JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
TOUFIC BEYHUM: I grew up in Beirut during the war and as far as I can remember till the age of 8 the only thing I wanted to be was a soldier. I remember every boy wanted to be a soldier and every girl wanted to be a nurse or a teacher. Right now its the last thing I want to be.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
TB: I mentor twice per week at arguably the best advertising school in the world, School of Communication Arts and I get so inspired by all the young creatives and other mentors that buzz around the school. I was at Paris Photo this month which was very inspiring, the highlight was meeting & chatting to Pieter Hugo who turned out to be a genuine down to earth soul. Oh, I also just finished the autobiography of Malcolm X that was also an inspiration. So I have plenty to keep me busy in that department.
JC: What are you up to right now?
TB: In between freelancing as a creative in advertising, mentoring at school, finally finishing a self funded documentary called After Tomorrow & being a GREAT husband & dad I’m trying to organise a couple of self funded photography projects I want to complete in 2014. Watch this space.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
TB: It may sound like a cliche but God & my family have been my constant mentors and obviously I meet lots of interesting people along the journey that I learn from.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
TB: Based in London and I’m loving it, the last city I was in was Berlin and London is Berlin on speed.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
TB: Shoot what you love & enjoy shooting, don’t shoot something in the hope that someone else might like it. This way people will hire you for your style rather than make you do what they want. When my book “Emotions in motion” got published in Berlin I did not have that in mind, I shot on a daily basis for two years because I enjoyed it and it was a friend who saw the photos and convinced me to send them to some publishers.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
TB: My photography was never a plan A, I made sure of that. I do it out of love and that’s what amateur means in French, “the lover of”.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
TB: Can you imagine hanging out with accountants & politicians all day?