Charlotte Brown, (ePz member Camera 321
) takes ethereal and dreamy portrait shots. Here, she shares with us what it's like trying to break into the world of photography as a career, and her inspirations.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a photographer from the UK based in the Lincoln / Nottinghamshire area. I specialise in people photography - mainly portraits, fashion or events such as weddings. I recently completed a National Diploma in Photography at Lincoln College finishing the course in 2010 with a Triple Distinction, which I was very happy with.
I am currently in my 2nd year of a BA in Contemporary Lens Based Media (Film and photography) at the University of Lincoln.
What made you want to become a photographer?
I have enjoyed photography from a young age and my grandfather has influenced me greatly as he was very interested in taking images and the technical side of things. He helped me with equipment as he used to have his own running dark room. I always wanted a versatile job working around people and photography fits this perfectly. I love creating my own images from my imagination with personal ongoing projects and freelance.
How have you found the business? Is it tricky or fairly easy to find work?
I have been doing freelance for a year now. The hardest part of finding work as a freelance photographer is getting well known. I have found the best way is to practice, and do lots of personal shoots to motivate you. This improves your work and it will also keep people updated on your work. The more work you show people the more chance they will want paid work off you in the future. Networking is a very good way to start off for any photographer. The more people you know, the better!
Who are your favourite photographers and what draws you to their work?
I have developed a certain dream-like style based on my main influence, photographer Eleanor Hardwick. I looked at her work when I was in my first year of my National Diploma course at college and fell in love with her style.
Once you pick up a particular style it is very easy to find more work that becomes of interest to you. Her work is very innocent and pleasing to the eye and also it is very versatile. She likes to use her imagination to create quirky things using props and Post production.
What camera and equipment do you use?
The camera that I use is a Canon 500D. I have a 50mm portrait lens to go with it which creates the dreamy look within my images. With a low f number the lens can create a lovely soft focus and blurred background which creates a nice innocent feel.
I would ideally like the Cannon 5D MK III but as I am a student it is definitely not in my price range! My grandad has given me his Olympus OM2, and I recommend this as a good starter film camera. I have taken some lovely images on it.
As well as the cameras I also own a large tripod, filters, dark room paper and loads of other bits. I would like to buy a lomography camera very soon to experiment with lomo style photography.
Your work has a kind of fairytale ethereal feel, how do you achieve this look?
A lot of the ways I achieve this look are from props I use within the shoots. Flowers, hats, costumes and setting up a whole tea party scene all helps! I enjoy creating these looks.
The rest of the look is created with Photoshop using tools such as colour balance, lens flare, contrast/brightness and layers/filters.
To find out more about Charlotte and her work, visit her Facebook page