Based in East London, Hollys work focuses primarily within photography and art direction, whilst also curating installations and events for Ace & Tate and Dover Street Market London, amongst others. We discuss her sources of inspiration (there are many!), personal style and much more.
“I feel the most creative when I’m excited about an idea and when I’m having conversations.”
So Holly, firstly we’d love to know what was it about photography that sparked your interest?
Magazines I used to collect and all the music videos I watched when I was young first sparked my interest in images. If I was off school I would just watch the music channels all day. When I started getting into fashion I was really young and I was often more interested in the full look and the full image, opposed to individual items of clothing — It was then that I started getting into fashion photography and really got into that.
Where would you say you take your inspiration from and is there a particular time when you feel most creative?
Continual sources of inspiration for me are films — I try and go to the cinema as much as I can, music videos, retro visions of the future, interiors, travelling and popular culture in general. I feel the most creative when I’m excited about an idea and when I’m having conversations.
“My work sometimes has a nostalgic feeling but a kind of post-apocalyptic one — like dreamy but also super normal at the same time.”
We love the vibe of your Instagram — do you follow any sort of theme?
Thank you! I definitely do follow a theme, but I’ve never defined it — I’ll know if something feels off for me. I like it to channel who I am as a visual artist and to communicate the themes I explore, inspirations, and not to limit myself to only posting finished work. I do also post a lot of photos of myself which makes it personal.
Aside from photography, are there any other areas of design that you enjoy?
I enjoy many areas of the visual arts and immerse myself in as much of it as possible. Fashion has alway been one of my biggest passions; l direct visual communications at menswear brand, Liam Hodges — I love seeing and being involved in the creation of a collection first hand. As I mentioned, I love films and I’m also very into graphics, layouts and typography.
“I am always drawn to back drops that look like real things — like paintings or photos. I’m very interested in the concept of the hyperreal.”
Could you tell us a little bit about your own personal style?
My style is quite minimal and I actually really love the idea of a personal uniform and I definitely have one. I’m often in all black with a colourful trainer and some accessories. I’m usually wearing clothes that are baggy and comfortable but I like to think pulled together.
Would you say that your clothing choices and photography style is your way of self-expression?
Yes, everything that I do visually is an output of expression.
Would you say there are any main themes throughout your work?
As well as a bright colour palette, which is a big visual theme throughout my work, I think my work sometimes has a nostalgic feeling but a kind of post-apocalyptic one — like dreamy but also super normal at the same time. I am always drawn to back drops that look like real things — like paintings or photos. I’m very interested in the concept of the hyperreal.
What do you prefer — studio or on location?
I used to prefer to always shoot on location but I’m learning to love the studio too. It’s important to me and whoever I’m shooting, to have things to interact with. One of my favourite parts of my process is location scouting, when I find a good location it makes me so happy. Often concepts for my shoots will start with a location. But, since I have been shooting in studio a bit more recently, props and set dressing is really important.
Any tips you can offer to someone looking to grow as a photographer?
Like what you like, craft your own style, listen to your feelings and try really hard not to compare yourself to others.