Sunday, 15 May 2011

Amber Longhurst

Recently we stumbled upon Amber on flickr, she is a very innovative and creative photographer from a sleepy town in Surrey that utilises her picturesque surroundings for her photos. We asked her a few questions to see what she is up to!

Deerbrains - Hi Amber can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Amber - I'm a nineteen year old gap year student from Surrey and I'm currently working full time to get some dollar for Uni. I will be study a Photographic Arts BA at Westminster University so a big hello to anyone else who is currently/will be studying there!

What equipment do you use and why?
I mainly use a Canon 300D Digital, I've become accustomed to using it over the years and although its a bit tired I feel like a traitor using anything else! Other than that I use a Canon T80 which was my late Grandpa's so it has major sentimental value and the colours come out beautifully. I feel a lot of people feel that if they have expensive gear, or a lot of it, that they are the better photographer, its not true and stop kidding yourselves.

How did you get into photography?
My Dad is a cracking wildlife photographer so I've had a camera since I was about 4. He healthily encouraged me to pursue anything arts based and has always been a great inspiration as what he does is incredibly technically demanding and he has the patience of a Saint!  On an academic level I studied photography at A Level which is when I got told by my tutor that I was going to go far, babe. 

What or who inspires you and your work?
My greatest inspirtation is Francesca Woodman because her ideas of self reflection really strike a chord in  me and I think its where my passion for intimate self portraits come about. However, I'm also inspired by fashion, the supernatural, things I find interesting on a personal level and travel.

How would you describe your work?
I don't really know what bracket I'd put myself in. I suppose experimental would be the best fit. There's aspects of art, fashion, self image, film, digital, documentary, light usage, makeup....etc. I think my Photographic Arts degree will be the making of me as I will guide and nurture myself into work that will inevitably fit certain generic brackets. But currently I have no idea!

You recently had an exhibition, how did that go? 
Yes, this time last year I was preparing for it! I was so proud of myself for pulling it together and I think it is quite something for an eighteen year old to have a solo exhibition. I was really impressed with the vast range of people who came to have a look and I am so happy with all the wonderful comments that were left in my guest book. It gave me a few paid work opportunities which is always a cheeky bonus.

On your flickr you have quite a few intimate self portraits, can you tell us the story behind these?
I feel so comfortable naked and I am the easiest person for myself to photograph so take the opportunity when I can. The mix of candid, erotic, sensual and intimate nudes make me feel good about myself, which is a plus point

What are you working on at the moment?
Honestly, I am working on nothing. I work full time to save money for university as I am not affluently blessed and I want to make the strain on myself parents as small as possible. I could not deal with the guilt of accepting money off of them and I am determined to pay my way throughout my three years. However, I am planning some documentary work which I will explain below.

What do you have planned for the future, anything we could look forward to seeing?
I really want to move to Cairo and perhaps study at their university for a period of time, I'm searching for an Arabic evening class and I'm also blessed to have a friend who I met recently in Sharm El Sheik who I'm sure will tutor me via email. This would give me the opportunity for some documentary style photography which is something I'm becomming heavily interested in. I'd also really like to visit India so I sense some back packing comming on!

Any shout outs?
A huge shout out to Milky for being not only talented but a solid rock in my life! Also to Lizzy Mallett for supporting me whatever I do and not being afraid to tell me when I'm ruining my own life, thankyou for being the best I don't know what I'd do without you!!!

You can see more of Amber's work on her flickr HERE

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