Interview with photographer Charlotte Scholey
- Could you tell us about how you became involved with photography and realised you wanted to be a photographer?
I became involved in photography when I was 13, my Dad just bought what I would call a "proper" camera. He barely had anytime with it. I was captivated from the start and discovered my love for creating through the lens. It didn't take long for Dad to realise I was destined to be with a camera and he donated his camera to me. I was lucky enough to be offered Photography as a subject at school for GCSE. I had an incredible teacher who discovered and nurtured my talent, showing me all the basics of composition and editing. Once I got to college, I had my first paid job as a photographer. It was just in a small nightclub, but this was where I realised I was going to make this my career, even when everyone was telling me I should pursue my studies in Biology instead. My A-Level study opened my eyes up to the world of editorial and fashion photography, something I realised I wanted to be my niche. I was constantly inspired by other start up photographers, emailing them for assistance and advice on how to get into the industry.
- Do you think that photography has changed you in any way? What do you love most about Photography?
Photography has become my second nature, it is my second language and form of communication. In times of distress or confusion, I have created through photography and it has enabled me to be able to deal with my emotions better. It has also led me to discover the positive benefits it has on those who are my models. Expressing yourself through photography can be so confidence building. Photography has allowed me to help people feel more confident and empowered. In photography the outcomes are endless. No picture will ever be the same as another. It fascinates me that two photographs can tell a totally different story even if they are only a split second apart. Just like any other art form, photography will be interpreted differently from one person to another, depending on personal experiences.
- Do you have any favourite pieces of equipment you couldn’t live without?
I am probably the most un-technical photographer out there, and I strongly believe it is not to do with the equipment you use, but how you use it. I have used the same camera for 5 years, obviously I couldn't live without it, but I don't let its specification limit me in any way. However one piece of equipment I probably couldn't live without is my little yellow camera backpack. It holds all the different bits and pieces I could possibly ever need, including spare trousers and a flower crown. Lightroom and Bridge were also a bit of a game changer for me, as an un-organised creative, Lightroom helped me discover how to use filing systems correctly.
- If you had unlimited resources who and what would you photograph?
My dream scenario would be to be able to photograph as many different people around the world as possible. I love the stories different cultures and individuals have to tell. Something that can be documented through photography. I have an ambition to photograph someone from every country, something which got to a good start during my LOCKDOWN project. I would love to be able to use my photography to spread awareness and make a change in people's lives. Another group of people who I love to work with are musicians. The harmony of two different creative outlets work so well together. I currently work with a few musicians and they are my favourite shoots. It is amazing fun to interpret their style of music and lyrics through photography. If my resources were unlimited, I would love to photograph the big guys! Ben Howard is on my bucket list.
- How do you keep yourself motivated when it comes to creating your editorials?
I keep myself motivated through constantly being inspired by other creatives. Studying other people's work, not just photography, leads me to think of the next project I would like to run and how I would like to do it. I have a little notebook I carry with me in my bag which is filled with ideas of who I want to photograph next, or what style I would like to try out next. You can be inspired from anything in the world, creativity is everywhere. I have found I become less motivated when I focus on the financial side of my career. My work is always at its best when I am creating from the heart, capturing something I am fully invested in as a creator. I have also learnt to channel my current emotional state towards creating. There is a strong correlation between my best work being created in a heightened positive or negative headspace. Turning emotions into art whether they are politically charged, or purely just personal, is something you will see artists doing all the time.
-We know your work was based around facetime photoshoots which is such as interesting concept but Could you tell us a little bit about the behind your editorials we featured?
I started Facetime Photoshoots after facing the pressures of Lockdown as a creative. As a photographer I was unable to photograph my models in person. I was heartbroken, as I usually run a portrait based personal project every summer. This year I wanted to photograph individuals who wouldn't usually be photographed. People who have "normal jobs" and who aren't models. Luckily, Facetime photoshoots enabled me to do just that, but on a larger scale. My model's and I would usually discuss a look and outfit before the shoot, however I would usually ask them to wear something that they would never usually wear in their living room ... a ball gown for example! We would start our phone call with a quick house tour where I would take a mental note about where would be perfect as a backdrop. I would then ask my model to place me in very specific positions and find a way to keep me placed there. Following this we would run the shoot just like we would in person, I would direct my model over facetime, testing out different poses and angles as we went. There was a lot of spontaneity involved and a lot of creative thinking on the spot. Shooting through FaceTime has enabled me to photograph people I would never have been able to have photographed normally. It also allowed me to travel to at least 3 countries a day! FaceTime closed the distance between us and didn't require either of us to even leave our bedrooms if we didn't want to! I was also very lucky to photograph a few people who I would only have dreamed of being able to work with. It has been incredible.
-Do you feel as though lock down has effected your normal day to day life in terms of work and creating more?
Lockdown actually pushed me to create more than I have ever before. There was and still is, so much emotion charged behind the pandemic. I found myself wanting to document this time we were in as I recognised this was. going to be a time in our lives that we would remember forever. Lockdown also enabled me to have the time and space to work on things I had wanted to do for ages but just didn't have the time. I was spending more time outdoors and constantly being inspired by the world around me. I think artists are pushed to create harder when they are restrained by invisible boundaries. Lockdown also allowed me to have the space to step back from the busy life I had created around my work. It allowed me to have a fresh pair of eyes on the routine I had fallen into as a photographer. It enabled me to see the changes I needed to make to make my workflow more positive and effective.
-is this series something you feel like you are going to carry on even when lockdown has eased?
This series is still being carried out as we speak! It has changed direction slightly and is now being used for various charities to demonstrate how work was still being done during lockdown. It is also something I have been using with families to celebrate life events that can't currently be celebrated due to the restrictions. I would love to carry it on into the future and use it to achieve my goal of photographing as many people around the world as possible.
- Do you have any tips for photographers/creatives at the start of their journey?
Be inspired by other photographers and creatives! I have learnt my most valuable lessons and developed my own style through studying and admiring other people's work. Mood board for every shoot and use work from others to create it. I would also say, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, be brave and get in contact with those people you would love to work with or for, the worst they can do is say no. Lastly .... learn how to organise your files ... It saves a lot of time and hassle. Something I have learnt the long way round.
- Amongst your work do you have a favourite and why?
It is nearly impossible to say which of this series is my favourite, as I loved them all so much for different reasons. One that stands out the most for me, is the lady in her birthday suit in front of the painting. This shoot was a collaboration between the two of us, admiring the female form and allowing it to become a piece of art within a piece of art. Jolene was amazing to work with and had a beautiful home which provided some amazing backdrops and scenes.
- What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date is publishing my first book. The whole journey through creating LOCKDOWN, was a rollercoaster. The project brought so many opportunities, like speaking on the radio and helping inspire others to create, it was so rewarding and exciting. I would like this book to be the first of many!
- Is there any thing key in the future your aiming for?
I am aiming for the future to join my skills as an artist and as an empathetic, supportive figure to train as an Art Psychotherapist. I am looking forward to providing a creative sanctuary for those who may be struggling physically or mentally. Alongside this, I am looking to open a second studio that will specialise in boudoir and couples photography.
- Thank you for featuring within INTRA, where could viewers find more information about you and connect with your work