SFUK: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in photography.
KB:I'm Keeley, I'm 26, I'm a Northerner through and through. I'm also a single mother, which I feel adds great concern to the way in which I approach things. I know it most certainly well changed the way I look at life. My background in photography started from a very young age really, my dad's pride and joy was his Olympus 35mm camera. He used to take it on every trip we went on, he made me and my brother albums each for when we were older I got mine a few years back and it was amazing, so I'm doing something similar for my son. I believe nothing can compare to film photography, it's built into my nature. I picked photography as one of three creative art subjects when I left school and soon realised that it was the medium I wanted to use to express myself. After completing my A levels I got pregnant, so took the time out to raise my son, I struggled to come to terms with how my life had changed really so I went off the rails for a few years, which I then went to do my degree to snap myself out of that hole. It was that, which changed my life and gave me chance to really approach photography with the grown up and yet still childlike mentality.
SFUK: Why do you shoot film, have you always shot film & do you switch between digital and film?
KB: As I said above I think film has always been drilled into me, nothing compares to self development of film either. I live for that moment when you can turn the light on and see your shots floating through the water. I do have a digital camera but I only use that for weddings or work with a quick turn over, my private work is all shot on film. One of my mentors once told me to test the waters with a subject on digital and then shoot the film as they have got the hang of the way you want to work by then and I have always stuck with that ever since. It saves a lot of wasted film shots as it is so expensive now.
SFUK: Who inspires you, any favourite people or places you frequently go to for inspiration?
KB: I guess I get inspired by books, a lot of my projects are based on novels, yet in the arts whether that is painting, poetry, photography. You can work with that expression. I tend to read a lot of books which then leave something to resonate and I will develop that into photographic works. I am hugely inspired by Tim Walkers mentality, who in the Storyteller book talks about Jaques Henri-Lartigue's fantastic images, children looking through the lens in that sense, I guess that where it started for me so I try to process it the same way. Like my eyes have opened for the first time, what stands out, what's scary, what's innocent and I work all that into my works. I challenge that era of growing up in every series I've ever done.
SFUK: How would you describe your style of shooting?
KB: I use paintings a lot for poses; goddesses, religious figures and famous paintings seem to come through. So I try and capture the same intention of a painter as they spend so much time painting things a certain way, the light is painted on, the focus on elements they are challenging is the way I approach my work. So I usually have print outs or folders saved in my phone so I can get my stylist and assistant to pose and sort the lighting the mimic that of the works I'm using as inspiration.
SFUK: If you could have any camera in the world, which would you choose and why?
KB: I have recently purchased my grail as I call it. The original Pentax 6x7 from 1969. The Pentax 67ii was the first medium format camera I ever picked up albeit around 3 years ago now, I had never shot medium format and I was just absorbed in it. I found I love the most simple camera's, even my digital is the Nikon DF which mimics the style and shape of a old 35mm Nikon. A camera should take photographs well and that is it.
SFUK: Do you have any plans for your next project?
KB:I've recently started my Masters Degree at Manchester School of Art, my next project is going to be based on Jane Eyre. I'm fully absorbed in the creation process with all my garments being made by my amazing fashion friends, I am involved in every part of my photographs and everything is a mixture between contemporary culture and the past. It'll challenge very similar idea's to that of Lo-Lee-Tah yet Jane is a very head strong young lady and I think it will definitely be something different to create a series of work on.