Inspired by Tones, Texture and Forms
Artist Interview with Ceri Herd
Ceri Herd is a photographer based in the United Kingdom who is inspired by the tones, textures and shapes of her subjects. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!
Q: When did you start taking photographs? Why did you continue?
A: I've loved photography for as long as I can remember. Even when I was young I wanted to capture memories and details so I could hold onto them forever. In my early 20s I travelled the world and found myself drawn to not only the sights that I saw, but the interpretations of those places by photographers and other artists. I picked up an SLR along the way and tentatively started my own journey as a photographer. In 2014 we moved from the UK to Arizona, where new light inspired me to take my photography to the next level. Moving away from friends and family, Arizona felt so completely outside anything I had ever experienced. With my all senses ignited, I found myself trying to capture the entire scene or the entire moment. I wanted my viewers in the UK to see how it felt, so in trying to capture more than what the subject looked like, my photographic style became increasingly creative.
Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?
Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use Lensbaby Gear?
A:I think the key with any Lensbaby gear, but the Omni filters in particular, is to be patient and take time to experiment. The minutest change in position of the wand or a slight change in the lighting can make a massive difference to your final image, so be slow and methodical. Over the course of a month, challenge yourself to keep them on your camera, use them with a variety of subjects and in all types of light conditions.
Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?
A: I am most inspired by my surroundings and my subject - by their tones and textures, shape and form - but one artist I greatly admire is Pep Ventosa. I love how he challenges the notion of what can be captured within a single image, and I too like to channel that thought through my work. I have found experimenting with new techniques in this way to be essential for my creative process.
Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?
A: As a creative photographer, a piece of my heart goes into each and every image that I take. Irrespective of my successes, having the confidence to put new images out into the world is hard. For me, every single Instagram post that I make brings feelings of insecurity to the surface. Not caring about likes or comments is difficult and I work hard to put the worries to one side. I am constantly having to work on my confidence and self-belief.
Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught?
A: I am self-taught. The first major game changer for me was reading Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I've since attended conferences and taken multiple workshops and courses, but I think the biggest strides forward I've made have been due to 365 projects and month-long themed challenges. For example, with each new Lensbaby lens I get, I commit to keeping the lens on the camera and shooting with it for 30 days. Practice is vital to learning!
Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?
A: I think that it is important for photographers to have a thorough understanding of compositional rules and techniques. With that understanding, you have a solid grounding for breaking the rules. For me, creativity comes from pushing boundaries and bending the rules, so thorough understanding of the rules in the beginning is vital.
Q: What inspires you most?
A: I am mostly inspired by tone, texture, form and light. When I first consider my subject these elements come together to inform what creative technique I will use. For example, a hosta leaf in rich green tones and a perfectly curved edge will lead me to intentional camera movement, accentuating the form. A tulip in bud that has a minute glimpse of what colour lies within inspires me to add colour or reflection with omni filters.
Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
A: The beach is my happy place. I would photograph the sea every day if I could. Unfortunately I live too far away from the coast, but flowers in macro comes a close second on the favourites list.
Q: How would you describe your photography style?
A: I would describe my style as creative, abstract and dream-like.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?
A: The most satisfying and rewarding part of photography for me is seeing my images hanging on someone else's wall. When someone sees the beauty in my work and appreciates it enough to have in their home, that is truly the highest praise.