DT: What's been your favourite location or shot, of all the ones you've done? And why?
JH: Years ago, I most liked photographing natural things and graphic patterns and stuff, but nowadays I prefer to fly in the city because there's just so much more to see. In five minutes, you can be from the outskirts of the city and you can see patterns of things; I dunno, train stations or motorway intersections and that kind of thing that are really interesting. And then, literally within a couple of minutes, you could be photographing a skyscraper. You can come in really close and you can crop right in and you can look through the skyscraper or you can look at the people sitting at their desks. So I much prefer a big city like London or New York or Hong Kong. Somewhere like that is far more interesting to me nowadays.
DT: You must love your job!
MJH: Yeah, most of the time it is really good fun. But it’s also incredibly frustrating as well. Like this morning, I mean, I make most of my income licensing images or footage, and nowadays I spend two or three days a month contacting people who have stolen my work. I’m in contact with somebody who put the phone down on me! I said to him: you know, it's not going to go well for you. You have already admitted stealing the pictures…
DT: Was this a publication?
JH: It was just a commercial website of London, funnily enough; a property person. It is very frustrating. It’s so easy to steal stuff these days, and I get it constantly, so I have to use tracking software. Every month I spent two or three days trawling through the software, seeing who has stolen it and contacting them and either dealing with them myself or they end up with my lawyers. It's quite frustrating, but it is just how it is these days.
DT: So, final question, and maybe you’ve been asked this before, but with a name like Hawkes is there a bit of nominative determinism here? Was this all set out for you? (laughs)
JH: (laughs) I don't know, but I do think, funnily enough that I was incredibly lucky to fall into this kind of thing. And yeah, having a name like Hawkes does work quite well. But when I was a student, I really wanted to do still life photography because I love just working on tiny little sets. Now, of course it couldn't be further removed what I've ended up doing. But flying is just such a laugh. Every time you do it, you look forward to the day you're going to be up shooting, and it doesn't ever lose that. I definitely really enjoy my job and I want to carry on doing it for as long as I can, rather than ever retire.
DT: Brilliant. Well, it's been fascinating, and it's been great looking at your shots over the years, actually; I have followed your career for many years, so congratulations and thanks for taking part in this.
JH: Excellent! Alright, really good to talk to you. Cheers, bye. The Changing Face of London
exhibition is open and free to visit in the NLA Galleries at the Building Centre from 9 September - February and at The City Centre, focusing on this period of change for the Square Mile, from 23 September - 18 December.