A brief message· Before you enjoy this issue of fon·i·ca magazine, I thought it would be a nice touch to add a message. As you know we are nearing the end of our first year, this being the penultimate issue. I am very proud of the work we have produced and what we have accomplished with the little resources we have had at our disposal. We have met so many great people and contacted some I never would have dreamed of talking to, it really has been amazing. If you follow us on twitter @fonicamagazine or on facebook, you may have seen we are fund raising. This is so we can improve the print quality and expand our ideas further about how we can present this publication, to succeed we need your help and generosity, all we ask is you give what you can to help us keep on producing something we are passionate about. http://indiegogo.com/fonica-magazine Many thanks Richard Chappelow Editor fon·i·ca magazine
Contents Jak Spedding
Interview with up coming fashion photographer Jak Spedding.
We take a look at the exciting food events organised by Leeds student Lauren Rose Cooley.
The Berlin based photographer talks to us about her work and life documenting others.
Louise speaks of her passion for food and photographing it.
Jak Spedding Jak Spedding is a Manchester based photographer; his impressive work not only captures beautiful models, but also the inner workings of how a high quality shoot is put together. His work has been used for the cover of Yeah Magazine as well as a number of individual exhibitions. Jak is quickly becoming a high profile photographer known for taking truly stunning images. We spoke to him about his work and his plans for the future.
How long have you been a photographer? I have been taking photographs for just over 3 years now but its only the last year I would actually class myself as a photographer rather than just a guy with a camera. What inspires you to take pictures? Light inspires me to take pictures, it is my greatest tool. When working in the studio do you prefer a very organised approach or working spontaneously until you find what you’re looking for? All my work comes from being spontaneous so I never usually think to much about a shoot until a few hours before and usually wait until my model has turned up to set my lights up as I believe a lot, maybe to much in fate so something at any point leading up to the first click of the shutter could inspire me. If something is meant to be then it will happen. In a number of your photos you capture the model and the studio set up, most would hide the tape and posts, why did you decide to show that? There are two reasons for this, the first is I don’t like to crop my images, when I look through the viewfinder the image I see is the image I want to shoot. The second is that this way you can see everything that is involved in the shot, my photographs aren’t hiding anything.
Do you struggle to find models? I usually donâ€™t have any problems finding models as I discovered some time back the power of social media and through the use of twitter, @jakspedding and facebook, www.facebook.com/jakspedding I find a lot of people who are willing to work with me. Have you done any major work? Or is your work more personal? Most of the work on my website is personal but I have been published in a host of international fashion and lifestyle magazines, it is always nice to see your hard work in a physical form. Do you prefer to photograph woman? A large majority of your work features female models. I wouldnâ€™t say I prefer to shoot females but I think the style of my work is very soft and ethereal so suits the female form more than the male. Interview: Richard Chappelow Images: Jak Spedding
ArtyFarty Cooking It’s Wednesday afternoon, I am sitting in Leeds College of Art & Design, scrawled on the wall of a studio, I am faced with the statement “I’m not a chef, I am an Eating choreographer!!”. It’s bold, but then again so is Lauren Cooley, the brains behind ArtyFarty Cooking. Now in her final year at the college, she is starting to gain notoriety with local businesses around Leeds, creating truly original events that give people a remarkable experience with food. Her passion to engage the public is unmatched, evoking long lasting memories through food, how we taste it and experience it, looking at her studio space it is clear she is trying to push the boundaries of how we eat. Tackling the mundane Western Civilisation and the mundane way we interact with food, she draws influences from all over the world. Her most recent event celebrated Easter with a heavy Greek influence and her own modern twist. People where invited to decorate chocolate eggs with all manner of red coloured sweets, dry fruit and dyed honey. Each egg was presented on an artist’s palette complete with brush, leaving the audience to create different variations with the ingredients.
Lauren is a work-a-holic and it is no surprise that she has a number of other events already in the pipeline. She is not just sticking to Leeds either; she already has a marshmallow event planned in Liverpool and another in Crewe, which pays tribute to rationing during the time of World War Two. Looking through her note pads and sketchbooks, she is constantly developing ideas and creating new ones. While these events offer food lovers an opportunity to approach food differently, they are also helping local businesses. By offering smaller coffee shops and food outlets the chance to host these exciting events, it not only raises her profile, but also helps independent businesses reach out to new customers. It then also gives them the option to continue running similar schemes after Lauren has left. Her passion to engage an audience is unmatched; it is clear from her work ethic that supporting local businesses and helping them grow is all too important. Words: Richard Chappelow Images: Richard Chappelow & Lauren Cooley
Andrea Gjestvang Documentary photography is all about capturing the modern world and all that inhabit it, present historic events and comment on social issues. Then exhibit them to the rest of the world for us to take notice of. Andrea Gjestvang does just this and is at the top of her game. Norwegian born Andrea is currently based in Berlin but spends a lot of her time travelling around Europe, working for Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang and exploring her own projects. She is a photographer fascinated by human life and how we exist in our own situations. Her travels have taken her to Greenland to study a society on the brink due to the changing of the worldâ€™s climate. Interested by our obsession with the human body she has shot the Miss Norway competition and bikini shows in Norwegian bars. She has a very broad portfolio but it is one that continues to be attracted to human existence.
Last year she was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass, which sees 12 young photographers spend time with experienced people from the world of photojournalism so they can share their knowledge and give guidance. This saw her travel to north Norway to look at youth culture in the largest but most sparsely populated area of the country. Andrea is one of the best young documentary photographers in the world right now. Her pieces can be just as beautiful as they are moving but most importantly they make you think and react. The perfect definition of documentary photography. She continues to be published in various magazines and has been exhibited all over the world. She is part of the Scandinavian photography agent Moment and runs a blog called Heartbeat with other photographers Marie SjĂ¸vold and Marte Vike Arnesen. She was kind enough to give us some of her time so she could talk about her career.
Where did it all begin for you? Why did you decide to become a photographer?
What is your favourite equipment to use?
I grew up on a big farm on the countryside of Norway. It was a small world on itâ€™s own, filled with old pictures and memories. I have always been a nostalgic person, and taking pictures became a way to explore my immediate surroundings. I was 17 when I first picked up a camera, and I built a lab in the bathroom where I developed my films and made black and white copies.
I work with Canon 5D Mk II, and fixed lenses: mostly 50 mm and a 35 mm, sometimes 24mm. I rarely use flash when working with documentary projects.
Later the interest turned towards what was going on in the world and a fascination for other people and their ways. Which photographers past and present have inspired you, and why? When I started up as a photographer, other female photographers, like Mary Ellen Mark, Lauren Greenfield and Sally Mann, inspired me. The Danish photographer Jacob Holdt, who hitchhiked around the US in the 70s and managed to get into the homes of both poor black people, Ku-Klux-Klan and upper-class women, and photograph them in a very intimate way. He was completely without fear. I also follow a lot of young contemporary photographers, both within the art sphere and documentary photography.
Are you approached by people to cover a subject or do you find something to cover that interests you? For me projects are always born out of my genuine interest and curiosity, mixed with journalistic acknowledge. I want my projects to comment or explore the time we live in, and be of relevance to other people. Based on the work in my portfolio, I am sometimes asked to cover similar topics or stories in the same areas. Some of your portfolio could be taken, by some, as being controversial, do you believe your work is? I donâ€™t think it is up to me to define my work as controversial. I am more dragged towards issues that have many layers, I try to explore these layers in my work and create different feelings that make the viewer reflect. Only beauty and happiness is not interesting.
Is life as a photographer a challenging one? It is fantastic and it is challenging. When working on an idea, you need to make that one idea your life for a while, think of it, dream of it. It requires persistence and sacrifices. I often feel lonely when traveling alone in remote places shooting, but then I know strong emotions also can create interesting things in the work. Of course the financial part can be challenging, the situation in magazines and media in general is difficult. I have chosen to just work hard and be optimistic, to not use my energy on worrying about the future.
What has been the highlight of your career so far? In 2008 I started a project in Greenland. I was traveling alone around this enormous island, exploring the transmission that the Inuit society is going through. The process was interesting and I developed a lot as a photographer. Later, the pictures have been exhibited in galleries and festivals, and published in various magazines and web journals in Europe and the US. It was amazing to reach out to such a big audience through different platforms. In 2010 I was a participant in the Joop Swart Masterclass, a great experience in many ways where I learned a lot and met other young photographers from all over the world. What plans do you have for this year and next? I will continue to work on my newest project about youth culture in Northern Norway and I want to return to Greenland. I am focusing on producing new work, as last year was a lot about showing work on festivals and exhibitions. There has to be a balance between presenting old work and producing new things. I will continue pushing stories and do assignments from Berlin, where I live. I am also working on some multimedia stories, which is something I wish to develop. Is bringing your work to the UK something that interests you? The UK has a lot of good magazines and other publications and an interesting photography scene, I would love to look into that. What advice would you give to budding photographers? It is important to work on personal projects. Figure out what you are interested in and where your voice can add something, and go for it! In the beginning, it can be hard to think forward, because you want everything to happen now. But try to have a long perspective, push yourself and stay with your project until it is finished, and you will get a lot back. Good work always pays off in one or the other form. Stay in touch with people that are better photographers than you, they can be friends or mentors. Donâ€™t be afraid of showing your work. Interview: Harry Tolmie-Thomson Images: Andrea Gjestvang
Rummaging through a tired cardboard box at a jumble sale, an eight or nine year old me pulls out a chunky, black camera (probably last used in the late eighties). After a lot of whinging at my parents, I succeed in persuading them to buy it, and go home happy in the back of the car with my new toy. Several cameras later, I began to realise that taking photographs was important to me. I found my bedroom walls were jam-packed with photos of me and my friends, most of which were pointless, out of focus, or both. So it was then, at the age of 15, I decided to pursue Photography as a GCSE, and then at college, as an A Level.
I guess my love for food photography stems from always being around food. Alongside being a keen home cook, I worked as a waitress to support myself whilst studying at University, and so took the opportunity to photograph food professionally for the restaurant I was working in. Since that day, I have continued to photograph all sorts of food from cakes to hog roasts for small local businesses, and never looked back. I love baking too. Making a tray of cookies or biscuits to photograph is one of my favourite things to do (as of course it has some other very obvious benefits too!) I try to use natural light wherever possible, so love using my back garden as my own little studio whenever the sun is out. Whilst I might not yet have hit ‘The Big Time’, I feel lucky that age 21 I have found a way in which I can incorporate two of my biggest passions – food and photography – into a way of making at least a humble living. I still have lots to learn, and for me, that is half the fun. Words: Louise Mullins Images: Louise Mullins
meet the team richard chappelow editor writer photography print design harry tolmie-thomson writer design photography
dominic wynter print design photography
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Published on May 1, 2011