Could you introduce yourself to our readers ? Where are you from, where you live ?

Hi there! I’m a portrait photographer from London. I live really South, on the very outskirts, so I have beautiful green Surrey and the concrete jungle of central at equal distances. It’s perfect.

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Do you remember the first picture you ever took ?

I was actually telling a friend about this today! I do! It was of three different sized snails in my garden and I piled them all up in size order. Looking back, they were probably terrified. I was about 14 when I started playing with a camera and used to go and take hundreds of photographs of the bugs and flowers in my garden. I then decided to take portraits of my family and friends at school and my work was about people from that point onwards. There’s no conversation to be had with snails.

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How would you describe your work and aesthetic ?

I would say my work style is quite varied depending on what I’m shooting. I’m currently working with a lot of musicians as well as exploring ongoing personal projects (which are mainly nudes in nature), so the aesthetic between these is definitely contrasting. I love the pre-Raphaelites and think my personal series are more influenced by them; the colourings especially as well as the candid, fleeting moments captured of the anonymous girls. The photographs I take of musicians, however, are a lot darker and simpler – they’d all look like folk bands if I shot them in the same settings as my girls! But I do take time with my colours and believe this runs constant through all my work.

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Tell us about your journey into photography?

It was my Dad who got me into it in the first place. We dug out his old cameras from the 70s one day and he let me keep one to play around with. I ended up moving schools a few years later to study Photography at A-Level (at Reigate College) and that’s about the time I started to take things seriously. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to be on such an amazing course, I tell everyone about it. I was taught the process from scratch, starting off making pinhole cameras and learning how to develop and print my own films etc. Becoming that passionate about something at that age is really life changing. It also really helped that I had the most nurturing teachers, who really valued my vision and let me spend my lunchtimes in the darkrooms.
That all drastically changed when I made the mistake of going to study Photography at University. Filling my days sitting in dark lecture halls listening to teachers drone on about the history of a camera isn’t how I wanted to learn. It felt like I was taking a step back, so I left after the first couple of semesters and have been learning from experience and mistakes ever since. It’s a way better way to do it though, the amount of contacts I have under my belt from the three years I would have been sat in a classroom is incomparable. Get out there and get your hands dirty kids!

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Who are your biggest inspirations ?

John William Waterhouse is a genius and I also love the work of Sally Mann.

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Is there any photographer / artist, you feel close to and are exchanging with ?

I’m truly lucky to have such an inspiring boyfriend. He’s an incredibly creative and curious musician who is constantly bursting with ideas. It’s been so great to have that in my life for the last three years while I’ve also been growing as an artist myself.

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What would be your dream location to take pictures ?

Kurt Cobain’s bedroom circa 1989.

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How do you spend your downtime ?

Reading and cooking mainly! If I wasn’t a photographer I’d definitely be a chef.

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What makes you happy ? what makes you sad ?

I love going to other countries and being chucked in the deep end of other cultures. But all the shit and grief that is going on in the world that is making people scared to do that really upsets me. Lonely people make me sad too.


One book ? One Movie? One Song ?

The Alchemist. Amélie. One song is hard, so I’m saying two which is also hard; ‘Angeles’ by Elliott Smith and ‘Suburban War’ by Arcade Fire.

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On a typical Saturday night, where can we find you ?

Ha, I don’t work to days of the week. I wish my weekends stood out as time off! Most likely hunched over my computer editing unless I’m away.

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What are you currently working on ?

I’m currently working on a new personal series – a beautiful friend of mine let me get her into a river last week. I’m also planning my little road trip around California in a few weeks. I’ve never been to the West Coast before!

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How do you see yourself in 10 years ?

Sitting in my own darkroom printing in my own country house surrounded by home grown veg with 15 dogs and kids.

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A question we forgot to ask ?

My favourite flower is a Foxglove.

Want to know more about Hollie Fernando, follow her Instagram or check her website.

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Posted by:Somewhere Staff