How It All Started: My Story
How did it all start? I get asked this a lot.
I properly picked up a camera when I was 16 years old and living in the Highlands of Scotland.
I have grown up with three main influences in my life: my mum, my dad, and my surroundings. My mother is an incredible artist with an undeniable eye for colour, detail and texture. Growing up, she did a lot of fashion design and illustration, and her work was all over the house. When I was young, I remember pouring through her portfolios, as well as her old 1970s Vogues and fashion design books - I desperately wanted to be able to re-create what I was seeing. The shapes, the textures, the style, the colours, the women; it was all so beautiful to look at.
It was the faces I fell in love with first. The makeup, hair, and fierce expressions. At that moment I was thinking "if my Mum can do this, I wonder If I can too". It was around about that time that she introduced me to the wonderful world of makeup.
My Father was somewhat on the technical end of the creative spectrum, in that he loved photography, but it was the process behind it all that fascinated him. With a strong desire to have a go at something myself, I picked up one of my Dad's rather expensive cameras and he showed me how to use it. I was reluctant, to say the least, to get my head around all the technical stuff. I just wanted to create pretty pictures, I didnt care about how the light passes through the whats-a-mijiggy.
I began working on my somewhat questionable camera skills by photographing whatever was around me, and what could be better than the stunning Scottish Highlands, right on my doorstep? A photographer's dream; this part of the world is the stuff of light, landscape and legend.
When I more or less got the jist of using a DSLR, I began my journey into beauty imagery by taking pictures of myself, recording my makeup designs and using it as a way to create characters. Though taking self-portraits quickly became awkward and frustrating for me, so it wasnt long before I started pulling my friends in front of the camera. I'll never forget the first time I designed, styled and shot my first concept on someone else. It was a relevation for me, and I began to see my future developing in front of my eyes. I was hooked.
So, these three main influences are what gave me my style. I combined my love of fashion & beauty, my love of the land, and my very average ability with a camera to eventually create my very first art series, which I titled 'Cold Light'.
It became very apparent that my style revolved around characters. I found it very difficult, if not impossible, to photograph something that wasnt telling a story. That story would inspire the whole shoot.
Where do I find my stories? Well...
- It can be in the landscape -
- It can be in the history -
- It can be in the folklore -
It can be in the people
- It can be in the fashion -
- It can be in music -
- Or it can be in your own personal experiences -
It really can be anything. Beauty can be seen in anything, its simply up to you to figure out how to capture it and communicate it back to everyone else who couldnt be there to witness it with you. You can fall in love with anything once you hear its story.