How did you get into photography/what is your background?
Photography is a new venture for me. I’ve no formal background in it (yet), but I’m a creative person and really enjoying the challenge of learning more about my camera and the art of photography. My dad and grandparents have all enjoyed photography, and when I was given a new compact camera as a present a couple of years ago I decided to try and get the most out of it. Last summer I decided the best way to learn was just to go out and take photos every day. I bought a micro system camera as the next step up to give me more manual control over my shots and I am now approaching a year’s worth of photos which I share on my blog. I’m currently debating what to do next now my year is near an end and can’t wait for the next challenge!
How would you describe your style of photography?
The only word I can think of so far is random! I like to try and make ordinary things look interesting whether it’s nature, architecture, people or objects.
Taking photos every day has started to give me an idea of what areas of photography I’d like to pursue more seriously. I’ve found I particularly like street and landscape photography. Street photography appeals to me as it’s a real skill to capturing candid moments of emotion, whereas landscape photography covers a whole variety of subjects both urban and rural.
What equipment do you use?
I have a Panasonic Lumix FS-15 compact, and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 micro system camera. For the G1 I have 14-45mm and 45-200mm lenses. I also use my iPhone 3Gs and its various photo apps from time to time (mostly iDarkroom and Classic Toy).
Who/what has influenced your work?
All kinds of people have influenced my work, whether it’s fellow amateurs on photo blogging sites or well known photographers whose books I spend ages browsing in bookshops. At the moment I’m particularly enjoying Vivian Maier’s street photography.
The photographer Dorothea Lange sums everything up for me when she says ”To know ahead of time what you’re looking for means you’re then only photographing your own preconceptions, which is very limiting.”
Do you have any ideas on how photography in Birmingham can be developed or ideas for events/projects?
I think the work you are doing to connect photographers is a great start and meet ups would be great just to get to know everyone.
I’d love to see the web resource you have created grow a lot more. Although there are photography groups in Birmingham, the web presence doesn’t see that big (unless I’m really missing something!). It’s great to have a space dedicated to promoting individuals’ work, which is more than just a photo sharing website and which also caters for both amateurs and professionals. Perhaps a directory format of photographers and their website/twitter/contact links would be a good resource so that details aren’t lost as the blog expands.
I particularly like the idea of projects where maybe we are given a local theme and the results can be blogged on your site, and if successful there could be a really good source of local photos for exhibiting.
I’ll keep my thinking cap on!
Contact Helen on