This month’s Member of the Month has probably met and worked with more IdeasTap members than any other. Not only is Camilla Greenwell an increasingly high-profile fine art photographer, she is also the lovely woman who takes our IdeasTap spa headshots. We caught up with her to talk about working seven days a week and networking on IdeasTap…
I actually joined IdeasTap through the National Youth Theatre – I used to act. Then I won the brief to photograph their production S’warm, which is where I met [IdeasTap member and photographer] Tina Remiz, got mentored and things just went from there. So, it’s funny to be photographing actors now.
I always like to have a cup of tea and a chat with someone before I start shooting – it’s important to be good with people. Some actors find having their headshot taken really difficult because it’s not acting, but it’s not being yourself either – it’s a sort of limbo. Actors are meant to be moving and talking; they’re not models.
I went back to university in January to do a postgraduate degree in photography at London College of Communications. Before that I did an undergraduate degree in Fine Art at Central St Martins, where I was making miniature sculptures and domestic interiors – I bought a camera just to document my work and my interest grew from there.
After my degree show, Ossian Ward – the Visual Arts Editor of Time Out – invited me to show my work as part of the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries, which was amazing.
At the beginning of this year I was also taking some of the workshops from the ABC diploma in photography. That’s quite technical – with workshops on location flash, photojournalism and fashion photography. They were on Saturdays and Wednesday, then I had my other course lectures and lessons during the week, was taking the headshots for IdeasTap, editing on a Sunday and working in an office to pay the bills. I was working seven days a week, basically.
My first paid job was photographing Philip Ridley’s Tender Napalm at the Southwark Playhouse. I shoot events for the Theatre Centre, based in Shoreditch, who found me through my work for the production company Supporting Wall, which was featured in The Stage. It’s nice when your work starts getting you more work. A lot of photographer friends on IdeasTap will pass work on to each other – like Tina Remiz and Ambra Vernuccio.
Photographing the Edinburgh Festival for IdeasTap was great fun but quite tiring, because Naomi [O’Leary – Edinburgh reporter] and I tried to literally photograph everything!
I’m interested in people and portraiture, as well as performance photography, but at the moment I’m actually doing fine art photography. Some of my self-portraits were selected to be exhibited on Vyner Street at an exhibition called Bodies.
Oh, and I've also been accepted for the Young Photographers’ Alliance Mentoring scheme this year!
To see more of Camilla’s work, check out her website at www.camillagreenwell.com or her blog at http://camillagreenwell.wordpress.com/
More Member of the Months
... Photographer Mark Cocksedge
... Writer Kirsty Swain
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