For our first artist feature here at ShootFilm.UK we are happy to share with you the work of a local photographer creating some beautiful work with a range of film.
Artist: Andy Mellor
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire
Featured Project - On the Fringe
"The project was shot over the course of a week on a Yashica-mat TLR on Kodak Ektar film."
"On the Fringe was a series I shot in Benidorm about the tourist industry and how all-inclusive resorts have impacted the town. I was drawn to shooting this because I come from a tourist town and while my hometown does not have a problem with all inclusive venues it does have problems with its tourist industry. So it interests me to see the impact of peoples behavior to their chosen holiday destination. Mass tourism is still quite a new concept and we still have a lot to learn about it and the impact it has. Benidorm as a destination interested me because it’s a place where mass tourism was planned and orchestrated after its primary industry was failing. A lot of tourist destinations tend to happen by accident and grow slowly to accommodate the visitors. Benidorm was unique in the way it was planned, designed and marketed. Now with large hotel chains creating all-inclusive venues it is harming the local economy. Jobs can be hard to come by and wages are low because of the competitive nature of food and drink prices. The TV series Benidorm was a good source of research into the mentality of the average tourist as it is littered with hints about the industry from the family who refuse to leave the hotel cause everything is free and statements like if you wanna get pissed show us your wrist which has become a very popular statement within the town."
SFUK: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in photography.
AM: I started to gain an interest in photography in my late teenage years but it was around this time digital started and film got more expensive, labs started closing etc and I wasn’t sold on digital so I stopped for a number of years then in 2010 I bought a digital slr and found my love for photography again. In 2012 I decided to sign onto a degree and from then on it has become part of my everyday life.
SFUK: Why do you shoot film, have you always shot film & do you switch between digital and film?
AM: While I was growing up everything was film and after starting a university the first couple of projects we were given were shot on film and then that was it I was right back at shooting film and never really stopped. I still shoot some digital and I especially do if its any kind of commercial work but mainly I struggle to use digital seriously it feels kind of throwaway to me with not much character. Film is what I grew up with its what I love.
SFUK: Who inspires you, any favourite people or places you frequently go to for inspiration?
AM: I really love Christian Pattersons work I find it hugely inspiring especially the way he chooses to exhibit his work often going beyond just prints but actually using physical objects. I also like to go to the beach I spend a lot of time on the promenade it is a good place to think and sometimes I will go down there shoot some sunsets but its not about the pretty sunset pictures its more about just taking the time to consider things and to get some peace.
SFUK: How would you describe your style of shooting?
AM: I prefer to be as simple as possible with my shooting style I always go out with a general intention of what I want but I also like to walk around and see what inspires me.
SFUK: If you could have any camera in the world, which would you choose and why?
AM: At the moment I would like to make the transition to large format and an Ebony 5x4 would be nice. I like these cameras because the quality is excellent while also being about as a portable as a view camera could be.
SFUK: Do you have any plans for your next project?
AM:I am just putting the finishing touches to a new project that I have been working on for the last few months. I have been Exploring the intersection of place, identity and memory and the connection that can be felt toward our immediate physical surroundings I have based this around my childhood and the places I used to hang out as a child. I find it interesting how the physical landscape or place becomes part of a person’s self-identity.
Keep up to date with Andy's projects at www.andrewmellorphotography.com and follow him @andymellorphoto on instagram.
If you'd like to share your work in the Artist Features space, contact ShootFilmUK by using the form at the bottom of the home page.