Wednesday, 3 August 2011

When I grow up...

We've been totally inspired by the work of photographer India Hobson, her dreamy style is right up our street. So we caught up with her and got the low down on her on her new book 'Boys by Girls' with Cecilie Harris. 

If you hadn't realised your photography dream, what would you be doing instead?
I always wanted to be a visual merchandiser – but then discovered I had to use a drill and do hardcore things like put up shelves and that put me off...I'm sure if I hadn't picked up a camera I'd have found my way into window dressing. The psychology of VM fascinates me. Probably a good thing I found photography though, as I can't use a hammer for toffee. 

Have you got a favourite image that you've taken?
This was shot (below) on Mamiya 6x7 with a Polaroid back and the rollers had become clogged up with excess acid, trapping the paper inside the camera. I had absolutely no control over it and could never reproduce the effect, but I take all of the credit for it!

What inspired 'Boys by Girls'?
Phil (M&P models) is the first male model that I worked with, and he surprised me. He was a brand new face and I couldn't believe how easily he moved – and, of course, he's amazingly cool. I remember he had this weird phone that looked like some kind of 80s games console. I think he's still my favourite guy to work with – we always have a good laugh and I like that he continues to teach me things. For an 18-year-old choir boy, he knows a hell of a lot about the world, and generally makes it hilarious. That's something I love about working with guys – they like to make it fun.

Is there a different approach to photographing boys compared to girls? 

In my case, I'd say no; I photograph my models as though I were shooting myself. I give them scenarios and ask them to get into character (the self-portrait is important to me, so I see my fashion images as an extension of that, encouraging them to pose/feel as I do) so in terms of mindset there's nothing different. The difference comes in the proportions and portrayal of their bodies. We've always been used to images of women in fashion and art, so I've developed an idea of what is classed as beautiful. I think a lot of the time I'm correcting that view in front of me because of the way the lens works, but boys don't need curves. They look how they look, and that makes the whole process quicker. I think I'm still developing that 'ideal' that I'm working to/from.

(Model: Phil Ellis Grooming: Jodie Smith Styling: Lora Avedian)

If you could photograph anyone or anything, who or what would it be and why?
In terms of male models, I have a soft spot for Canadian model Simon Nessman – he's been the face for Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabanna and Ralph Lauren. There's something about his brow line that fascinates me... I think he'd do a great 'angry child face' for me! In terms of everything else, I'd go for something en masse, like a portrait series of interesting people. Half of me wants to choose famous photographers because it would be a challenge to say the least, and  I'm sure there'd be plenty of interesting conversations and friendships made...

By Frankie Murray

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