What first drew you to photography, how did you discover it?

My grandfather was a photographer so I grew up around it. I was drawn to the magic of an image appearing on paper in a room, lit with only red light. It was absolute magic! It’s sad that that part is removed from my work now. The darkroom isn’t really part of my commercial practice, but I’m planning some personal projects that will get me back into the darkroom.

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Whose work has influenced you the most?

Guy Bourdin has always been a favourite photographer of mine, so he would be an influence for sure. His images are iconic and I can imagine they have influenced many artists. I’m really influenced by film as well,  I would say Wes Anderson has been an influencer too. His attention to symmetry, framing and colour pallet is amazing!

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How do you get yourself inspired for a photo shoot? 

How do I get inspired…. I clear my head. I used to think I had to look at loads of reference material and research lighting. I’ve got the lighting part down pat now, so now I just make sure I take time out and don’t over think things. I like to go for walks and see new things. I’m inspired by little things I see (or things I think I see.. if I walk without my glasses on it’s a whole other world hahaha!)

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When you are shooting, how much of it is instinctual verses planned?

It really depends on the shoot and whether or not it’s instinct or planned. Personal work or editorial work is more free, so that is very instinctual. If I have planned enough (great team, location, assistants and lighting) then I am free to shoot more instinctually because all the elements are set. On ad jobs it’s less free. I plan things down to each angle of each shot and the assistants are briefed appropriately. There is always an element of instinct even in those shoots but its a lot less when there is an art director, client and 100 opinions involved.

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Do you like working more on single images or series? 

I enjoy working on series way more than single images. I like telling a story and as I said I’m quite influenced by film so telling an image in one shot just doesn’t work as well in my mind.

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How important is content verses form in photography? Do you think for you one plays a stronger role then the other?

Form vs content…. it’s a tough one. I think it depends on the particular style of photography. For my work I think they are even but my answer would be completely different if I was a photo journalist.

 

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How has social media played a role in your photography?

It changes things because everyone wants everything now, they want content for social media, they want behind the scenes, gifs, they want loads of extra stuff. People use my images without my permission, people use them for free and then don’t tag me or the team involved in creating the image. I think there needs to be a discussion around usage on social media, you could write a whole essay on that subject.
Basically, I find it frustrating at times, but in saying that it is another platform to show your work so it can’t be all bad.
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Cara is part of the upcoming group exhibition at Create or Die gallery on 10th September, keep in touch for more details.
~ Interview by Amy Mills ~