#SGIAfeature with Lucy Hamidzadeh
15 November 2017
Hi Lucy, how did you first get into photography?
I guess it all started from a very early age, I always remember having a camera in the house. Whenever there was a family holiday, days out or a celebration, the camera always came out, and I generally had hold over it. I remember the element of anticipation and then surprise when film got developed and I looked though the prints (some pretty dodgy and over exposed, but there was still that excitable anticipation). I guess back then I never thought anything of it. It was a way of keeping holidays and family time memorable. I started taking photography more seriously when I joined Instagram many years later. It was then that I met some hugely talented and inspirational individuals, and I decided photography was something I really enjoyed and wanted to pursue. I was inspired by what I was seeing in such an overwhelming way that going out taking photos was all I found myself thinking about, and all I wanted to do was to get out and shoot. I was using my mobile phone a lot back then, but at the same time I was starting to understand more about how my camera worked, and more so, what I could do with it. I loved the freedom and control that I had to make something unique. Fast forward a couple of years and what started as a hobby has grown into a passion. And, as cheesy as it sounds, it has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined.
© Lucy Hamidzadeh.
Your street photography works are really interesting, are these images spontaneous or do you know where to wait to capture an interesting shot?
I never know what I’m going to capture, it’s all spontaneous and that’s what I love the most. I often find myself walking the streets for hours and hours taking photos. Every image I capture is the result of a little flicker that happens to catch my eye in such an overwhelming way that it becomes impossible for me to simply ignore. And, when I get that special moment, it’s such a great feeling. Saying that, I do have a favourite café window that I always have to stop by. It’s where I get a lot of my window reflection inspiration from, and also where I do a lot of thinking. I’m forever curious, and always wondering what the people behind the café window are thinking, what emotions they are going through or experiencing. Their unfinished stories will always remain a mystery to me, and I want the whoever is looking at my photo to imagine what went through my mind, the moment I pressed the shutter.
© Lucy Hamidzadeh.
You vary your shots between colour and Black & White, is this decided before you shoot or in post-production?
It’s something I decide when I’m editing. I always shoot in colour, but I think it all comes down to my mood a lot of the time when I sit down to edit. Sometimes I try both a colour version and a black and white to see which speaks the loudest to me. Black and white photos have that nostalgic feel, and I’m an old romantic at heart. I love the timeless quality of black and white, the high contrast and the mystery. I hardly ever have a feeling so strong when I look at a colour photo. I find that stripping away the colour from an image allows the viewer to focus much more on the emotional status of the image/person. I read more from the look in someone’s eyes, I search for a story in a person’s wrinkles, and their thoughts appear louder. That said, there really is a time and a place for a black and white. I would never post a sunrise, sunset or one of my ice cream shots in black and white.
© Lucy Hamidzadeh.
Who is your favorite ambassador?
That’s so hard, as there really are so many talented and inspirational photographers amongst the Sony Ambassador community, and everyone recognised as an ambassador is remarkable in his or her own creative way. And, I’m not just saying that as an easy answer, there really are so many. It would be hard for me to name just one. I love that Sony recognises such incredible, beautiful and unique bodies of work created by artists capturing the world around them with their Sony cameras. It’s refreshing for me to come across a body of work that inspires, and everyone benefits from these being shared.
© Lucy Hamidzadeh.
What are you currently working on?
Wow, this is a good question as I very recently decided to change my career path and pursue my dream of becoming a freelance photographer and writer. I’d been wondering on and off about making this leap for a fair while, and then suddenly I was made redundant. Once I got over the initial shock, I took it as a sign, and thought ‘it’s now or never’! I’ve so many ideas buzzing about inside my head at the moment, and I’m really excited. I’ve a personal goal of travelling more and ticking off a few places on my ever-growing bucket list. There’s so much of the world I want to see. As well as taking photos, I love writing, so I want to document my travels more too. I made a promise to myself at the start of the year to travel to a new place once a month, and I’m currently re-living those trips by writing about my experiences and sharing them to my website. It’s a joy that photography and writing are pretty inseparable for me at the moment. If I can create and share something that inspires an individual to feel something, that for me is hugely humbling and gratifying. The idea that someone may travel somewhere or experience something for themselves, invest or try something new based on any of my work continually gives me the desire, energy and the motivation to keep on going. Right now, my goal is to always be learning. And, to challenge myself - and I’ve done a lot of that in the last few weeks. I want to enjoy what I do - I think that’s important - as well expand and creatively collaborate with more people.