Hello, my name is Hannah! I am an artist and photographer based in Oxford. Somehow I fell into photography but soon realized it had always been my life’s passion. My mother had studied photography and I remember rooting through her black and white photographs with adoration. She gave me my first film camera on my eighteenth birthday, and I haven’t looked back! Since that beautiful Pentax my lust for photography, as well as my vintage camera collection, has grown and grown.
My favourite recent shoot was during the summer solstice, when my best friend Franny got married to Tom, amongst the hills on the border of wales. It was an idyllic summers day, made even more special by the fact that my daughter was one of the flower girls. Luckily the rain held off for the flower girls, the newlyweds, and their eight-month-old daughter Frith, to pile into the back of the father-of-the-bride’s truck to drive up the hill to the reception after the beautiful service in the quaint village church. There amongst the bunting and the flowers awaited elderflower fizz and a vegetarian feast under the trees. The wedding was full of understated beauty, rustic details, and was purely about celebrating the love that this couple bare one another, surrounded by people that love them and wish them the best for their future journey together.
So how did I get into photography? …Initially, I was fascinated with the process of film photography; watching the images mysteriously appear in the water under the red light. It was these first forays into darkroom black and white photography that got me hooked. I experimented with Man Ray style photograms and solarization, and was inspired by photographers like Erwin Blumenfeld, Imogen Cunningham and Tina Modotti. What captured my imagination was their high contrast black and white figures taken either in the studio or out in nature. I developed my skills and technique during night classes while at college and later continued combining my love of photography with that of painting during my Fine Art degree. I think it is this combination of art and photography that has lead to my particular creative eye for detail and search for beauty.
I crossed over into digital photography when I began shooting events and weddings, and it became more important not to mess up! Try explaining light-leaks on your whole film to a Bridezilla, who was expecting you to capture her special day! It no longer passes as artistic licence! (Luckily this hasn’t happened to me, I should add). My style specializes in people, seeking to capture sensitive and honest imagery; aiming to candidly capture those intimate moments. Though I am at ease with studio lighting and photography, I prefer the natural light of the outdoors. I look for moments or angles that offer an alternate point of view. I also believe the mundane and every day can be just as beautiful as the momentous.
I have recently graduated from an MSt in Literature & Arts at the University of Oxford, where I wrote my dissertation about pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron who helped promote photography’s acceptance as an art form. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects, traveling and collaborating with amazing people. Please get in touch if you are interested in working together!
COMPANY: Hannah Sothern Photography