photography) and use the degree that I got in all that debt for!

ness cohen street art photography

How would you sum up your photographic style, what do you strive to achieve in each shoot?

I have a distinctive style of shooting from an alternative angle using ‘Photographic Fragmentation’, which is where I intentionally capture the details, hoping to force an interactive process, where the viewer is forced to scour the image, imagining the whole through the significant detail and the context.

Your new photo-book ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’, touches on the relationship between graffiti and the cityscape; tell us more about your thoughts behind it and recognition so far.

It celebrates the richness and diversity of urban culture and the role of street art and its artists. Graffiti and street art are rife within the urban environment and my intention is to showcase graffiti from an alternative angle. ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’ is a series of photographic fragments. The work illustrates the complementary relationship between the art form and the urban landscape, helping to dispel any negative connotations.At the moment I’m focussing on getting the book published and so far the book is being featured in several urban or photography magazines, such as The Royal Photographic Society’s Contemporary Photographer’s Journal, the Italian urban digital magazine called Mood and Manchester based, urban Example Magazine.

The Writing’s on The Wall from PhotosByNess on Vimeo.

What other projects/ shoots stand out for you and why?

Seeing as I’ve done quite a lot of travelling, touring the Mediterranean last summer for STA Travel, taking pictures for their new brochures and social network comms, was a particular highlight of my career so far (

ness cohen street art photography 2 ness cohen street art photography

Who has inspired you throughout your time as a photographer?

Ian Beesley, course leader on my Masters at Bolton University, has got to be my most inspiring influence in my photography world to date. I feel honoured to have him as a sort of mentor, offering me invaluable advice and encouragement along the way.Other favourite photographers include the creative Kenneth Josephson and the witty Elliott Erwitt.

ness cohen photography

Having recently completed your Masters degree (congrats!), you showcased your work at the graduate show. What other exhibitions have you been involved in and are you taking part in any events in the near future?

I exhibited the book at a ‘Photography and The Book Symposium’ run by The Royal Photographic Society (RPS), held at Chetham’s Library in Manchester, in March, where the book was well received. I hope to provide talks for The RPS next autumn, on the process of producing a photo-book.

ness cohen graffiti photography

What are your aspirations for the future?

I hope to continue with urban based photography projects, becoming even more of a visual urbanist and keep on pursuing work within urban and creative art outlets.

Thanks Ness, all the best from the team at Business Boom! See more from Ness Cohen on her website at and follow on Facebook at on Twitter @Ness_Cohen.

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  1. […] Wall’ has had some great press of late; an interview with me about the book has been published on Business Boom Bolton’s website. They showcase up-and-coming Northern creative types. That must be me then! STA Travel […]

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