Design Assembly recently got the opportunity to chat with photographer Tash Hopkins to find out more about her work and her passions.
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The Europeans Project
Hi Tash, can you tell our readers a little bit about who you are and what you do.
I’m a photographer currently based in Auckland. I shoot commissioned work as well as projects for myself because I love working on my own ideas. I’m really into travelling with my large format camera, especially in the northern hemisphere because the light is so beautiful, and I love the different appearances of the people there.
How did you initially get started in the industry?
I studied at Wellington Polytechnic for a year then moved to London to assist photographers. That showed me how different the industry is in a large city compared to home. There was a lot of opportunity, creativity, and competition in London, and I’m really glad I started out working over there.
Whereabouts are you based?
I’m based in Auckland, although I would like to experience living in another country again, potentially while studying a Masters in Photography.
What are some of the best bits, and also some of the challenges about what you do?
I think one of the best parts of being a photographer is getting to shoot in places you’d never see otherwise, the people you meet and the opportunities that can happen from that. I also really enjoy being freelance and working with other creatives. It’s a relaxed industry, in general, even though everyone works really hard.
Some of the challenges are the potentially long days, needing to be a constant marketer of your work, and knowing that you don’t always get to shoot commissioned jobs in exactly the way you’d like to.
Casa Da Abitare Magazine
What project, personal or professional, are you most proud of and why?
I’m really happy with my personal series, The Western Springs Project, a three and a half year ongoing series photographing teenagers at Western Springs College. It’s featured in the Spring Issue 2017 of Art New Zealand, and also on the M&C Saatchi-Diversions m&clittle stories website which is their online gallery for photograpers. It’s a series that could evolve over time, for example by revisiting the students five or ten years on in their lives.
The Western Springs Project
Your images are really serene and almost filmic . Do you have any insider tips for budding photographers out there?
I think that images reflect the photographer as much as what they’re photographing. When I shoot using large format, it’s almost as if someone has pressed pause and everything else disappears while I compose the picture. Shooting with film is more intuitive and makes you consider your image differently and trust yourself. Taking time and being very aware of the light and your surroundings is really important. There’s a certain kind of light in New Zealand when I love to shoot landscapes and I think photographer’s need to come to notice those conditions, not just to shoot at the more classic times of day such as sunrise or sunset. I think its good to ask yourself what you appreciate about other photographer’s work, to really break it down so you know what aspects you like. But never try to copy it because you have to find your own way of doing things, you have to shoot a lot and observe carefully.
Where do you go to find inspiration?
Inspiration is often a sudden thing for me, when I see a particular light or line or tone or person, but that can happen anywhere or at any time of day. I’m always inspired shooting in Europe because of the light, or when I go anywhere new.
What’s next for you in early 2018? What do you have lined up?
I’m going to approach some dealer galleries in the next couple of months, because I want to work towards an exhibition. I’ve recently started another project, about a community of people whose cause and story, I think, should be known about. And, I want to extend my commercial work to shooting larger scale advertising jobs for new clients.
Thanks for your time Tash, where can we see more of your work?
You can see my work at: www.tashhopkins.com and on Instagram @tashhopkinsphotography