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Today I’d like to introduce you to the photography of Rosie Hardy. A 19 year old photographer I stumbled across at Flickr (on the recommendation of some of our readers on facebook). You can see her Flickr stream here. Rosie agreed to answer a few questions about her photography – I hope you enjoy this short interview and accompanying image.
I first got into photography when I was around 16 years old (I’m now 19). I would always flickr through magazines and wonder why pictures I took never looked like they did, I was slightly confused and intrigued by it all. Like any teenager, I wanted to feel pretty, so I started taking random snaps of myself and playing around with them in photoshop and posting them to my old myspace.
After a while, I joined flickr, and I was around 17 when I decided to take up the 365days Project (1 self portrait every day for a year) to really improve my photography and post processing skills. I didn’t start taking it seriously until a few months in, and I saw how passionate about it that I was. I started shooting in new locations, with props and lighting, and then moved onto shooting with models and clients. Self portraits are something which are nice for me to do occasionally, but they really gave me that first initial leg up into the world of photography.
I wish I’d known how important it is to have patience with yourself and keep going. I think with the internet in all it’s glory it can be easy to get disheartened, especially when you get negative feedback, but what is important to keep in mind is that every amazing photographer was once a horrible photographer who took awful photos. We all start somewhere, I look back on my early work and cringe! And I’m sure next year I’ll look back on the stuff I’ve yet to do and cringe at that, too! Point is, I wish I’d not been put off by all the other talented photographers out there.
You don’t need to worry about what you have to offer if you enjoy what you are doing – I’m still not entirely sure what i want to say with my photography, but I know eventually I want to say something, and I’m happy working with what I enjoy until I figure that out.
I use the Canon 5d Mark II right now, but for the first year and 1/2 I used a Canon 400D, so very basic with no other equipment except the kit lens and a tripod.
This image (above) was done a few weeks ago at Stoke on Trent University studio. My boyfriend and I had recently broken up, and I was powering through the split, but still feeling an overwhelming feeling of sadness at the loss of a friend and a whole part of myself – I had moved over to America to be with him (I am from Manchester, UK) and I had to leave everything behind, including the incredible time I’d had over there.
I found these butterfly stickers in a shop one day, and wanted to portray this concept of all the butterflies you get when you love someone quietly fluttering away from you. It was heart wrenching when it happened. I wasn’t 100% sure I even wanted to let them go.
A while after the shoot, I actually saw that it could have a different meaning – that all the butterflies were coming to me to comfort me and surround me like something of a defence. I start to pick myself up and realize that life goes on and love will come again, and that there will always be butterflies and without trying to sound too soppy and melodramatic, sometimes you have to let them go. Photography is great for me like that, it’s like a little outlet I have to express myself and release any sadness/emotion that I might have.
Practice every day! I would definitely recommend taking up the 365 days project – even though it’s self-portraiture, you learn how to direct yourself and pose yourself (and then you can pose models a lot easier) and you get used to being on both sides of the camera.
Shooting every single day sped up my improvement by miles, and it also was nice to document my year and see how much my style has changed. Also – take every opportunity you get, however dull or small, because it opens up SO many new jobs and opportunities! I’ve had such an amazing 2 years and I wouldn’t give up photography for the world.