Dougie Wallace

06th November 2019

While I was looking at street photography images on the internet, I put in a different search and included the word flash. I was extremely happy to find the work of Dougie Wallace who is from Glasgow. He is known as Glasweegee which I am presuming, quite confidently, that it is a hint to his style using flash in his street photography as did Arthur Fellig who had the pseudonym Weegee (link to my research on Weegee).

Like Weegee and Martin Parr, Wallace’s images has a distinct style which is both direct and expressive. He gets up close to his subjects, invades their privacy and uses the flash to bring out his subjects and to make them look as though they are actors on a stage with the spot light pointing at them.

I really like his style of social documentary and street photography, he has a type of run, intrude and snap approach which I have read has been controversial many a time. I am not sure if he is brave or daring, I would certainly have my adrenaline pumping around my body as I would go in for the shot – God I would so love to have a bit more Oomph in my portraits in the street. I am wondering though, without the quick snap which catches people off guard his subjects probably wouldn’t have that ‘caught in the headlight’ feel about them which makes it feel as though you as a viewer are intruding in on somebody’s personal space, it is quite nerving at times looking at the portraits but so intriguing being so close to somebody you don’t know.

“What motivates my pictures is human behavior. People’s interactions and emotions fascinate me. My stories are thematic; they have similarities of expressions running through them. My work is informed by societies trends and incongruities and translating what I see into wit, criticism and humorous vignettes. I’d like to think that my photos convey a point of view that’s believable and absurd.”

Dougie Wallace

I have found some interesting articles, this one is from the British Journal of Photography’s website and is titled, ‘Dougie Wallace shoots the lives of the mega rich in Harrodsburg.’

His portraits, many of which are taken right in the subject’s face, are big, bold and, at times, repulsive. He’s something of a street photography highwayman. His method is to jump out with his camera in hand, take the image and do a runner while the subject is still regaining their sight after being near-blinded by Wallace’s flash. 

Redeye The Photography Network
Made in Chelsea face-lift duck, Harrodsburg. Dougie Wallace

I am looking to purchase a few of Wallace’s books as I am really enthusiastic towards his images and working methods. He has had five books published and I have already ,managed to purchase ‘Shoreditch Wild Life’ as a second hand copy.

  1. Shoreditch Wild Life (2014). UK, Hoxton Mini Press
  2. Stags Heads and Bunnies (2014). Dewi Lewis Publishing
  3. Road Wallah (2015). Dewi Lewis Publishing
  4. Harrodsburg (2017). Dewi Lewis Publishing
  5. Well Healed (2017). Dewi Lewis Publishing

My favourite images of Wallace are those that he has taken through the bus windows. Here he has encroached on the passengers journey snapping them, sometimes unknowingly and other times with their face in direct line with the camera. Unfortunately there isn’t a book that has just these shots within it as they appear in a few of his projects, for example ‘The Age of Wealth’ and ‘Harrodsburg.’

I just love them, they are interesting fleeting moments of someones private journey. This link will take you to Wallace’s website and ‘The Age of Wealth’ Photographs.’ I mean just look at the image below, it is absolutely breathtaking!!

Title unknown – Dougie Wallace

I will be writing more on the works of Dougie Wallace when I have read the book that I have ordered. It was these shots through the bus which has also just enticed me to purchase a second hand copy of ‘On The Night Bus, (Tales from the City) which is the work of the photographer Nick Turpin, so I will also write a review on his book and work.

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