Thursday, 9 April 2009

"I think I got into photography on a bit of a fluke."

Everyone seems to see themselves as a bit of a wannabe photographer these days. Whether it be the “emo” kids on MySpace who take a million photos of themselves and their friends in mirrors, or people who have Facebook albums full of photos of beautiful landscapes. But it takes a lot more than that to take a good photo, and Colette McHugh is one of few gifted people who can take good photos. “I think I got into photography on a bit of a fluke but am very grateful that I did. I started taking pictures when I was about 15 as a hobby but never really thought I could take it anywhere professional. As much as I wanted to be I was never any good at fine art so by the time I got to university I found myself in a course with nothing to do with art, that I had no interest in. I had it set in my mind that I was going to leave when I found the University of Ulster was starting a photography course. Unlike others who went up for the course I didn’t come from a foundation art background so was extremely happy when I was given the chance and got accepted into the course. From there I really developed my love of art photography.”

It was the work of photographer Annie Leibowitz that really stood out the Colette when she was 15 and helped her realise her passion for taking photos: “I was amazed by the beautiful constructed images she created of glamorous people but also how she could use photography to document her own life. It seemed like the perfect vocation for me as it could include all my interests in one career that I could be passionate about.” And photography is just that; no matter what you’re interested in it’s always possible to include it. From fashion to art, there’s always some way to put it in a photo, and Colette’s inspirations are proof of this: “Every project I take on has different inspirations, from music and other art forms to everyday experiences, but I’m most influenced by the past. I’ve always loved the look of old movies from the styles of film noir to the musical production of the 1940s. This plays a big role in my current project which is mostly influenced by director George Melies and musical choreographer Busby Berkeley.”

Colette is currently working on fashion photography for Belfast hair and artist designer ‘Vintage Rocks’ and is hoping to start a website and create a book of work this summer, so make sure to watch this space and look out for her photos.

You can check out more of Colette's work at
All photos used with permission.

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