Photographer Bronte Huskinson talks us through her spectacular and eclectic series of portraits and the thoughts and processes behind her work
Tell us a little bit about the background behind the series and why you wanted to create it...
I have always loved trying new things and experimenting with photography. I’m never afraid to fail, or work with new materials/places. I think the series is essentially just a brain dump of all of the things that I love and have tried.
There is no rhyme or reason to it and I think that's okay! We are multifaceted beings and I think that is a beautiful thing.
Where did you get your inspiration for creating this series? Did you have any sources, such as work from other photographers, films, books, or anything else?
I get inspired by so many different things I honestly think I’ve lost count! I’m hugely inspired by the media; there are a few Film Noir inspired images there and a couple of shots that are inspired by Wes Anderson films.I get inspired a lot by the places I visit too.When shooting, I wonder what kind of person would be here right now? What are they thinking? What are they interacting with? And I think that always makes more really interesting shots in nature and outdoors!
The series of portraits show incredible technical skill; what are your top tips for lighting, setup and post-production?
Lighting is super important - especially when it comes to the indoor shots! I always light my face with two softboxes, even when it is sunny outside to get the best lit image possible. Lighting can also be used to create really interesting shots, especially in film noir photography, so don’t be afraid to get creative with it!
I always say when setting up a photo, you always have to keep the story you are trying to tell in the forefront of your mind. Take my Wes Anderson inspired photos for example. The set up is extremely important as he plays around a lot with vintage aesthetics and symmetry to create his iconic look.
Editing is the most fun part of the process for me. It’s amazing what you can create in post production! Again, don’t be afraid to experiment or try something new as you can really change the look and feel of your image by just changing one setting!
"...don’t be afraid to experiment or try something new as you can really change the look and feel of your image by just changing one setting!"
Colour plays a strong role throughout the series; what, in your opinion, makes a strong colour palette for creating striking shots?
I really love bright, bold colours - I think they’re always really fun to work with! I like to group colours into ‘seasons’ to make sure they always match and compliment each other. For my more lively spring and summer-y photos, I’m not afraid to go all out with colour and have multiple different colours in one photo, whilst still making sure they compliment each other (such as pink and yellow, orange and blue, red and green etc.) whereas for my more autumnal and winter-y style photos, I tend to use less colour in my photos.
Colour plays a huge role in creating the mood of a photo. Certain colours conjure up different feelings and emotions and different shades of the same colour really impacts the mood of a photo. I really could talk about colour all day!
What was your general process to get these shots & were there any difficulties in creating this series?
Each shot requires a different process and there are certainly different challenges with each. For outdoor shots, I wanted to make sure there weren’t any people in the background which often meant getting to locations very early or a lot of waiting around for people to leave. I never want to inconvenience anyone with what I’m doing!
For my indoor self portraits, there’s so many things that have gone wrong; a photo didn’t turn out how I wanted it to, I couldn’t get the right angle, it didn’t live up to the concept in my head, a prop wasn’t working how I thought it would… The list is honestly endless! But everything that goes wrong always comes with a learning curve and I always try to learn something away from shoots that don’t work out.
"...everything that goes wrong always comes with a learning curve and I always try to learn something away from shoots that don’t work out..."
How did you choose which images appeared in the final edit?
If an image has made me feel something, whatever that may be, then it made the cut. I love conjuring up emotions with my photography. Even if it just conjures up an emotion or a memory within just me. It has to have made me feel something!
What is your favourite photo?
Oh that is so hard I have so many!
I really love the photo with the blue background with flowers falling in front of my face and the one where I’m holding roses in front of my eyes. I love incorporating nature in my photos recently so I think those are firm favourites!
Have you any future plans to expand this series?
I’m playing around with more conceptual, heavily edited photos at the moment that require a lot of editing and I’m having a lot of fun with that - so I’ll probably be adding more images like that to the series!
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