Photographer Holly de Looze talks hundo through her creative practice
Holly de Looze’s photos are poignant windows into both the natural and domestic worlds, and her own place within them. We chat with Holly about her growing practice, favourite parts of capturing the world around her, and creative inspirations.
Tell me a little bit about your photography? How would you describe your style?
I would describe my photography as fine art photography. I use photography as a way of documenting landscapes and the domestic, but also as a way of exploring and understanding my role and placement within these environments. People have described my style of photography as ‘playful’, which I really like. More recently, my personal work is made up of various self-portraits, something that I never considered shooting until a year or two ago, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I also shoot a lot collaboratively with artists and musicians, translating my photographic style into a format that documents their work
What's your favourite part of being a photographer?
I don’t know where to start! I love taking photos! I really enjoy being able to work with other artists and to be a part of each other’s creative processes. Having the ability to encapsulate someone’s product or portrait for them and show them makes me really happy. I like being able to provide documentation of something that we are both proud of. In terms of personal work, the ability I have to express myself through photography has got to be the most exciting part for me. The older I get and the more I shoot, the more creative I feel, and to be able to communicate that through a photograph is so exciting to me. I hate having my photo taken by other people, but when I take self-portraits, I don’t feel the same shyness and awkwardness.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration comes to me very sporadically, there’s no set place I can go to find it. Often surrounding myself with others who are also creatively motivated helps me, not just photographers but artists, musicians, writers. I recently watched a documentary called ‘Finding Vivian Miaer’, which has definitely inspired me to take my camera out and about with me a lot more, instead of just taking it to pre-organised shoots. I have a pile of photography books in my room that I return to occasionally, but I would have to say mainly being out in nature. When I was younger I never found nature particularly thought-provoking, but over time I have learnt to appreciate more natural environments.
What are your creative hopes for the future?
I want to shoot more for myself! I am in the process of putting together a small photography and poetry book, so hopefully creating more personal work like that. A solo exhibition is the dream but I think that would be in the far future. I’m aiming to keep working with other artists and musicians for now, making contacts with people and small brands in London, hopefully shooting with these people multiple times and building up a working relationship. I’m thinking up a long term self portrait project at the moment, based on a painting of a woman I saw in the National Gallery, so I’m hoping that will keep me busy for a while!
Is there a piece of work that you are particularly proud of/ a career highlight?
I am particularly proud of the black and white diptych of me and my friend hugging. I took this photo the day after valentine’s day, she drove me to the top of a huge hill that I had said i wanted to take photos on. I hadn’t seen her for over a year before that, and to capture the experience of the feeling of touch and being held felt so meaningful to me. I also think that the intentions of my work have evolved and developed since, it’s like I was trying to communicate something and I didn’t know how to until I took those photos.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Your work doesn’t have to have a big profound meaning, or have to be political or controversial or even brand new, just make what makes you happy. I make art for the process of creating art now, and it’s way more fun. Also don’t compare your work to others, learn to appreciate other people's art and in turn you will learn to appreciate your own.
Words: Grace Goslin