An Inspiring Year

inspire.jpg

At this time of year, we’d usually be compiling a post about what we’ve been up to over the last 12 months and sharing shoots we’ve had. We just wanted to do something a bit different this year and share work from artists that have really inspired us over the last year. There is work here about being in the inbetween years, documenting communities, family dynamics, generosity within the photography community, illustrations, light chasing, cinematic work, and starting over.

Siân Davey

Looking For Alice

Looking For Alice

When we scroll through Siân’s Instagram feed (that’s where we found her stunning work), we are always struck by the narrative in each post. How she weaves story of her own family life through the squares, and that light, so delicate and painterly in quality. Her work gives us goosebumps. I was a bit nervous when I wrote to Siân the other day, and then a lovely reply pinged into our inbox. One of our intentions this year is to let the people who inspire us know. Siân currently has 2 books published ‘Looking For Alice’ and ‘Martha’ about her daughters. Here’s a link to her Instagram feed is and here’s a link to Siân’s website. We’re sure you’ll feel the same way about her work as we do.

Martha

Martha

Lucy Saggers

Betty’s Baking Day - Lucy Saggers

Betty’s Baking Day - Lucy Saggers

We spied Lucy’s work back in 2017 and were struck by these timeless black and white images depicting village life in Yorkshire. Although Lucy has done a lot of of other work, it was this body of shots, Of Life and Land, that really spoke to us. The use of light and the tender relationships towards the people she’s photographing is incredibly moving. Back in March, we went to see her exhibition of the collection of shots, and we had the pleasure of meeting Lucy there too.

It was hard to pick a favourite, but I think it was a mini series of photographs about Lynne Lynch and Betty Fox. Lynne has been going round to Betty’s to wash, cut and blow dry her hair every 2 weeks since 1976. In this collection of shots about a small community, Lucy has stripped everything back to what matters, highlighting these relationships within a Yorkshire village. Here’s a link to her Instagram feed, and here’s a link to Lucy’s website.

Lynne Lynch washing Betty Fox’s Hair

Lynne Lynch washing Betty Fox’s Hair

Carolyn Mendelsohn

7_Maddison.jpg

When we realised that Carolyn’s exhibition Being Inbetween was being shown just down the road from where we live, there really was no excuse, and we would have travelled a lot further to see it. We were greeted by a collection of large format mounted prints, photos of girls in those inbetween years, 10-12. The exhibition explores their hopes, dreams, concerns. All are lit the same and taken with the same backdrop and the exhibition is accompanied by soundscape. We’ve been dabbling with sound in our films and it struck us how powerful the interviews were with the girls as we looked at their photos. The series is ongoing, and there is a book in development. You can see more about Being Inbetween at this link and more of Carolyn’s other work at her website here.

16_Aaisha.jpg

Gemma Koomen

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

We became aware of Gemma’s work when we saw a little book all about Wild Swimming written by Flora Jamieson and illustrated by Gemma. It sits proudly on our bookshelf. Gemma’s illustrations awaken a childhood nostalgia, I think that’s why we’re so drawn to them. Little scenes play out, and our memories dance. We can hear the crunch of the snow and smell the washing on the line. They are full of hope and light, friendships and adventure. You can see her beautiful Instagram feed here and more of her work on her website here.

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

Natalie Kingston

Do+You+Care+_+Final.00_01_04_17.Still003.jpg

We’ve followed Natalie’s work from afar for a while, and we’re constantly blown away by her cinematography. She’s worked on numerous short films, commercials and music videos. We love those tones and the light she captures. See for yourself in her reel here . You can follow Natalie on Instagram here or watch more of her films on her website here.

A008C005_170510_R0ZV.mov.00_36_52_02.Still001.jpg

Diana Hagues

Boy+in+the+Orange+Jacket.jpg

Not only is Diana an exceptional documentary family photographer, but to us, she embodies the heart of community within the photography world. She organises meet ups and chat groups, always takes time to answer people’s questions, offers encouragement, and is just a thoroughly lovely person. She takes amazing self portraits too. Her work has just been showcased in the latest issue of Click Magazine 2018 Voice Collection (congratulations Diana!) You can follow Diana on Instagram here and see more of her work at her website.

30930149_271451416727964_8118776215772332032_n(1).jpg

Joanne Coates

Joanne_Coates_1+(38+of+93).jpg

A couple of years ago, we bought the Yorkshire Post as we were really drawn to a collection of photos in the weekend magazine. The photo series depicted the life on the seas with a group of fishermen. Jo was the photographer behind the images. As it says on her website, she has a documentary approach to everyday stories, she tells the story of working life. Jo’s Grandad used to fish the North Sea, and through this work, she found a shared connection with him. You can follow Jo at her Instagram feed here and see new project work at her website here.

CoatesJoanne_94.jpg

Annie Spratt

photo-1545567251-d98f40cbdc03.jpeg

Annie’s beautiful work captures the shifts in seasons in the New Forest where she lives, and further afield. Whatever landscape she’s taking, it feels like you’re right there with her. And that light!! She’s particularly generous with her work and she gifts photos every day to be used by the Unsplash community. You can follow her on Instagram here or take a look at her Unsplash page here.

photo-1544637993-1d1a369e8c23.jpeg




Joni Burtt

47288209_263110381285321_5907638611589580575_n.jpg

We can always tell when it’s a Joni shot when it comes up on our feeds, with her images like film stills. Her candid take on her family life is beautiful, and with the words that accompany each photo, she lets us into her everyday life. We love a bit of freelensing in our photography, so we’re really drawn to those dreamy ethereal shots where Joni is using this technique. You can follow Joni on Instagram here, and see more of her work at her website here.

47343582_1895924190506193_1576011482846921459_n(1).jpg

Alex Sedgmond

Alex_Sedgmond_Photography-Cardiff-SouthWales-PorthcawlRestbay-Surfing-EzraHames-50.jpg

Alex wrote to me a few months back after he’d read my piece in Ernest Journal. We’ve had a few chats since then about our photography, health and light. I always love when a message pops up from him! He has so much integrity. His posts on Instagram really show his true passion, his wanderlust. He’s a kind soul. You can follow him on Instagram here and get stuck into his blog posts and other work here.

Alex_Sedgmond_Photography-Cardiff-SouthWales--31.jpg

Felicity Keefe

Beyond The Shadow

Beyond The Shadow

For the last few years, I’ve been a bit obsessed by how the Old Masters used light in their paintings and trying to adapt this into my photography. When I was looking for inspiration in paintings last year, I came across Felicity’s work. Her beautiful landscapes allow you to breathe it in, smell the morning dew, feel the cold air, hear the rain or a leaf falling from a stark branch. I love the movement, and of course the light. You can follow Felicity on Instagram here and see her collections and find out about exhibitions on her website here.

The Shifting Dusk

The Shifting Dusk


Here’s to an inspiring 2019. Maybe we’ve introduced you to someone you haven’t heard of yet, let us know! And we’re always keen to know about your favourites. Who’s inspiring you?

You Can't Please Everyone.

IMG_0374.JPG

I often think back to an incident that happened quite a few years ago now. I had been asked by a wedding venue in the area to take photos for their new brochure. The shoot had gone well, and I was really pleased with the photos, so I went to the venue for a meeting to show the wedding coordinator my images. As I was waiting, one of the volunteers at the venue came up to me. He had seen the shoot unfold and was curious about my images. He asked if he could have a quick look at the photos before the coordinator arrived, so I took my laptop out of my bag and started to scroll through the images I'd taken. At first there was no response as I clicked through images of the couple, the details of the bride's dress, and the flowers. And then came a long 'Mmmmm', I knew it wasn't a satisfied retort, that long drawn out consonant was low in tone. 'Well you missed the focus on that' came the next line. The photo was one of the bride in the foreground and the groom in the background, I'd used a shallow depth of field to get this effect deliberately. 'Oh, you cut their heads off' came the next grumble, it was a photo of the couple holding hands, and I'd decided to focus on that. It carried on for a few more minutes, 'I wouldn't have taken it like that', 'why did you take it just of their shoes?'. It really knocked me for six. I started to feel really uncomfortable, my stomach churned, palms were a little sweaty, and then the coordinator walked in. Convinced I had absolutely missed the mark, I was really nervous showing her the photos. At the end of the viewing came the reassuring response 'these are exactly what we've been looking for'.

I know taste is such a personal thing, and I'm sure everyone has had similar experiences in their lives. In that moment I was really worried, but I am for ever grateful to this man at the venue. I've talked about this incident in our photography retreats as we chat about finding our voice as photographers. It's such a vivid moment for me still. I'm grateful to him as it absolutely made me realise that I couldn't please everyone with my images, and if I tried to do this, it would dilute any style I was trying to build. In that same week when I was showing the venue their photos, I was getting passport photos ready for a family and taking photos of some guttering for a couple who were having a dispute with their builder. I was trying to do so many things, to please everyone, and actually to the detriment of where and who I wanted to be.

I'm writing this now as I had an exchange at the weekend that took me right back to that nervy time of me showing the venue those wedding photos. We opened our doors for Hebden Bridge Open Studios. It was great to see so many new faces and to get a chance to talk about our work. Late on Sunday afternoon, just before we closed, a man walked in with a slightly quizzical look. He reminded me so much of the volunteer at the venue I actually felt my stomach lurch a little. He looked round in silence and then just stopped in front of one photo. 'This is my favourite'.

SarahMasonPhoto_034.jpg

Out of all the frames on our wall, I was really surprised, and I had a word with myself for being judgmental. 'I love the feeling, the light, the memory it evokes, there's something almost ethereal about it'. I quickly scribbled his words down after our exchange. I've been wanting to push myself a little further to take more images like this. Like most photographers, artists, makers, I guess our work is always evolving, developing. I almost never want to feel too comfortable, there's always an itch to scratch. I guess if our heart is truly in our work, people will come on this journey with us as they can feel something too. I just know that taking photos like this really excites me, and I think back to myself in that wedding venue all those years ago and I want to be true to that voice.

File 12-02-2018, 18 59 48.jpeg

Search stories:

 
 

Latest Instagram posts:

 

Filter stories by category: