Artist Spotlight: Hollie Fernando lifts the lid on her favourite photography projects
This month, we caught up with portrait and travel photographer Hollie Fernando who lifted the lid on some of her favourite projects, her struggles and her most loved platforms to showcase her work on…
Adobe: Tell us a bit about you and what you do?
Hollie: I’m a 25-year old London-based portrait photographer. In terms of my paid work I shoot a lot of musicians, whereas my personal work leans towards travel, nudes and exploration of the female form. I always shoot on film.
A: How did you get started in the industry? Did you always know you wanted to be photographer?
H: I knew from an early age that I wanted to take photos. I was given a camera by my dad and my interest grew from there – I even asked to move schools to study Photography at A-Level! That was when I knew that I wanted to land a career in photography. I went to university but I didn’t enjoy the course I was taking so I ended up getting a job at a studio instead and decided to learn on the job. I ended up working there for three years and am now with an agency which felt like the natural next step for me. It’s really opened doors.
A: Who would you say inspires you? Past or present?
H: My favourite photographer is Sally Mann. She was the first photographer that I fell in love with. She mainly does black and white photography of kids – one of her famous pieces is the child with the fake cigarette. The emotion conveyed in her photos is immense. I always try to make sure my own work conveys some sort of cinematic feeling, so there’s a bigger story or picture to read into.
A: How would you describe your signature style?
H: Colourful. I use a lot of paintings as references, as well as different films and lighting for my various shoots, so I’m always aware of the use of colour in my work. People have said that they recognise my work from the colours I use as it’s normally quite vibrant but also quite summery.
A: Where do you showcase your work? How do you get your name out there?
H: On my website, mainly, but it’s always good to approach places to see if they’d like to feature my work. Art blogs such as ignant post a lot of projects which are all amazing. Instagram is another great platform to get your photos out to the rest of the world.
A: Have you got a favourite project that you’ve worked on over the years? Either a personal one or one you’ve been commissioned to do?
H: I worked on a project which took a few years to complete. Over various holidays and family road trips I would take shots of my sister modelling nude. When I pieced all the shots together I found thatI had a whole project there – all with a hidden identity. The response got me quite a few big interviews and features. I ended up being featured by Intern Magazine which then lead to me being discovered by Blink Art, my current agency.
A: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received over the years?
H: Shoot first, aim afterwards. A few years ago, I really struggled to come up with new ideas for shoots and projects. One of my managers told me to just get out there and shoot as much as I could based on my interests which really helped me. Take my brother for example; I started shooting him on another family road trip as he had just turned 13. In some ways, he was such a child, for instance in the way he slept, but in other ways, he was such an adult. It was really interesting to develop that last year of him being a child. If I hadn’t started to shoot him on a whim, I would have never discovered that angle for my photography.
A: What’s next? Have you got any exciting projects in the pipeline?
H: I’ve just been on a Costa Rica road trip with my sister; we got lots of brands involved that fitted with the environment out there. It wasn’t meant to be a big trip, but I shot about 70 rolls of film out there – I’m really looking forward to the final results.
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