sometimes I wonder whether I take PHOTOGRAPHS to feel part of something
"When I was seven, my best friend was a sheep named Scruffy. I used to stand at the side of the field at the top of my driveway and call his name and he would come over and chew my offered handful of grass. I often wonder whether this is probably the most successful friendship I’ve ever had.
I was born in Greenwich Hospital in 1990. A two bedroom maisonette apartment at the Greenwich end of Lewisham Road was home for four years, along with my parents and two cats, one of whom refused to come out of a cupboard for around 2 weeks when I arrived kicking and crying. Charming.
After a great deal of coughing and spluttering my parents decided to move us out of the city into the heart of the Essex countryside in the valiant idea that it may be better for my lungs. It turned out that it was and Bluegates Farm was our base until I was twelve.
This series of events led to my childhood being incredibly free roaming. I can’t remember a day where I wasn’t lost in a forest, stuck in quicksand or rescuing birds eggs from an abandoned nest. Mice and water moles that my cats brought in were given names and ‘nursed’ back to health. I was never protected from learning about death or the natural world. It was a very solitary and yet incredibly fulfilling 8 years of my life.
I think this stage has contributed more to my photography than any other in my life. Increasingly my work echoes that solitude, it aims to show total simplicity and my favourite locations to shoot are always lost in nature; at the top of a mountain in the pouring rain or by the sea surrounded by the sound of waves.
I rarely look at wedding photography, consciously at least. That’s a bit of a scary thing to write and, in the spirit of writing about how I see things, it feels like a vital thing to share. My inspirations on a daily basis come mainly from Pinterest and the Tumblrs on my Bloglovin’ feed. A lot of travel, landscape, architecture, photo journalism, fashion posts, portrait posts, amazing places and spaces and people. I want my work to be considered as art rather than as my having provided a service.
One of my grooms said to me recently that even if he got one image (out of the 300 provided) that he would love to frame and hang on the wall, that he would have got his money's worth. I love that. This feeling of quantity over quality is never one I’ve understood. Possibly that’s why I only have around 10 outfits hanging in my wardrobe.
Sometimes I wonder whether I take photographs to feel part of something. Whether it’s the people depicted in that frame, or the moment itself. Having been an only child (and one with a sheep as a best friend!) I fall in love with my couples and often I fall hard. I thrive from that relationship. Hence why, for me, it’s so important to work with those that ‘get’ you.
This is the way that I see things."
We are utterly thrilled that UK based photographer Claudia Rose Carter agreed to join us as a Farm Week mentor. She is offering a masterclass called Photography Untethered on the 17th of February that aims to challenge our perceptions of wedding photography. This workshop will be tailored to the attendees, who will be taking part in their own challenges on the day. Like all our classes, the numbers are limited so that the learning will be intense.