This month we’re introducing our Amateur Snapper feature where we’ll be getting to know the industry’s most creative up and coming photographers. For our first edition of Amateur Snapper we caught up with Sarah Brown who just shot an awesome underwater photography project that we can’t wait to share with you.
Hi Sarah, it’s great to meet you! We’ve loved checking out your latest projects. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do?
Hi everyone, my name is Sarah Brown and I am originally from Newcastle-Upon Tyne. I’m currently living in Manchester and study Photography at Salford University. Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of embarking on some great work experience placements at the likes of Misguided and my career is beginning to take off; this last year has been a complete whirl wind and is showing no signs of slowing down. Some of my work has been featured on the Misguided website, ASOS, London Fashion Week, Miss Foxy, Label MB bags, RION Magazine, the Sunday Sun, Meade Magazine and Pakistan in Vogue.
How did you get into photography? What made you want to pursue it as a career?
It all started when I did fine art for both GCSE and A-Level at school. Part of the marking criteria was to create your own original imagery, this was a great platform for me to begin to explore photography. I found that I took pictures of everything before I painted it, then realised that I enjoyed the photography side more than the painting!
How did you acquire your skills?
Practice makes perfect, although I am definitely not perfect! My degree course has given me the fundamental skills and I have built upon these with time and practice. I’m still always learning. I believe that you learn from your mistakes, so I like to take risks with my photography. There are always new skills you can learn and I’m constantly trying to add new strings to my bow.
You’re a relatively young photographer - Do you think you’d have been a professional photographer in a pre-digital age?
Probably not, I haven’t a clue how to work film, however I am looking into adding this to my skill set. It does interest me but I never really got round to trying it. I particularly love how the digital age has provided a new way for amateur photographers to get their worked viewed by a larger audience and gain critique of their work.
What are your thoughts on CoinaPhoto? What would you say your favourite feature is?
My favourite aspect of CoinaPhoto is that it provides a platform for photographers to put their work out there and gain credit and recognition - people often get exploited in the creative industry when posting work online essentially for free which can degrade photography as a professional industry.
I also like the ‘respect like’feature as it allows people to acknowledge others work and network within the photography community.
Underwater photography is a huge trend that we’ve noticed a lot of people talking about this week. Can you tell us about your latest underwater shoot?
My latest underwater shoot was shot in Peterborough, it was amazing! We had a photographic tank where models would get in and pose. It was difficult to begin with but I got the hang of it. It was also hard for the models to be in an unnatural environment - there were a lot of breaks to let them catch their breath. I love my water shoots - the human form is particularly beautiful when submerged in water. I hope to do my second series of underwater shoots next summer.
How does underwater photography differ to regular photography? Are there any specific techniques you need to consider?
The first hurdle is obtaining the right equipment to ensure that your camera and equipment don’t break in the water! I bought an underwater pouch but even then, I didn’t trust it. The shoot itself is also more strenuous and tough in the sense that only one or two shots can be taken before myself and model have to come back to the surface for air. However, these added obstacles added to the excitement of this shoot.
Top 3 tips for up and coming photographers?
-Keep shooting, you will learn from every shoot you do!
Top 3 definitely don’ts for up and coming photographers?
-Don’t go spending money on stuff you don’t need. Find what suits your photographic needs and budget to buy the things that relate to you!
-Try not to sell yourself as a photographer for everything, I like to focus on the things I enjoy i.e portraiture and editorial and it’s much more enjoyable. Your passion will show through your work.
- Don’t Copy other people’s concepts. You will get black listed within the industry and it will be obvious. That’s why it’s good to stand out. You won’t be compared to anyone if you have a really original idea!
Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
Yes! but unfortunately its top secret as of yet! I will be shooting this in January so keep your eyes peeled! It’s not like anything I’ve ever done!
That’s all from Sarah for now but we’ll be sure to catch up with her about in the New Year to find out more about her exciting projects.
If you’ve just started out in photography and would to feature in next month’s Amateur Snap send an email to [email protected] detailing why you think you deserve next month’s spot.
Have a great weekend. Happy snapping!
*All photography rights in this post are reserved to Sarah Brown Photography