My pattern of shooting is really erratic, it's not my career but just another outlet for me to feel good and a way of getting excited. Because of this I only shoot when I have enough money to do so.
I shoot on film and, because it's always personal projects, I pay for all the film, developing and travelling myself. But it also means I'll spend a week or weekend intensely shooting. This shoot was the last of 4 over two days, I was down to my last three rolls of film and felt really deflated (I'm 27 weeks pregnant and super tired).
The light was going down and I honestly didn't know what I was going to do when Ikeda arrived. I was shooting at my best friend Elliott Morgan's house, who is a talented photographer, I turned to him for advice. He suggested I try digital. I was aware of my portfolio carrying the same tones throughout all the time so I was keen to add some colours, so we tried a gel over his lights. As soon as Ikeda arrived she brought this amazing and full energy with her, she was immediately into it and had brought her own bits of clothing. I caught her energy and I actually loved shooting on digital, especially with the pinky red lighting. It was really inspiring to be different and to step out of my comfort zone. I couldn't be happier with how the shoot turned out. A couple of images in the set are on film, but most are digital. The room we shot in used to be my old bedroom when I lived in London, it was really weird being back there. All the stories I have based around that house and bedroom, the good times and really dark times. It was weird walking through the house because I remembered each spot I had either cried in or had the best time in. I was happy to go home.
I got into photography when I was about 13. I was off school for a long time receiving treatment for cancer, and my dad bought me a digital camera which I used to photograph stuff around my house. It was a good distraction. I then went to college, moved to London to do my foundation, started my degree, interned, assisted and freelanced for a while. I had my baby and came back home to the south west. I'm currently pursuing a career working with survivors of domestic abuse whilst doing a degree in criminology. Photography is my sideline now and a really nice juxtaposition to all the dark shit I see and learn about.
When I look for models, I look for girls who I want to be friends with, that I think are cool and inspiring. I am really insecure about my self image so in a way photographing girls who I think are babes is a way of facing my demons- girls scare me and I've never really had a big friendship group so I can find social situations intimidating. Shoots are always nerve-wracking, but equally as exciting. In a way, it's fascinating dipping in and out of peoples' lives for a few hours at a time, avoiding all the drama that can come with friendships and just doing something really fun and empowering.
I also think that girls should feel free to take their clothes off, and be photographed without being judged by others, It's a really exhilarating thing to do and so far all the reactions I've had from the models is "That was so fun!" and "I feel so strong for doing that" which is just fucking rad.