What are you curious about?
I’m curious about people and my surroundings, understanding why people do the things they do
by connecting their past to the decisions they make. For me, taking photos is more than just
capturing the present instance, but also the intersection of the past and future. And on film, it is
being captured in the most lasting of ways.
Describe your work and describe your process.
I shoot documentary style photography. I don’t normally go out with a mission of what I’m going
to shoot, but instead being ready for any photo opportunity. My camera rarely leaves my side -
it’s heavy so it’s a bit of a commitment, but can also be a great conversation starter!
I shoot with a medium format 120 mm film, which only has 15 photos per roll, so it really makes
me stop and think every time I take a shot. I get the rolls developed and scanned at a photo lab in
Manhattan. And then that’s pretty much it! I do very little editing on them as I don’t want to lose
that “film” look they have.
What got you interested in photography and how did you learn?
I fell in love with photography completely by accident. I ended up having to take a load of art
classes my senior year of high school to complete my credit requirements. Little did I know how
much it would change my life!
I was taking a film photography class, where we were given weekly assignments to capture
different angles or emotions. We would develop our own rolls of film and then print them
ourselves. People always say you’ll never forget seeing the first photo you print come to life, and
well, I haven’t! To this day, it remains one of my favorite photos. At the end of high school, I
interned in a photo studio in NYC, and that was just the beginning of what would become a
defining hobby for me over the last few years.
You went from film photography to digital and now back to Medium
format film. Why the switch back to film and why medium format?
When I went to college, I ended up going back to digital. Just like most students, I was learning
to live on a budget! Working in digital allowed me to really practice though and explore different
approaches, there was no limit to how many times I could shoot. But my heart always yearned
for that feel that film has.
Wandering into an old camera shop in Dublin, I came across an old Kodak Retinette 1a, a 35 mm
from the 1950s. It’s a gem of a camera, everything is totally manual which meant it can be quite
challenging- but also so rewarding when the photos come out well. And I love that the camera is
so old - I stop and wonder sometimes who were its past owners and what photos it’s taken!
After a year of using the Retinette, I decided to make the switch to Medium Format, and have
been using my Mamiya ever since. The ratio of a medium format is slightly different than 35mm,
at 4.5*6. This type of film photography is so rich in culture - having been the choice camera of so
many talented photographers that I look up to, and having captured many iconic moments in
You are well traveled being born in London to Irish parents, raised
between Connecticut and France, living in Shanghai (anywhere else I
forgot)? How has growing up in various places with such diverse
culture affected your view through the lens?
When I was growing up, I never really had a choice over where I lived. Ironically, now that I am
in control of that decision, I still feel like I can’t stop moving! While it was hard at times, the
experiences of living in different places teaches one a lot. Constantly being an outsider forces
one to be more observant and more closely notice how people fit into their surroundings and
behave- whether it’s in Shanghai, Paris, or New York.
Landscapes, city, nature, people, architecture...you photograph it all.
What is your favorite thing to shoot and why?
I don’t really have a favourite thing to shoot... although I find I am still shy taking photos of
people! But when I’m shooting, I like to capture the full picture (no pun intended!). Together the
photos come together to tell a story of a place, with each one adding more context to the next,
allowing the viewer to truly become involved in the series.
Seeing as you work with film, what’s your best way to ensure you
capture a shot?
I cross my fingers really hard !!
Do you use computers in your process? If so how? If no, why not?
I only use my computer in the last step when the negatives are scanned to a CD. I like to keep
that natural look you get from film, I find it adds an extra dimension to photos.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your photos?
Everywhere...Luckily, I work in advertising, so visually, I’m always being challenged to look at
things through a new lens. But otherwise- just about everywhere !
What is your dream travel destination and what do you desire to shoot
I’ve got two places on my list for 2015: Iceland and Jordan. While they’re two drastically
different places, one being a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean, and the other an Arabic
Kingdom, they both strike me as really interesting places to shoot: both because of the nature and
because of the culture.
If you could photograph anyone dead or alive who would it be and
what would it look like?
Hm..there are just so many people ! I think maybe I would prefer a moment in history before the
days of cameras? Perhaps a hotly contested moment...Ah, I don’t know, it would be a tough
If you had one superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to teleport...then, I wouldn’t have to just choose one place to live in! And it
would mean I’d have an endless stream of inspiration from all the different places I’d get to visit.
What is your dream project?
Of all the photos I’ve seen...there’s one that always sticks with me, it’s one by Annie Leibovitz
with bloody imprints on the wall left by Tutsi children. In this photo she was able to portray so
much more than what we typically see in the news. I would love the chance to get to cover some
war zones, to portray the human side of it - but I suppose, that’s a whole other ball game isn’t it!