Wednesday, 4 July 2012

FEATURE - Kitty Gallannaugh

When I first set eyes on Kitty Gallannaugh's beautiful photographs, I became instantly hooked and have followed her work ever since. At just 21 she has already achieved so much and is forever working hard on projects and following her dreams. Her photographs and stories exude an ethereal dream-like quality you can so easily get lost in and her kind-hearted personality shines through each and every piece of work as though part of her soul.
I have watched Kitty's work flourish into instantly recognisable works of art and will always turn to her portfolio when I'm feeling uninspired. She puts so much of her time towards helping others and interacting with her followers - her 'army of dreamers', and I'm truly grateful to her for sharing her vision so openly. Read on to find out more about Kitty and to see some of her amazing photographs!

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Kitty and I'm wildly in love with photography. I drink too much Earl Grey and have a weird laugh that everyone calls evil. I don't think a day goes by when I don't take a photograph, it is so much a part of me that I wonder whether I own my camera or it owns me. Whatever the case, I'm happy with the little set up we have and so I just snap along life's way.

Tell us about your background:
I was born in 1990, my parents were married for just over a year and I grew up in London. I went to school a few days after my 4th birthday and finished when I was 17 (I was a year too young for my year as I was born in summer). I had a red camera as a kid and just shot everything. My little sister was born and she was my real-life baby doll to play with, and she still is, just in the form of being my model now. I grew up with 3 dogs and rode horses every weekend at the local stables. I have 13 cousins so my family have always been very noisy and full of life. Photography developed throughout everything until I am where I am today with it.
How did you get into photography? Do you have any formal qualifications?: 
It was always such a huge part of my life as a child, it was just there. A lot of my family are very artistic and it was something I loved too. By the time I was 15 I had my first point-and-shoot camera, my first client at 17 and it just never stopped. I did go to LCC for a year after school to do a diploma in photography, I'm not sure if that counts as a 'formal qualification' but they gave me a shiny certificate saying I completed a course.
Being self-taught, how do you think your photo's and the way you work would differ had you spent years in an educational environment?: 
I think being self-taught allows one to explore techniques a lot more freely. I've always been one of those doers that learns through being active and hands on. Others find it easier to learn from a book or tutor to help guide them. Educational environments provide a lot of helpful theory work and information, but I've always been a bit too impatient to sit down and read how to do things.
Which single moment or achievement are you most proud of?: 
One evening my family and I were holidaying on the Isle of Wight. I couldn't have been more than 8. We were staying in this bungalow overlooking a giant marsh with the beach on the other side of the bordering trees. I decided to sneak my Mum's SLR out the front door with my dog, Hattie and go for an adventure in the twilight. We found a tree stump and thought I should get Hattie to sit in front of it and take a photograph. So I did. The photos were developed and my parents loved that photo so much that it still sits on the mantelpiece in a frame. That is one of the only moments in my life where I felt so significantly proud and passionate about something, maybe it was the thrill of a secret adventure or composing my very first photograph and it actually developing, but it was a moment I'll always be proud of.
Studio or location? Why?: 
Personally, I prefer location any day of the year. I like being wild and free to run and jump around, it also makes the final photos feel more worthwhile if I know I suffered a bruise or cut for them!

Talk us through a day out shooting with you?: 
I think every day is different, I've never been one for consistency anyway. Usually it involves lots of jumping and cheesy puns, sometimes we end up nearly falling asleep from exhaustion and other times we're running barefoot down the pavements. I've done a shoot with dead fish to having a runaway model on a pair of rollerblades. Whatever the case, there is always much fun and action in every single one, that much I can at least promise is consistent.
Which is your favourite season to shoot?: 
The warmer, hazier months where we needn't worry about freezing and fogging the lens up with our breath. I love the long summer evenings where you can shoot into 10 o' clock and not feel as pressured as the short daylight hours winter provides.
Who is your favourite photographer? Why?: 
I think there are too many to list, we'd be here until the end of time. The ones that inspire me most are people like Tim Walker, Sally Mann and Annie Leibovitz, and even though their work differs, they still spark emotions and inspiration inside of me.
Who or what inspires you the most?: 
Small things like walks at dusk, watching bats swoop across the lake, reading little phrases that make your day, listening to songs, daydreaming on the train, drawing doodles, watching strangers interact - pretty much everything as a whole.
Out of every single photograph you've ever taken, which stands out the most as your personal favourite, why?: 
I like to not have a favourite, it makes me always aim to then go out there and take a favourite, it keeps me constantly aiming and reaching. Some are more sentimental than others, but I think they all reflect pieces of my mind and what I saw at a precise moment in time. For that reason, they're all special to me.
Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?: 
I could go and photograph dead grass tomorrow and consider that an exciting new project. Everything to me is exciting, but I think I do have some projects which may be further than I've ever ventured before. All I can say is, watch this space!
When you're not creating beautiful art, what are you doing?: 
Probably baking cakes or napping.
Tell us about 'Searching for Tomorrow': 
The day before my 7th birthday, I was given a red leather diary and told that I could write about my days in it, stick things into it and make it my own. We had to do a 'What I did on the weekend' diary every Monday morning at school, so I saw no particular thrill in having to do it at home too. Over the years as I began to fall more and more in love with photography I wanted a place to be able to put my photos for people to see too in case others liked them. With the help of Nathan's brainy coding and 1,000 pints of tea and long-night stints later, we had a blog. Searching for Tomorrow is my new red leather diary where I post picture series, write stories and reflect on things near and dear to me. And it has me enchanted.

What advice would you give to others who wish to follow a similar creative path to yourself?: 
Don't feel afraid about going out there and paving your own path. Sometimes you have to jump in with little to no guidance and trust that you can do things no matter how scary they may feel. It's about learning what you can do, letting yourself make mistakes, growing from them and being able to see the world more openly.
What message do you wish to give through your photos?: 
I just hope that sometimes, someone out there may be able to relate an emotion to something I've shot. Whether it sparks them to make a better attempt at something I've tried or whether it can comfort them, evoke happiness or spread a smile, that is all I ever hope for.
So cliche, but where do you see yourself five years down the line?: 
No, not cliche at all! I think it's always hard to try and look forward when one can hardly think 5 minutes ahead like myself! I'd love to be taking my skills to new heights, I hope I'll have learned a lot more about photography in 5 years time. I'd love to start a family by then, have baked many more chocolate cakes and to just be happy and healthy with my loved ones. I don't quite know where this photography journey is taking me, but I hope it unfolds into many more fun adventures.
Final note from Kitty: 
Thank you for such a fun interview, it was really lovely of you! [:

Thank you Kitty!
I hope you enjoyed our interview. You can find Kitty at any of the following links - do say hello ♥

1 comment:

  1. I'd never heard of Kitty Gallannaugh before now, so thank you so much for introducing her wonderful work to me.

    What a fab interview!


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