INTERVIEW: BECKY NALLON (PHOTOGRAPHER)

FFO: VERY THOUGHTFUL FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY AND WELL GOOD GIG PICCIES

Who are you?

I am Becky Nallon, a 20 year old gig and fine art photographer.

Where are you currently based?

I am a southerner living in Leeds. I am originally from the fine town of Reading.

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Image taken from the series ‘Often times we call a man cold, only when he is sad’

 

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Image taken from the series ‘Often times we call a man cold, only when he is sad’
Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 16.06.27
Image taken from the series ‘Often times we call a man cold, only when he is sad’

What is your current photographic work about?

I am working on a lot of work to do with myself and my health, both mentally and physically. I have been diagnosed with a chronic illness that affects all aspects of my life, including my work. So I have decided to turn the camera upon myself and the life I lead now.

The last body of work I made was titled, “Often times we call a man cold, only when he is sad”. This work explores the idea of how mental health issues affect sleeping patterns and the disturbances that it causes. The intention is to convey the discomfort in viewing a space that should be a place for calmness but instead turns into a space of solace and confinement. The smaller photographs are photographs of the wall in the bedroom becoming more and more destroyed and neglected, in the same way, a person could feel.

I’m also planning projects next year including working with the doctors and nurses I have been seeing about my conditions whilst questioning the fragility of the NHS, looking at why they carry on supporting the people they care for. I’m planning a large body of portraits of the people who without, I’d be in a considerably worse state. I am contemplating a phonebook out of the series, so maybe I’ll get you to review that this time next year!!

When it comes to gig stuff, recently I’ve been touring a little, photographing the people I know from previous tours and photographing them when they come to Leeds. It’s been a really good year for me, I’ve been travelling round parts of the country I hadn’t toured too before, as well as also photographing gigs in beautiful venues such as the Liverpool Philharmonic and The Colston Hall in Bristol.

NOTE: There’s a limited number of 5×7 prints available to purchase from the series ‘Often times we call a man cold, only when he is sad’. If you’re interested in buying one or many, please contact Becky here.  (I’ve got a print placed directly above my bed and it fits the setting perfectly.

 

What got you interested into photography and taking images?

I was given a camera at 15 for Christmas and took it to a gig my Dad was sound engineering at. I took a whole load of photographs and through looking back on them I think they’re awful, but for some reason my Dad and the band really liked them. I ended up working with Boot Led Zeppelin for three years. They formed me in to a gig photographer. I felt like I found the best job in the entire world.

I then decided to start at Reading College to study photography. You know when you have one of those teachers that makes you completely change your life? I had that at Reading College. Peter Savage taught me for two years and I will never be able to thank him enough. He is an incredible teacher, comedian and friend and he never underestimated me. He challenged me with my work, making me create introspective pieces available to an audience as well as working as therapy for me.

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Boot Led Zeppelin, Jesse Smith taken in 2015 by Becky Nallon. Images are located here.
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Enter aoot Led Zeppelin, Jesse Smith taken in 2015 by Becky Nallon. Images are located here.

 

Who are you inspired by?

I am inspired by so many photographers, Bruce Gilden, Katy Grannan, Chloe Juno, Charles Moriarty , Maria Ramirez and Jenny McCord to name a few, seeing a lot of this work in person has changed my work as well. The Photographers Gallery in London is quite possibly my favourite place in the world, every time I’m there I’ll look at the steps with the famous names on, go round the rooms filled with work set out to challenge and inspire and I just feel good when I’m in there… I don’t know if that counts as who I’m inspired by, but it is one of the places I find a lot of inspiration from.

 

What are your future aspirations?

Funnily enough, it is to be exhibited in The Photographers Gallery at some point in my career. Even though I feel like it’s quite likely for me to stay up north for the foreseeable future (as I love it up here), but as I said, London and The Photographer’s Gallery have a special place in my heart, so hopefully it’d be something I’d potentially be able to submit to.

 

What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?

Keep practicing! You’ve just got to keep going with photography. I can tell you every gig that made me want to give up photography forever – one of them was only a few weeks ago!!

Also, if you feel like something that isn’t A-Levels would be a better option for you, do it. I had so many teachers at school tell me that if I did a B-Tech rather than take the traditional Sixth Form route I would never get in to University, but now I am. I am at the perfect university for me with an inspirational set of peers. I am so thankful that I went to college and did what felt right for me.

Oh, and bankrupt yourself and shoot film. It’ll be worth it. (FULLY BACK THIS!!!)

 

Keep up with Becky’s work via the following links below:

Website:  http://www.nallon.carbonmade.com

Instagram:  @beckynallonphoto

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