FFO: VERY AESTHETIC, BOLD N BEAUTIFUL FASHION ON LOCATION!
Who are you and where are you currently based?
My name is Milly Hewitt, I’m a second-year photography student at LAU and I’m currently based between 3 locations; Leeds, Lincolnshire and Manchester.
How come you’re based between 3 different locations? What advantages/disadvantages do you find from being in this position?
My home is in Lincolnshire, I study Photography in Leeds and I travel to Manchester a lot for shoots as there are many modelling agencies there. Working between all three places means I have to spend a lot of time and money on travelling, but I feel this is the only disadvantage of the situation. The fact I am based in 3 different locations means I have a wider and bigger network of models, stylists and other photographers with which to collaborate with. I also have more locations to discover and use in my shoots.
What is your current photographic work about?
My current photographic work has been extremely fashion-based. I like to focus mainly on finding interesting/colourful locations to photographs models. Although I’m primarily a fashion photographer, I also like to take documentary style based portraits and I would love to explore this more in the future.
What inspires you to photograph? What do you aim to accomplish with your imagery?
I’m inspired to photograph to communicate a narrative within a photograph. I’m also inspired to create shoots whenever I find a model with an interesting look/clothing.
What got you interested in photography and taking images?
I started producing stop-motion animations and began creating film and moving image pieces when I was around 10 years old, which led me to begin taking photographs shortly after at the age of 11. I initially took interest in photographing wildlife due to my interest in the David Attenborough ‘Life’ documentaries I watched with my grandma; who also importantly loved to take photographs.
However, I soon started to prefer taking portraits of people as I realised the control I had as a photographer to pick and choose which elaborate locations, models and outfits I wanted to use.
Is there anything in particular that draws your eye photographically?
Any interesting locations or props I can use. I really feel that the choice of location/background can really make or break a portrait shot on location. Any colourful places that match the outfits I have chosen are always great.
Do you tend to handpick the people you photograph e.g. via contacting agencies for models or street casting? Or do you instead photograph friends/peers?
I tend to discover most of my models through my photography Instagram (millysphotographs).
Although I am the first person to message most of the models I use, I also receive a lot of requests from models who have discovered my work and want to shoot. I tend to work with models who have an interesting look, and models that have had modelling experience before. I have also produced numerous test shoots for the new faces of Nemesis Models in Manchester.
Who are you inspired by?
Photographer-wise, David LaChapelle has been a key inspiration for a while now, I admire his elaborate celebrity portraits featuring colourful and impressive set designs. I’d love to be able to create sets as extravagant as his. There are other fashion photographers I admire such as Richard Avedon and David Bailey, known for their elegant, high fashion studio shots.
Have you found studying photography at university beneficial?
Studying photography at the university has given me a new-found confidence in myself and my work. Before university, I would only take portraits of my friends as I was too nervous to get in contact with models or agencies but now I have collaborated with many creatives and I love networking. I was also previously technically inexperienced with DSLR’s and lighting, but now I am fully confident in using any photography equipment.
What are your future aspirations?
In the future I hope to be a freelance photographer, producing work for magazines or modelling agencies.
What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?
Probably to not be afraid of failing because it can happen a lot, and it’s all a learning curve. I’d say communicating with other brands and creatives or networking can really make a difference in getting your work seen and getting it out there. Even if you send 100 different emails and only get one reply, it’s honestly still worth it.
I also wouldn’t worry too much about what camera you start shooting on, I had barely touched a DSLR before I came to university as I could only afford a bridge camera, but shooting on a bad camera helped me to understand how important lighting and composition can be.