Meet The Photographer – Bryony Edwards

What were your earliest creative influences and interests?

I guess that depends on how early you mean. My mother was very creative, she was an artist, painter and loved all mediums so she was very influential on my very early years. Whilst I was studying I absolutely love the work of David lachapelle and Jill Greenberg – I think the hyper realism of the lighting setups and retouching was what drew me to their work.

How do you keep your photography fresh?

I like to mix up my genres and style pretty regularly. Some photographers like to have a specific lighting style or colour grade that they use and consider it a sort of identity but I like to play around with my visuals and treat it as a way of growing as a professional.

What is the most challenging shot you’ve ever taken?

Oh goodness, I think there have been a handful of projects which stick out as being particularly taxing… but not normally from a photographically technical point of view, more from a logistical standpoint. I had one where I photographed Robson Green for Dunlop Fishing and I ended up having to get fully into a lake with my camera, in waders, up to my waist in water with a pretty strong current it was quite scary. There was another shoot where myself and a videographer were shooting from the same angle from a fuscia pink flamingo lilo in the middle of the sea… about 80k worth of equipment just floating on this tiny lilo… that was a squeaky bum moment. Why are all mine water based? *Laughs*

Getting technical, what’s in your gear bag?

Is it bad if I say a can of coke, some chewing gum, a trashy book and then some beat up equipment? I’m not a gear head. I think gear is important, but I don’t think it makes the photographer. Too many people focus on the gear and not the skill.

I love playing around with 35mm analogue.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have been doing a lot of still life work recently with cosmetic brands. I like working with cosmetics because you can do these tiny, tight lighting setups, and every tiny movement and fine tune has such a huge effect. I feel like its much more considered than when I shoot larger scale fashion stuff where everything is moving, the variables are so numerous and you barely have time to breathe. Working with small still life imagery is intricate like trying to fix a watch.

Can you tell me a bit about how you became a photographer? 

It’s a bit boring really but I studied Visual Communications at Uni, and specialised in photography. Mainly it was all self taught because it wasn’t a photography course. Then once I’d graduated I worked at a company called packshot for a year as a photographer retoucher, and then went on to manage the in-house studios for the Sportsdirect Group. I did that for a long time until I decided that I needed to do something for myself and I went freelance. 

Can you remember your first paid work?

Erm..(sighs).. It was quite a long time ago now, but I think my first ever paid work was assisting on a shoot for ballroom dancing in scarborough, Ha ha ha, that is so random now I’ve said it out loud! *Laughs*

How has your work evolved since then?

I think as a photographer you always have to constantly evolve and learn. Tastes change and fashions are like the tides sweeping in and out so you always have to be on your toes ready to move with it, or you will get left behind. I think I am more accepting now of imperfections within my photography than I was, and I love experimenting with analogue technology and improvised equipment. 

lingerie model analogue photography
Olympus OM10 vintage camera shot

How would you describe your approach to photography?

I would probably say that my approach is very versatile and pragmatic. I am very adaptable so I change my approach depending on the scenario and requirments.

What are you passionate about besides photography? What do you do in your free time?

I love to read, but nothing high-brow; I have tried reading some of the old classic novels and Christ I struggle to get through them, but give me a tacky crime or romance novel and I’m in heaven – especially if there is a glass of wine and a hot bath thrown in there too. I also have just started to re-learn to play the piano, and that is really rewarding, but super tough work.

I’m also a bit of a film whore and consume movies like you wouldn’t believe so…

Bryony, please tell about your work space?

I am a naturally messy person so I would describe my work space as clean but cluttered. I often have a lot of projects on the go at the same time and juggling lots of different projects at one time doesn’t really lend itself to tidying up after yourself, so I end up having big blasts at tidying on a weekend sometimes. 

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