Amy Barton, Freelance Fashion Photographer
Interview by Laura Piety
Can you introduce yourself and what you do?
My name is Amy Barton, I am a freelance fashion, beauty and portrait Photographer.
Did you grow up always wanting to take photographs?
I was always fascinated by old photographs, I spent hours looking at old family albums. Throughout school I was passionate about Art and Design, I loved to sketch and this developed into drawing from photographs I had taken.
It wasn’t until I reached my late teens that I owned my own 35mm film camera and started to take photos and develop my own film. I fell in love with the printing process and would spend hours in the darkroom. From the anticipation of unraveling the negatives to process of black and white printing, this was my new form of drawing.
How did you hone your photographic skills and move into the fashion industry in particular?
I’ve always loved photographing people but I realised I loved the element of fantasy in fashion; Cindy Sherman and Sarah Moon first inspired me to experiment with this.
I started out working as a studio assistant in a large photographic studio inLondon. I clearly remember my first week there and British Vogue were in shooting an editorial. There was such a buzz around the studio and I was so excited to be part of it! It was fascinating to see how the shoot unfolded. Since then, assisting photographers in the industry and building good relationships with editors and stylists has helped me move forward into fashion.
What would you say is your particular 'creative brand'?
As a freelance photographer I get commissioned to shoot for different brands and I enjoy working to a brief. It’s not just about selling clothes but creating a mood or working to convey a concept for a particular brand.
Can you outline some of the main elements of putting a shoot together and then directing it?
It usually starts with developing a brief or creating a story for a particular editorial or brand. This would include looking at lighting references, carrying out castings and looking at appropriate studios or locations. It’s important to have a great team that work alongside you that share your vision, so choosing your team as a photographer is an important part of the process. In collaborating you need to be able to communicate your ideas with stylists, hair and make-up artists and direct models.
What equipment do you use?
I shoot with Canon and my favourite lens at the moment is my 85mm 1.2 - it’s such a beautiful lens! Recently I inherited a Mamiya 645 film camera and have been collaborating with a publication that works with photographers who shoot in analog still. Even though digital has revolutionised the image production, I actually think film is having a bit of a revival! Digital is obviously more economical and instantaneous, but there is a magic and a quality to film that just can’t be achieved with digital.
My lighting changes all the time but at the moment I like to shoot a lot using daylight or recreate daylight with flash.
What have been some of your favourite projects?
One of my favourite moments was shooting on a beach in the sunshine in Malibu last year. I got to work with a fantastic team and we had a lot of fun. I also accomplished a bit of a dream photographing for British Vogue at London fashion Week earlier this year.
In your opinion, what makes a great beauty picture?
On my latest beauty shoots I have been more interested in conveying the models' personalities. Having some time with them in the morning while they are in hair and make-up and getting to know them a little, helps me draw them out when they are on set. To capture the essence of an emotion or their personality is beautiful to me.
What advice would you give to budding photographers?
The best advice I could give would be to practice! You only get better from experience. If you have an idea then pursue it, don’t let anything hold you back from expressing yourself.
For more information visit http://www.amybarton.co.uk
You can also see Amy's shoots for us here.
Images courtesy of Amy Barton