Introducing Peak Imaging - film processing, digital printing, photobooks, and more.

 
 
 

Peak Imaging is an independent photographic laboratory and print company based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Vastly experienced in both traditional film and the digital arena, their dedicated workforce has an amazing, average service time of 22 years.

Working alongside some very famous household names across the UK and Europe and more recently the Far East, producing wall art products and prints for museums, boardrooms, homes and photographers in general, Peak Imaging’s reputation is well documented and long established. 

Co-director Cathrine Lee has seen the company adapt and re-shape to the ever changing marketplace. “Customer service and product involvement is key to our success and we firmly believe that time invested in project development and consultation is vital for end result satisfaction. Our clients usually know what they want to achieve but often, not how to achieve it or more commonly, what is possible. From straight reprints of digital media or film to large format displays on PVC and acrylic, we cover a vast array of display products and services, working to strict guidelines and tolerances”.

Processing film through C41, E6 and Black and White lines all day, 5 days a week, all machinery is the best dip and dunk technology for a scratch-free environment. Slide mounting and film scanning still play a big part in photographic projects whilst the emailing of images from film is becoming very popular too.

Cathrine continues “As a laboratory of some 43 years in the business, we have always invested heavily in new machinery and ideas and currently employ both photographic and giclee printing techniques. We find that both have a place in domestic and commercial display forums and that it is sometimes wise to allow the subject matter of a piece to dictate the media and print format. Metallic and high gloss papers are very popular at the moment but much of the traditional photographic work pieces still demand rag papers and fine art materials”.

Photobooks are currently a favourite format for family enjoyment and advertising and Peak Imaging’s LifeBook product comes in many shapes and sizes to suit the project in hand. From weddings and world trips to coffee table promotions and antique collections. All stories can be told and cherished in the pages of a “LifeBook”.  Explore the possibilities and creation software at peak-imaging.com.

10,000 sq. ft. of production space has been carefully designed to create efficient workflow whilst housing darkrooms, conference facilities and design studios.  All of this and full product display can be visited at the Holbrook Avenue site.


Find out more about Peak Imaging and what they do here. You can even give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter.

Ginnel Foto Fest 2019 - Submissions Open

Ginnel Foto Fest returns, 25th - 26th May 2019.

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We accept photographs of digital and analogue source.

Our new 2019 call hopes to attract submissions that show a diverse interpretation of this years ‘IN REPEAT’ theme. Our feature photographers already lead the way in showing very different approaches and concepts. Be inspired and make use of the opportunity to be part of a unique community.

IN REPEAT is inspired by dealings with the past or engaging with timely matters. This could be relating to finding patterns in society that may have been experienced by previous generations in similar ways. Think of working with memories by looking back into ones personal life. It could as well be the work with found imagery or dealings with historic content. The opportunities are manifold and we will be interested in seeing your work.

The Ginnel Foto Fest is with its 13.5 sqm exhibition space the smallest Photo Festival we know of. With this in mind and a call for project based submissions we are looking for: 

5 finalists who will get their work published across our online channels. Winner and runner-up will see their work displayed during the 2019 Ginnel Foto Fest and take part in the group exhibition of the Ginnel Foto Community in June at the Frameworkshop & Gallery in Ipswich.

Submission Guidelines

Entry is free!

We will only accept entries according to these rules. Submissions to the Ginnel Awards have to be sent via email to ginnelfest@gmail.com and must state ‘Ginnel Awards 2019’ in the subject header.

Photographs must be current and shot no earlier than 2017. Photographs must respond to the festival theme ‘IN REPEAT’. The photographer submitting the work must own the copyright and all necessary releases to the image. Feature photographers of the 2019 Ginnel Foto Fest are not permitted to enter. Only one entry/person is allowed. Multiple entries will automatically disqualify all entries.

Don’t put any info in the text body of your email. Please read on for further details.

  • Your submission must have minimum of 4 and maximum of 8 images.

  • We need your entry as a pdf document attached to the email.

  • Each photo must be on a full page. No two photos on the same page

The last page/s must provide the following:

  • First Name, surname

  • Email address

  • Website url

  • Nationality

  • Address of residency

  • Project Title of the submitted series of images

For each image we need:

  • Image title, Image location, date taken

Additionally you have to add: 

  • Short description of the project (max 500 words)

  • Short bio (max 200 words)

If your entry is selected for the finals you have to provide high resolution jpg files within a week after being contacted. Not responding or a delayed respond may result in being disqualified. Compensation claims will not be accepted.

The finalists grant Ginnel Foto Fest and associated partners of the 2019 Ginnel Foto Fest to use their images for marketing and other promotional purposes. Image credit will be given and the copyright remains with the owner. Curational decisions for the Ginnel Foto Fest and/or the Gallery Exhibition may not include all images of the submitted work. The curator’s decision is final. All work will be printed from the files provided and framed by the Ginnel Foto Community free of charge for the participant. All exhibited work remains in the archive of the Ginnel Foto Community.

The decision of the jury for the 2019 Calling Photographers is final.

Closing date for entries: 01 March 2019 at 23.59 BST

A visual response to Brexit - the 3rd edition of PGZ

Submissions are now open to the third edition of PGZ. In this Brexit themed issue, photographers will reflect upon the current UK climate amidst our recent decision to leave the European Union.

We are looking for single images, bodies of work, and written pieces around the topic. Whether positive or negative, we are hopeful we can collate a reflection of the UK at this important, but also quite uncertain time. We’ve all felt the impact and our futures remain unpredictable. We are all in a huge state of change.

Previous editions of PGZ have been printed and saddle stitched, and we’ve sent these out to big names in the industry. This time around we’re creating a downloadable zine which we are hopeful can reach a wider audience. This also means we can include more photographers and spend less time on print quality and more time on promotion.

We’re excited to see where this project will lead.


We will also be selecting work from submissions received for website content based around this theme. If you’d like to be considered for website content only and not this edition of PGZ please state this in your email. There is no fee for website only content.

Submission guidelines

  • Submissions are free and open to photography graduates from UK courses only. No specific graduation year

  • A number of graduates will be selected from submissions received and will need to pay a small fee of £15 each

  • A maximum of 10 images need to be sent alongside your series title, website link, social media handles, and where you studied

Winning photographers: please note that not all 10 of your images will be selected, we will edit them down so if you have any preferences please state these in your initial email.

Selected images will be curated at the discretion of Photograd.

Submissions need to be sent to photogradpgz@gmail.com only.

Supporters

We’ve asked a number of industry professionals to come on board with this project and have listed a few names below. You might have the opportunity to be interviewed by one of these people for PGZ or your work may be selected because of them.

  • Chloe Juno - Brighton based photographer and creative consultant. Current long term photo project Someones Rubbish.

  • Joanne Coates - Photographer and founder of Lens Think; A social enterprise for equality in art with bi-monthly socials to meet, work, generate ideas, & develop arts in the North.

  • Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz - Documentary photographer and founder of Photo Scratch; an opportunity for documentary photographers to understand how their work is perceived and gain valuable insight into how to take their work further with the benefit of other people’s outside eye.

  • Tom Coleman - London based photographer, curator and producer, and founder of Unveil’d; commissioning, producing and promoting contemporary photography.

  • Alex Hewitt and Pauline Jérémie - The team behind Findr; supporting photographers and finding them work. They simplify the search and booking process of photographers for work by giving direct access through their platform.

  • Alex Ingram - University of the West of England, Bristol graduate and now London based freelance photographer. Alex’s work has been featured in various magazines and exhibitions across the UK, as well as having recently published his second book, David’s House.

…and more!

Selected

Those selected graduates for this edition of PGZ will:

  • Receive a free download of this issue

  • Receive a 50% off code to share with a friend or family member to download their own copy from the Photograd Shop

  • Be signed up to receive future opportunity emails from Photograd

  • Be part of the Photograd community with a copy of our logo for your site

DEADLINE

Midnight Monday 4th March 2019.

For those selected the deadline to then pay by will be Wednesday 13th March.


We will be creating a similar zine based around this theme later in the year so if you have work in progress which won’t make the deadline this time around, save it for our next submission process.

Introducing Fable & Folk

There seems to be a running theme in our recent blog posts here at Photograd as we introduce you to some other online communities and networks.
In this blog post we introduce you to Fable & Folk, an independent platform created to embrace and share the tradition of visual storytelling to inform, educate and inspire.

We think Charlotte’s answers are really inspiring so we hope you enjoy a read through them.

If you have something to share or talk about on the blog, get in touch!

Kate Walker,  A Day Away From the Farm , 2018

Kate Walker, A Day Away From the Farm, 2018

Who are you, what's your motto? My name is Charlotte and I’m a recent photography graduate. I wouldn’t say I have a motto, but one of my favourite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy”. I think this applies so much within the photographic community - I spent years looking at other people’s work and thinking it was so much better than my own. Once I learnt to value my own work and not compare myself to others, I produced my best photography to date.

What’s your background? Have you studied photography? I was born in Manchester but grew up in a small village in North Lincolnshire. I started studying photography at A Level then moved to Cheltenham to study Editorial & Advertising Photography at The University of Gloucestershire. I graduated in November and recently got a job as a Content Creation Manager at an independent company specialising in homeware and DIY products. I plan on travelling in a couple of years time and would like to start my own photobook business in the future.

Charlotte Colenutt,  Soul Mate , 2018

Charlotte Colenutt, Soul Mate, 2018

What's your favourite style of photography? I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre of photography, I love and appreciate photographs that tell a story or photographs that have thought and craftsmanship behind them. My specialisation, however, is documentary photography because I love to talk to people. I love to dedicate time to speaking to someone, finding out their story and trying to capture that. Moreover, I love finding out the story behind an interesting place and trying to document every inch of it to best tell it’s story to others.

Who or what motivates you? I have been passionate about photography for years now. I guess what motivates me to photograph is I feel a need to tell people’s stories and share them. I feel motivated by what’s going on in the world and by finding stories I haven’t seen/heard told before. I also surround myself with other photography - photobooks, magazines, social media accounts, organisations and blogs - to inspire me and keep me constantly thinking of new ideas.

Can you tell us what Fable & Folk is? Fable & Folk is an online platform created to embrace and share the tradition of visual storytelling to inform, educate and inspire others. Directed at young or aspiring photographers, it’s a space I curate and share narratives and photo-stories. I want to develop Fable & Folk into more than just a blog sharing others work but an online hub - full of information from fellow budding photographers and the professionals whilst keeping my audience updated with current affairs in the photographic world.

Gweniver Exton,  Spiritual Spaces , 2018

Gweniver Exton, Spiritual Spaces, 2018

Tell us about the team behind Fable & Folk. There isn’t really a team at Fable & Folk, it’s mostly just me. I tend to be involved in every step of the process from recruiting a photographer to feature to the end blog post and sharing that on social media. I don’t feel I would be 100% truthful though if I said I did everything. Sometimes, my partner Adam Elliott and a few great friends from university, particularly Megan Bendall, are a great assistance in helping me find new and exciting work. It’s difficult running the operation mostly on my own but I consider it my baby and even if I had a full team of amazing staff, I’d still want to be involved in everything.

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Fable & Folk? Fable & Folk started when I was studying at university and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for a career - all I knew was that I love photobooks. I love designing them, constructing them and collecting them. Eventually my tutor Grant Scott and I decided the best way for me to pursue a career in photobooks would be for me to start my own publishing company. To build an audience, you first need to create a blog that naturally attracts an audience that will eventually move from the blog, to your company. I can’t thank Grant and my university peers enough for their support of Fable & Folk and if you haven’t already, I recommend listing to Grant’s podcast series ‘A Photographic Life’.

Jordan Turnbull,  A Rock and a Hard Place , 2018

Jordan Turnbull, A Rock and a Hard Place, 2018

What is Fable & Folk's biggest achievement to date? I’ve never been one to keep track of numbers or views. I know it sounds cheesy but I would say my biggest achievement is having had the chance to be in contact with so many fantastic photographers and to have built a hub of Fable & Folk support on Twitter. I feel so proud of where Fable & Folk is, who our biggest supporters are and most importantly, the list of photographers I get to consider friends and mentors.

How can photographers get involved in what you do? We always love being contacted by photographers! If you’re interested in submitting to Fable & Folk, visit our ‘Contact’ page for more details. We don’t have specifics on what the series should necessarily be or look like, we only ask you send us a strong narrative. THAT’S IT. That’s not to say we accept all work but we always want to offer something - whether it’s a feature on the blog or advice on how to develop the work to eventually get it featured. We also love getting constructive criticism and positive feedback from our audience on F&F so please feel free to message us or drop us an email.

Adam Elliott,  For ours you see, was Welsh steam coal , 2018

Adam Elliott, For ours you see, was Welsh steam coal, 2018

Give one tip to new photography graduates. If I could give one tip to new photography graduates I would stress the importance of networking - whether it’s through social media or attending events, it’s vital to make contact with other photographers. Networking so much during my course has meant that since leaving university, and trying to grow Fable & Folk, I have had endless support and mentorship from so many different photographers and influencers within the community - special thanks to Iain Sarjeant for giving me heaps of advice when the blog first started and to Chloe Juno for motivating me and offering so much help. In addition, I think it’s even more helpful if you’re struggling mentally, feeling overwhelmed or lost, to talk to someone in the same boat so don’t be afraid to reach out!

What does 2019 have in store for Fable & Folk? I don’t want to give too much away but I’m hoping 2019 will be a game changer for Fable & Folk. I really want to get more interviews on the blog and I’d like to try and get a new feature on the site where I share exhibitions, events and workshops for people to attend. I’d also potentially like to rebrand - new website, new logo - so the brand evolves with the work and the audience. I hope we can really develop into a fully realised online platform featuring lots of different important yet inspirational content for budding photographers/ photography enthusiasts.

Introducing Flourish

In this blog post we introduce you to Flourish, a magazine all about thriving in a particular place, community, culture and flourishing in the outdoors. Flourish are currently seeking support through their Kickstarter campaign to bring their second issue to life which will be all about the British Isles. Check out their great rewards here - we’ve pre-ordered ourselves a copy!


Volume 1 of Flourish

Volume 1 of Flourish

My name is Lucy Jane Saunders and I am a Bath Spa University Photography graduate. I started photography years before going to university as a hobby, inspired by the disposable film camera images my dad would bring home and develop after his travels abroad. I never anticipated it could become my job, yet it slowly immersed me into the world of photography and its potentials. At university my style narrowed and I found my preferred way of working. Photographers such as Jon Tonks, Colin Pantell and Robert Darch inspired my documentary approach to photographing. Yet being outdoors, travelling, and finding new locations really motivated me to keep making new work. 

After graduating two years ago I started freelancing alongside setting up the magazine publication ‘Flourish’. I have always adored working within print production and love magazine design. I initially created it out of pure passion, the desire to create new work, and design pages where photographs and text interacted on the page telling stories. But once the first volume was made I almost felt selfish keeping it to myself… the stories I had encountered travelling, the archive of photographs I had collected and the other people I collaborated with. I decided to launch a Kickstarter Campaign to see if other creatives would be interested in supporting the publication to get the magazine to print. To my surprise we achieved our target! People from all over the world backed the campaign and three months later we had enough funding to get the magazine to the printers. I sat in the post office for hours posting a host of magazines to backers and from there I tried to gain stockists to hold the rest.

Flourish became a brand rooted from its definition: “(of a living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment.” As humans we are constantly seeking new, intriguing, and stimulating locations to explore, travel, and experience. Flourish aims to capture those moments we treasure; the bright colours, the tastes we remember, and most importantly the time spent thriving within that place. 

I wanted to capture not only the sensual elements of a location, but also its underlying struggles, and those who have met and overcome the challenges of sustainability. Those who live from the land, create from the land, and are protecting and flourishing with the nature that surrounds them.  

In recent years, photographic magazines have been blurring the lines between books and throwaway publications. Flourish is a magazine with stability, acting as a visual map for your mind, a great piece of reading material for your rucksack, and some inspiration to enjoy with your morning coffee. 

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Flourish will remind you that life is an experience, to capture those moments from other lives you cross paths with, to think more about what surrounds us in the landscapes you gaze at, and to speculate more on your next adventure.

Over the past year Flourish has thrived and I started to stock the publication in more and more independent stores. Due to the unexpected work I had to start bringing people on board and the Flourish team started to grow. My amazing supportive family started to help me get a website together, social media sites, help package, proof read and blog. It almost became a full time job for myself. 

My biggest achievement for the publication so far was definitely an unexpected win at the Creative Bath Awards in the summer of 2018. Winning Young Creative was an outstanding achievement for myself and for the magazine team. As we went from strength to strength I found the need to make more work and I was conscious people would be expecting a second volume. Depleted of money with the print of volume 1 and the lack of freelance work I could do, I find myself back in the same position as I was in with volume 1…. It’s never easy setting up a business and the profit from print is minimal, at least for the first couple of volumes. I have set up another Kickstarter to support volume 2 titled A Snippet of The British Isles where we collaborate with more photographers, writers and illustrators than we did previously in volume 1. 

Our Kickstarter Campaign is now in its last 30 days, so we are currently half way through. We are really close to making our target to get the publication to print and we would love the support of fellow photographers, creatives, and others who are passionate about the subject of Travel, Culture, Sustainability and Outdoor Living. Our campaign acts as a pre-ordering service…. where you can pre-order volume 2 A Snippet of The British Isles but also the possibility of gaining other rewards such a one off prints, illustrations and getting your name within the volume. 

If you would be interested in supporting the publication please visit our page here.

I am always on the look out for new photographers to feature within the publication. I love collaborating and love working with other graduates and fresh graduates as I was once in this position myself. I am always on the look out for something unique… someone who can create innovate stories through their pictures and who are enthusiastic about their work! 

Introducing Fiiiirst

In this blog post we introduce you to Fiiiirst, an online gallery showcasing anonymous discussions between authors photographers. Every month, two photographers are invited to interact through an image-based discussion. To keep this dialog without a pre-formated vision, the identities of each author are kept secret until the end of their respective discussion. Each picture produced is used as an inspiration to create the next one.


Who are you, what's your motto? I’m Guillaume Tomasi, a french-canadian photographer based in Montreal. 

What’s your background? Before doing photography I was a creative developer in several design studios in Geneva and in Montreal. During that time, I was addicted to creating beautiful websites with complex animations and visual effects. When I moved from France to Canada, I discovered a new city and at the same time I wanted to capture this new place with a digital camera. Slowly, photography became an obsession and in 2016 I decided to leave my job, and dedicated my time to photography.

Thomas Bouquin , Montreal

Thomas Bouquin, Montreal

Have you studied photography?  When I left my job I decided to start a BFA in Photography at Concordia University in Montreal. I discovered analog photography; how to developed negatives and how to print in the darkroom. I wanted to be more coherent when I was working on a photo project: How can I translate a subject into visuals.

It was not easy to return to school with two kids so I studied part-time and I will finally complete my degree in 2020.

What's your favourite style of photography? Its changed over time. At the beginning, I was very interested in black and white street photography - Cartier Bresson, Winogrand, Robert Frank, etc... After that I became strongly attached to colour - Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, etc…

Now I am more and more interested in communicating something personal who can touch a larger audience, like a universal feeling or situation. And working with something fictional is a new method that I want to implement into my future projects. An imaginary subject that can relate to our lives or society.

Kent Andreasen , Cape Town

Kent Andreasen, Cape Town

Who or what motivates you? Ideas! The moment where a tiny and simple idea becomes something bigger, where everything is possible. It really excites and motivates me.

I noticed that I am very confident at the beginning of a project because I have many pictures in mind. After that, I feel frustrated and disappointed by my results because nothing looks like what I had in mind. Slowly the project becomes something completely different that the initial idea. It's like a short moment of grief everytime.

I find inspiration in classical fields such as literature, cinema and music, but my latest projects are often sentences that I heard from discussion or a mundane situation.   

Sophie Barbasch , New York

Sophie Barbasch, New York

Can you tell us what Fiiiirst is? Sure! Fiiiirst is an online gallery showcasing anonymous discussions between authors photographers. Every month, two photographers are invited to interact through an image-based discussion. The main detail is that the photographers don’t know with whom they discuss until the discussion is completed and published on the website.

They upload their pictures into a private area and send an anonymous email to the other artist. The first artist then creates a picture. The second one receives it and uses it as an inspiration to create another picture. The discussion continues until they reach a certain amount of photographs.

I wanted this experience to be anonymous when they discuss the images so to remove the ego complex or to dictate which style (or photographs) they will then create based on the universe of their penfriend. 

Maela Ohana , Montreal

Maela Ohana, Montreal

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Fiiiirst? When I discovered photography and started to follow some contemporary photographers, I noticed that they was a small community where everyone knew the name or the works of each others. I became curious in imagining what would be the result if this artist collaborated with another one, and it was a great opportunity to challenge their creative practice by placing them with another artist whose work is very different in aesthetics or themes. 

What is Fiiiirst’s biggest achievement to date? Currently, the 3rd edition is running and I really appreciate the critical response for each discussion. I receive more and more submissions for future editions and it’s very difficult to decide which one will be chosen.

When I started the first edition I had nothing except a concept and now there are 80 photographers from 29 different countries involved.

How can photographers get involved in what you do? If people want to participate they can simply send me their portfolio at guillaume@fiiiirst.com because the recruitment for the 4th edition is open until the end of January!!  They can also follow our Facebook and Instagram page to get the latest discussions and news about Fiiiirst.

Give one tip to new photography graduates. Do your thing without anticipating awards, recognitions etc… Your work will benefit to be outside this stressful and unnecessary circle. Also, don’t tease too much of your work before a publication. Consider the quality instead of the quantity on social media. It will be good in the long term. 

What does 2019 have in store for Fiiiirst? In 2019, I am going to publish the first "Fiiiirst book” which will regroup pictures from the first two editions. It won’t be the same as the website but the pictures will be mixed or edit into a global and hybrid discussion.

I hope to be able to present to you this book in the summer. It’s difficult to say exactly when it’s going to be real, because Fiiiirst is a pro-bono side project which take a lots of time and I it’s just me working on it. I will create a kickstarter campaign in a few days/weeks. 

In June 2019 I am going to launch the 4th edition of Fiiiirst and right now I am very excited when I see the names of some shortlisted photographers.

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Claire McIntyre

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Claire McIntyre.


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What was the inspiration for the project? This was my very first venture into the documentary world. Leaving the fashion universe behind, I realised that the garments are still a focus of mine. After an arduous breakup, I took to Tinder and started meeting a number of London guys. I was spending a lot of my time discovering the city though these dates, and decided to start shooting. Tinder became my agent. Through the app, I photographed around 30 men. Conversation and psychology are dear to me. As I chatted with these men, I came to realise how sensitive and genuine they became, being in the comfort of their own home. The conditioning society created - the “male” behaviour - dropped, revealing a beautiful and sensitive soul and consciousness, so often repressed. This led me to be extremely inquisitive in regards to capturing this state. I made it my project to photograph this modern masculinity, men in their comfort zone, through the female gaze. As a female photographer, having power of representation over the masculine body in todays’ society which is extremely self-conscious in regards to external approval seeking is also a theme I explore.

How has the course at The Ravensbourne University shaped your practice? I don’t feel that the institution played any specific part in shaping who I am as a photographer, nor has it had any effect on my work. The tutors, however, have been key in my personal and artistic development. Due to the self-directed nature of the course, I do feel that I had the time and space to move around with ease through a range of photographic disciplines, thus allowing me to try a variety of topics and subjects, allowing me to explore and deepen my research and skills.

Who is your main photographic inspiration? As stereotypical as this may sound, Nan Goldin has been, from day one, my original inspiration. Someone I look up to as a person, as well as an artist. Her work and subject matter, as well as her over all aesthetic seduce me overtime. The raw and genuine elements composting her shots are beautiful and admirable. Wolfgang Tillmans is another artist I admire, shedding a golden light on the scene of everyday life. His curation style is one of my favourites as well, bringing life to the static world of a photography exhibition. Mark Neville and Stefan Ruiz are equally major influences in my work. I like the interactive aspect they practice, creating a bond with their subjects. Most recently I’ve been quite keen on Campbell Addy’s imagery, exploring topics of identity and representation.

What do you want to achieve and say with your portraits? I’ve touched on this earlier. I wish to address the notion of the social pressure and conditioning men go through. My question here is: “What is Masculinity?”. Is it gender related in any way? How conscious are we of our actions and reactions? How programmed are we in relation to our gender and in regards to our surroundings? This series depicts an alternative image of the viral male, not conforming to external pressures.

Do you have a favourite image? And why? I am not precious about the final outcome. This was a very personal project, reflecting my state of mind, as well as the phase I was going through. The process and conversation I developed with the subjects was the interesting part.

What camera and lens did you use? Canon 60D Lens 24-70mm (sometimes 50mm).

What are your future plans for self-development? I am currently the in-house photographer and a booker for Ciel Model Management. In February I will be traveling to Cuba to shoot a series and explore the topic of women and femininity. The female realm has always been harder for me to connect with, thus I wish to challenge myself. I am now in the process of applying for grants and artist residencies abroad, quite keen on developing documentary stories and venturing into photojournalism. I would like to carry one doing social work, bringing the notion of art and photography to troubled youth and prisons, working with individuals eager to tell their stories, as well as their versions and views on this concept we all share and call society.

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Natalia Poniatowska

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Natalia Poniatowska.


From the series  Moments I Never Showed You

From the series Moments I Never Showed You

How would you describe your project and the relationship to the title Moments I Never Showed You? For many years of being a natural picture maker and taking photographs of whatever caught my attention, I’ve noticed that people became a part of the landscape I create. Observing, sitting, relaxing. The images place the figure in surroundings that complement simultaneously two conditions – being and looking. This project focuses on my observations but also raises wider questions about photography as a medium and the act of observation itself. It is an attempt to look at my practice and question my selection of images in which unexpected connections and conversations can occur between images.

The body of work includes an animated scan of 35mm black and white negative. As some images remind me of either smell, sound or movement, I wanted to bring this photograph back to life by moving selected still elements. This project has been shot in several countries, mostly outdoors and shows places I don’t belong to and people I have never got to meet, and as such, it is a departure from previous work that had nostalgia, homesickness and concept of belonging at its heart. This project accepts personal and visual encounters that speak of a connection that is grounded in photographic composition and as such are a pause in the flow of time: fleeting. These images propose questions and allow me to evoke the conditions that occurred during the moment of taking the picture again.

Selecting a title for a project and the book was a real challenge as the project hasn’t started with the idea or research but with a selection of already taken photographs. The research came after. With a title, I could easily add any narrative, but I decided to call it directly of what it really is – Moments I Never Showed You, as it’s a selection of photographs never shown before that didn’t belong to any project or didn’t work as strong as a single image. I like that the title made the book/project more personal and direct to the viewer. My tutors were not really happy with it, but for me, it works because of its simplicity. I was happy when I could throw away an A4 page full of title ideas that were overthinking the subject and I used words of whom I had to google the meaning of. This title is more “me” than what I was trying to achieve with other titles for the project.

What was the inspiration for the project? I don’t know if that’s an inspiration but maybe more like a regret about all single photographs that I’ve taken in the past 6 years that were never included in other projects. I started my selection for the book and exhibition with more than 2000 digital and film photographs. When working on the selection, book layout and exhibition I read a lot about photography and observation. I came back to books like About Looking and Ways of Seeing by John Berger and On Photography by Susan Sontag. I think the main inspiration was my interest in photography itself. In capturing the moment. In December 2017, I attended Joel Meyerowitz’s talk in C/O in Berlin for the opening of his exhibition “Why Colour”. I asked him for the advice for young photographers and he replied with something like: “If you are passionate about it, you’ll be fine.”

While making the project I had a few moments of doubting in photography. I’ve seen many exhibitions where I didn’t feel anything, that didn’t provoke any thoughts or didn’t give me any aesthetic inspirations. That made me wonder – are my works giving some emotions to others? I meet Thomas Joshua Cooper, founder of the photography department at the Glasgow School of Art, when he was leaving his studio and told him about my feelings towards the subject. He replied with a smile: “You need to trust your work”. And for a while, I didn’t understand what trusting the art means, but now I know this feeling and I know it really helps.

I also believe that all those chats, books I read, exhibitions I visited, movies I watched, music I listen to and everything I’ve seen was the inspiration for Moments I Never Showed You.

How has the course at The Glasgow School of Art shaped your practice? It’s been a great 4 years that closed my long journey in photography education – I first started attending photography classes when I was 13 in the youth centre in my hometown – Bytom, Poland. Studying in Glasgow was a great fun and also hard work. I made friends for life and I fell in love with the city. Fine Art Photography course was very individual. If you wanted to take all the best out of it, you could but you could also just spend those 4 years taking photos at the parties and printing on any paper and putting up on the wall with pins. You could do everything without really questioning it but then when degree show comes you can easily fail with all the stress. I was thinking about every step I made and I know I used these 4 years in the best way, not worrying about the degree show.

Having access to such a great facility and my own studio is definitely something I miss since June. I also miss tutorials and crits, ability to talk about the project and also to speak about other’s work. This summer for the first time ever I sent my films to the lab and when I got them, I knew it’s the process I miss the most. If the process of developing and scanning myself is taken away, I could just stick to the digital. I like to have the control and the feeling that I made it since the moment when I put the film in the camera until I printed it.

Who is your main photographic inspiration? I would like to reply saying life is the main inspiration – everything what’s happening around. Every single moment. But if it’s about names of artists, I would name a few that I’m currently spending lots of time looking at their works: Mark Power’s book The Sound of Two Songs, Wojtek Wieteska, Harry Culy, Tacita Dean and Theresa Moerman Ib.

What do you want to achieve and say with your photographs? I think my artist statement describes it the best:

“It is enough that I come from a country that lies east of the west and west of the east” - Sławomir Mrożek.

I am an observer. Through digital and analogue photography, still and moving images, I explore the potential ground that exists between fine art and documentary photography. Drawing inspiration from various conditions of the reality around me, from the great interest in the modern, dynamic art scene but also from my personal experiences, I believe in the power of images to convey the emotions, truths and challenges of modern reality. Having spent the majority of my life away from my motherland, I often return to the theme of homesickness and belonging in my artwork.

My approach to picture making is to present ordinary, non-idealised, never staged reality. Such practice is the formulation of an interest in things as they are. By using only one lens which is the most similar to a human field of view, I am capturing the moments and non-moments that drag my attention. I am a sentimental and nostalgic artist and the camera is the best tool to anchor oneself to memories and emotions that are constantly fleeting.

My work starts with a strong interest in the moment, light or a situation. The process of looking begins before taking a photograph and continues afterwards. Selecting pictures, printing, making connections, framing or setting up an exhibition space, all of it seems connected to the way of seeing. I immerse myself in the medium fully and utterly.

What camera and lens did you use? This is the most common question I get on Instagram and the most annoying one in commercial photography world. “Photos are amazing, you must have a great camera”. Sometimes I say what camera I used, sometimes I say it’s about my sight, not a camera. I’m completely not interested in the technical aspect of photography. I can’t help when friends asked me what camera they should buy as I simply have no idea what’s on the market or what lens would be the best for their needs. I use Nikon F3 and Nikon D800. The digital one for commercial, colour and moving image work, a film for black and white. I mix the film and digital photographs when it comes to exhibitions or books and I usually carry two cameras with me. There’s something in black and white digital photographs that I am not a big fan of and there’s something in a black and white film that I really love. I only use one lens - 50mm 1.8, as it’s the most similar to what we see with our eyes. And the reality is what I like in photography. Presenting reality but in such way that we don’t notice it every day.

What are your future career plans? I’m currently exhibiting work in the Scottish Portrait Awards. In March, I’m showing my work at the New Contemporaries exhibition in the Royal Scottish Academy, for which I’m super excited. This summer after graduation was busy – I started working on two projects – I travelled with my grandma to Ukraine where she was born and has not been back since childhood when her family had to leave due to the war. I know I need more time and conversations with my grandma to finish this project. I would like to go back there during winter. The second work was my residency to Iceland organised by WeTransfer and The Jaunt. I can’t wait to print this work and just put it up on the studio wall. I’m sharing some of it on my Instagram.

I’m supporting myself by working as a wedding and commercial photographer, but ideally, I would love to work for a photography gallery. Well, of course, I would love to be just an artist and pay rent from selling my works, but we all know how it is. There’s a huge gap between emerging artists and established artists who can hire hundreds of assistants. I just wish these two worlds, especially in contemporary photography, could somehow connect and there would be more paid opportunities for graduates. I’m sick of hearing about unpaid interns or even internships that artists have to pay for. Or paid entries for open calls (for example Fotofilmic $50 entry fee). And as I know from the experience there are young artists whose parents would pay for it all. They have a way easier career start. I’m sorry for speaking about money so much when the question is about my plans, but I get a feeling that this subject is neglected, especially in the art schools. We are not told how to make living. And then there’s also this look – how can you be an artist when you shoot birthday parties and use a camera in a commercial way? I disagree and I presented my disagreement with a project called Celebration where all photographs come from events I worked at.   So… coming back to my future plans – I know that photography is what I love and I’m super passionate about. If in the future I can survive as an artist, that’s amazing. But I also would like to do something for contemporary photography – either working in a gallery or teaching. And commercial photography? I also enjoy it. Client satisfaction and some good words about my photographs make me really happy. And weddings are fun! 

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Lottie Wilson

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Lottie Wilson.


Why do you still use film? Is there a reason? I started using film in my first year at university. Initially it was something new and exciting (we hadn’t used film at my sixth form) so I enjoyed learning about a new process. However, now it is integral to my practice.  As an artist I believe that the working process is just as important as the images, and the beauty of analogue is that there are so many different opportunities for the final image. When working with digital all of the editing happens post production, however, the analogue process is totally organic. The process can go wrong at any minute – you can over expose or under develop – and this is the magic for me. The final image has always felt like a collaboration between the darkroom and myself. I can never quite predict what is going to happen.

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

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Your work shows a lot of experimenting in the darkroom, what was your best ‘Mistake’? My best mistake was made out of forgetfulness! With images that no longer have any meaning for me I like to disrupt them and alter the memory past recognition. There’s no science with the experimentation that I do – it’s simply a case of trial and error. One particular image was not reacting to my chemical solution so I decided to leave it for another few days. Fast forward ten days and the whole image had disappeared. Whilst this was never my intention it was a real learning process for me. I really began to understand my medium. By leaving the image for too long I broke down the layers of the negative until there was pretty much the bare film left. Whilst a photograph distils a single single moment forever, this photochemical process allowed me to change history. It was as if that captured moment had never happened. This is my favourite image to date.

How was your university experience? I loved going to university and am missing it so much. My university journey wasn’t easy though. My school encouraged academic subjects, so originally I applied to study English Literature leaving Photography as a well loved hobby. Once being accepted into the another university I realised that this was not what I truly wanted. I decided to take a year out to fully consider my options and decide whether further education would be the right choice for me. After visiting the University of Brighton there was no other option, this was where I needed to be. Throughout my three years at University I met an eclectic mix of individuals who encouraged both creative and personal growth. I’ve never looked back. Going to university made me a better photographer in every respect, yet the most important lesson was finally understanding and accepting myself.  

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

What photographers help inspire your work? I am a huge fan of Miho Kajioka. Whilst very different in concept (Kajioka’s work discusses natural disasters), I particularly like Kajioka’s printing style. The images appear so delicate and whimsical. I am also greatly inspired by her working style. Kajioka draws off the Japanese tradition of “wabi-sabi” – the appreciation of beauty in imperfection and transience. This appreciation allows for mistakes and even encourages them. As an artist I constantly re-evaluate my work and my belief in “wabi-sabi” underpins my whole practice. I love that my work is always changing and may not always be as I first planned, it gives me confidence to make work without any concern.

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

Your work will be on display at the Cass as part of Photograd Open 2018. The Cass has a great darkroom- what would you say to students or any photographers thinking about working with film or in the darkroom? I’d say just go for it! I spent so long being scared of the darkroom but it’s the most magical place - I still get excited watching an image develop in the wet trays. Whilst you will be taught traditional darkroom processes you do not have to stick to them. There is never just one fool-proof way to make work, and this notion definitely applies in the darkroom. Experiment with exposure times and chemical reactions and see what happens to the original image. The darkroom is full of endless creative opportunities and all you need is the confidence to try something new. 

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

Do you have any plans for your photography in the future? Any current ideas for this project or any new ones? Since graduating this summer I have spent a lot of time contemplating what it means to be a photographer. For me, it is the opportunity to capture a single moment and the power to change it. Much like memories, images are pliable and I am fascinated how their meanings are constantly adapting. 

I have just joined a community darkroom so am excited to start my next project. I am planning to further explore the transitional elements of a photograph - of course with my “wabi-sabi” beliefs fully in tact. I am excited to see what comes next. 

Loupe Magazine issue 8


This issue, though having no intended theme, contains a particularly poignant selection of projects spanning varying genres. Much of the work is sincere by nature, and the subjects thoughtful; exploring religion and worship in the technological age, unearthing buried and forgotten transgressions, and contemplating impermanence. It’s heady stuff. As ever, we are proud to provide a free platform that shares such varied and exciting work from promising new photographers.

Mary Perez makes this issues lead feature with Full Gospel, documenting the megachurches of South Korea. Her photograph of Yoido Full Gospel Church is our first non-portrait to feature as cover, and it’s a striking image to break tradition with. Tom Roche interviews Perez about the importance of her background in religion for the project, her stylistic approach, and her plans to further explore the subject.

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Bertie Oakes, who oversees our new online series Photographic Duos, summarises Martin Errichiello & Filippo Menichetti’s shared body of work. In Quarta Persona is a complex historical investigation of the region surrounding the A3 highway in Italy, uncovering a troubled geopolitical past using varied mediums.

We feature 4 images from iBacteria by Anders Gramer. His series of portraits peering through the growth of their own skin flora is a nice idea neatly executed, and well expanded upon by writer Iris Veysey.

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We also share a selection of images from Julien Martinez Leclerc’s broad and yet refined portfolio, thoughtfully discussed by Rosey Wadey.

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I spoke to Holly Hay, photographic director at Wallpaper* magazine about her role, and asked what advice she has for photographers trying to get noticed.

Also featured is the Turning Point in Briony Campbell’s career, Gemma Padley’s review of Do Not Feed The Alligators by David Shama, Adrien Blondel’s Centrefold submission, and Maren Klemp’s sombre image on the Portrait Page.

You can pick up a free copy from one of over 60 stockists across the country. Single copies, back issues and annual subscriptions are also available to purchase from our online store.

We hope you enjoy the issue.

Written by Harry Flook.

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Joel Biddle

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Joel Biddle.


Images from the series  Tectonic

Images from the series Tectonic

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Which photographers inspire you? I find my inspirations come from a mixture of landscape photographers and conceptual artists. The simplicity that some conceptual art can have has always been a draw for me, and a lot of the time that kind of work is more about only showing what is absolutely necessary and simplifying the message. I think one of my earliest influencers was Michael Kenna, whose work was a huge inspiration for me to create and experiment in the darkroom. The minimalist aesthetic and his approach to a mixture of geometric, manmade shapes and the shapes of the natural world has always been impactful. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work was introduced to me just prior to university and has since been influencing my approach to my work as well. I think these photographer’s work changed my mindset about photography and made me take more time with my work. 

What do you find interesting in landscape photography? The possibilities involved in landscape photography are the reason I’m drawn to it, and the challenge of finding somewhere that connects with you is very rewarding. It can be a timeless for of photography, and you can create a landscape that can be very hard to place location wise, leading to an image that is very open to interpretation.  

From the series  Tectonic

From the series Tectonic

The juxtaposition between the smooth, changing shape and texture of water against ancient and seemingly permanent and harsh shapes of rock structures in the sea fascinates me and I try to highlight this. It’s almost an instinctual thing for me to photograph the landscape, and I sometimes don’t even see my work as landscape, as it can be broken down into a shapes and textures very easily and become abstract. 

Do you prefer using digital or analogue camera? Why? I’m in the process of moving to 100% analogue photography for a few reasons, one is the look of film grain has a lot of character to it, its quite organic. There is no instant gratification involved in analogue photography, which I find very motivational to get out and work more and concentrate on capturing what is in front of me. Film suits me very well as I found myself shooting a handful of images a day with a digital camera, which almost seemed like a waste of the potential of a camera that could easily shoot a thousand images a day, so it seemed obvious to move to a slower medium. The hand made element of a print produced in the darkroom is very appealing to me as well, and it’s a very expressive way of doing things. 

From the series  Tectonic

From the series Tectonic

What do you want to transmit with your photography? I want a calming sense of tranquillity to be found from my photography, and a sense of quiet that reflects the locations I photograph. There are no people in my work landscapes and very rarely any buildings, which leads to a sense of isolation, but its not a bleak isolation, its more of a break from chaos, and a choice rather than something forced.  

I don’t seek dramatic imagery when I choose my subject, and this is reflected in what I’m trying to say with my landscapes, and the feeling I hope to generate within the viewer.  

What did you try to achieve with this project? I started this project as a way of experimenting with the contrast between hard, rugged element, hence the use of the aggressive title ‘Tectonic’, and the flowing of glassy waters, with a focus on attempting to avoid any stereotypical landscape. This is why I was opposed to using vivid colour, avoided the golden hour and used telephoto lenses instead of wide-angle lenses and I find it very natural to photograph in portrait orientation, something that is somewhat ironic about my landscape photography. 

From the series  Tectonic

From the series Tectonic

I wanted to create something that had staying power, something that I wouldn’t get bored of looking at. A lot of the images I was taking before I wasn’t even printing, I was leaving them as digital files and looking at maybe once or twice. I had a different mindset when I started to create work for ‘Tectonic’, which was to work towards a body of work rather than a standalone image.  

Have you worked on other photographic project that are not landscape-based? I have been working on and am continuing to work on an astrophotography based project that involves photographing starlight with expired film that equals the age of the light of the star, for example I photographed Capella, a star that is 42 light years away with film that was produced 42 years ago. The idea that the film and the light were produced simultaneously but it takes decades for the light to reach the destination is fascinating and I hope to move the project on to use expired photographic paper to capture starlight and create one of a kind works, though this has many technical challenges. I have a broad interest in conceptual based photography and alternative processes, and may apply this to my landscape work at some point. 

Robert Darch 'The Moor' - pre-order now

Plymouth University graduate Robert Darch’s The Moor has been published by Another Place Press and is currently available to pre-order here.

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The Moor depicts a fictionalised dystopian future situated on the bleak moorland landscapes of Dartmoor. Drawing on childhood memories of Dartmoor alongside influences from contemporary culture, the narrative references local and universal mythology to give context but suggests something altogether more unknown. The realisation of this dystopian future is specifically in response to a perceived uncertainty of life in the modern world and a growing disengagement with humanitarian ideals. The Moor portrays an eerie world that shifts between large open vistas, dark forests, makeshift dwellings, uncanny visions and isolated figures.

The sense of an on-going narrative is reinforced by the reoccurrence of characters, often appearing on edge, in peril or distressed. The inherent wildness of the landscape heightens this fragile sense of existence, with the suggestion of an unseen presence adding to the isolation and tension.

The fiction is grounded within the landscapes of Dartmoor, using found locations instead of overt staging, artificial lights orconstructed sets. Shifting between pseudo documentary and constructed photography the Moor blurs that liminal space between fiction and reality.

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Images from  The Moor

Images from The Moor

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An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Kerry Curl

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Kerry Curl.


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Who inspired you as a fashion photographer? I’ve just always been interested in style and people. As a child I’d draw fashion designs and would have sketchbooks full of entire wardrobe ideas for films I’d seen. When I thought I was destined to spend my life in call centre type jobs I’d be reading art books as an escape. Tracey Emin’s My Bed, I discovered by looking through those Best Of…, A-Z of Artists type books and not only did I connect with it on first sight, in that way you’re sometimes just grabbed by a piece of music right away, I found the artist herself really interesting. Her story made me question my own. Not coming from a creative family/background I found those books a really accessible way to view and learn about the visual arts. I still do.

There wasn’t really a ‘fashion’ photographer, who made me think ‘I want to do that!’ but the photographer who gave me what I refer to as That Emin feeling was Daido Moriyama. I saw his work exhibited at the Tate in 2012 and that’s when I knew I needed to start thinking about what photography means to me, what do I want from it, how can I learn more?

Although fashion is within my work and most people do refer to me as a fashion photographer, I actually find myself wondering more and more what a fashion photographer is in 2018?  Where do I fit in? Photography genres can and do merge. I’ve really started to question fashion within my work. It is part of the imagery but it’s not the works sole purpose.

A by-product of the way I create is that I often find myself working with second hand clothing. I’ve been wearing second hand clothes since birth really, starting from necessity and then as I got older through choice. It’s not a new notion to me at all. However now this shopping approach, chimes with the increasing interest in the mainstream for sustainability in the fashion industry.

There’s growing desire for sustainable fashion as consumers begin to ask where their clothes come from. Almost paradoxically, the consumer demand for sustainability imposes a commercial imperative on this most egalitarian of impulses. These are interesting times to be contributing to fashion media.

Many people are more conscious than they once were of the social implications of what they buy and wear, rather than the sheer quantity of what they could consume or the status it would afford them. In a portfolio review I once talked about fashion in this way and was told that I wasn’t talking about the photography enough. However as a medium, photography for me is so intertwined with other art forms and our world around us, they exist together and that’s a key part of my work. Beyond fashion, I will always cite music and film as things which inspire me greatly. Inspiration is everywhere, that may be a cliché but it’s true.

What advice would you give someone starting off as a fashion photographer? My honest advice is to drop the focus of ‘fashion’ and just start photographing style/people/subject matters which interest you.

Be inquisitive, be genuinely inquisitive in knowing and learning more, look to different art forms for inspiration. Explore who has influenced your influences. If you are shooting fashion work because you feel you should or it’s a trend you think you must follow, then don’t. That applies across the board with all subject matters really. I wish I could remember who said to me  “show the work you want to talk about” - it’s such sound advice.

What camera do you use for your portraits? My go to camera is a Nikon D810, but I’ll also still use an array of 35mm SLR cameras sometimes and we’re not talking top of the range. I mostly use ones I’ve picked up second hand, some are what would probably be classed as an ‘entry level’ SLR. I’m always in charity and second hand shops looking for things I can use within my work so I pick up random cameras from time to time, even point and shoots. If I can make work with it then I’m interested. I shoot with ANY film I can afford. How amazing it was when Poundland used to sell 35mm film, sadly I think that’s passed but I still always look out for it.

I also really enjoy instant film, I found an old Instax Wide camera in a charity shop for £1.50 which it turned out was in full working order. Although I’ve used Polaroid cameras, Instax film is more friendly for my budget and I’ve also found the film to be more reliable but there is still that interestingly  unpredictable quality of tone and focus which can be bitter-sweet. I read an interview with Brian Eno on openculture.com where he said:
“The real hooks, the moments that we most connect with and return to again and again, are often happy accidents.”

Although he was referring to music, this also really connects to the visual arts for me. The different materials and approaches keep me inquisitive. People have expressed surprise because I like to work with both digital and film but I just don’t feel the need to be exclusively one or the other right now.  I learned photography on film - before digital was a thing. I just like cameras really, not from a techno-geek sense, just as a physical object that I can create imagery with.

Where did you study? I did my BA (Hons) Photography at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) , graduating with a 1st in 2017. I was thirty seven when I started my degree, although during my twenties and thirties I was lucky enough to access the adult education system whilst courses such as photography were much more available and accessible, with many classes being conducted in local secondary schools.

Indeed my first City and Guilds course was in my old school, which is ironic as the art options available when I was actually at that school as a teenager, were somewhat lacking and photography was certainly not on the curriculum. The Adult Education offerings, certainly in Norwich have changed so much over the last decade, they’ve really declined in course choice and have become much more expensive. This is a real shame.

Do you think social media such as Instagram has an effect on photography; does it benefit your work? Interesting question. I have a bit of a love vs ‘bored now’ relationship with social media but there’s no doubt that platforms like Instagram have democratised access to images and ideas that would once have been obscure or inaccessible.  You are not restricted to the grubby dog-eared stock in your under-resourced local library, or on what happens to be flavour of the month in The Face or NME.  Today, an image maker can be a self-curating cultural magpie in a way a predecessor even just a few years ago could not have imagined. However, I do feel lucky to know what life without social media was like...

It concerns me that it’s easy to put pressure on ourselves to constantly be ‘seen’ to be making work, checking if it’s being well received etc when really we just tossing it out in to an unknown seemingly ever changing algorithm which is someone else’s business model and so we are not really in control of its future anyway.

The positives are that it’s a great way to meet people to work with and it’s brilliant as a way to stay in touch. It can be a very supportive place but there’s a tipping point and it’s important to remind ourselves that we are more than a number.

What are your future aims and do they include photography? It feels like it’s taken me so long to finally be working with photography (my creative life has been far from linear!) that I can’t imagine photography not being a part of my future. I’m always questioning my practice, I learned through keeping journals at uni that I’m naturally a reflective person and that the work I make is often a response to what’s around me.

I’m planning on returning to education to do an MA in two or three years time. At present, I really want to spend some time making new work and gaining more experience out in the world - all of which I can take with me to my next education phase. I was approached by a uni professor who very kindly visited my degree show work and he suggested I could think about going straight for a PhD which whilst amazing to hear and has certainly made think of the long term possibilities, I feel personally if there is a PhD within my work (within me...)  then an MA is the stepping stone that I need to get me there. I can’t image not returning to education, it may sound dramatic but it has been life changing. It’s not a case of if I go back, it’s just a matter of when.

My degree show, final uni project and my dissertation continues to inform my personal work and ideas.  The show featured installation work of a seventies inspired lounge which I really enjoyed creating. The space invited the viewer to become part of the work. With my photography on the walls and my moving image work looping on period correct televisions, everyday I observed how the audience interacted with the work and I became even more convinced that photography for me was about imagery across disciplines and multi-media innovation, driving me to question the role of a photographer today.

I didn’t realise at the time when I was hauling pieces of furniture across London for my degree show installation that this wasn’t actually the final product, but in fact it was further research. I’m so glad I helped look after the degree show everyday because being able to watch the reactions to my work was really a lightbulb moment about it’s possibilities.

I’d love to exhibit again, I’m planning to keep working through ideas using photography, moving image and installation and I’m also looking at releasing work within a zine format. Ultimately I just want to keep making work which interests me enough to continue making more work.

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Katie Hayward

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Katie Hayward.


How would you describe your project and relationship to the title Between Darkness and Light? Between Darkness and Light is an observation of the landscape of the coastal town of Lowestoft in Suffolk. The town occupies the most easterly point of the country and so is positioned as one of its extremities. The body of work seeks to provide a subtle acknowledgement of industries won and lost over time, giving a glimpse into Lowestoft’s tumultuous past and tentative future. It is a town, like many in the UK, forced to live through governmental decisions made at a distance, which directly impact upon the communities that live and work there. While our government negotiates for our exit from the European Union, potentially using our fishing waters as the bargaining tool, this is more prominent now than ever before in this town.

From the series  Between Darkness and Light

From the series Between Darkness and Light

The title of the project is derived from my research into the writings of W. G. Sebald and his book titled The Rings of Saturn whereby he narrates his journey along the East Coast.  When describing his experience of Lowestoft, he recalls looking out towards the sea through a bay window of the dining room of his rather lacklustre hotel, stating that “Outside was the beach, somewhere between the darkness and the light” (Sebald, P.43). These words resonated with me as they seemed to fit with the general essence of the place that I had experienced and also politically, socially, economically and emotionally in a metaphorical sense.  

What was the inspiration for the project? I had developed a genuine interest in the concept of place photographically and having recently moved to the East Coast I was curious to see how documenting a place with which I had no knowledge of, or emotional connection to, would impact upon the images I produced at the other end. Would my photographic exploration create an emotional connection or attachment of sorts or would my role in documenting it keep me distanced from it? This was the catalyst for starting the project. 

How has the course at the University of Suffolk shaped your practice? When I started my course at the University of Suffolk, we were taken right back to basics with 35mm black and white film where we learned to develop and print our own work.  This really helped me connect with where photography had grown from and allowed me to join the dots with where photography is now.  I had never stepped foot into a darkroom and so the learning curve was a steep one for me, but very rewarding.  I’m quite an impatient person and the medium of film photography truly challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone.  It made me a more considerate photographer as the process was considerably slower. This helped me to truly appreciate the photographers of the past who never had digital as an option and what an undertaking it must have been for the work that they produced at that time.  The course structure was also a huge thing for me, it really guided me through how to produce a project from proposal through to exhibition and everything in-between, with group critique sessions and presentations of my work I gained the confidence in critiquing my own work as well as the work of others in a constructive way.  

From the series  Between Darkness and Light

From the series Between Darkness and Light

Who is your main photographic inspiration? It is impossible for me to put this down to just one person, but I will try to be as concise. Gerhard Stromberg and his Coastline Catalogue work. Chris Killip and his Inflagrante and Seacoal series. Michael Collins and his Landscape and Industry publication and Hoo Peninsula work.  There is also a small independent publisher called Another Place Press run by photographer Iain Sarjeant who publish books focusing on contemporary landscape photography. Everything they publish is in line with my interests photographically. Iain’s photographic work is also quite something.  

What do you want to achieve and say with your project? I wanted to present images which provoked thought and questions. I wanted to convey a sense of place, an acknowledgement of its community, of its past via the apparatus of its landscapes. I like working in a series-based format with narrative imbedded in the work and I hope the work achieved that in some sense.  

What camera and lens did you use? Initial location scouting and test shooting was done on my trusty Canon 7d mark ii. The formal images were shot on a Shen Hao 5x4 XPO 45-A camera with a 150mm lens.

From the series  Between Darkness and Light

From the series Between Darkness and Light

Why did you choose that equipment? Shooting digital to initially test locations, times of day and compositions enabled me to quite quickly find what worked and what didn’t, I had a lot of ground to cover. I knew I wanted to have the final images on large format as this felt right for the subject matter and detail within the landscapes. I also wanted the images to be presented in large scale and large format is best placed for this to retain as much quality as possible when taking prints large. I also really enjoy the pace of large format and the fact the lenses are fixed focal lengths, it forces me to be more patient and considerate about what I am doing and to really focus on composition. 

What are your career plans? The aim and intention is to continue to grow and progress as a photographic artist, and to push forward with developing bodies of work for exhibition and publication. I am currently in the process of researching several projects of which I am incredibly excited about. I believe I have some very captivating narratives to put out there and hopefully I can do this in a visually compelling way. I want people who engage with my work to feel compelled to enter into wider discussion and debate about its subject.