It’s relieving to know how universities are still keeping film photography alive. Rosaline Shahnavaz, for instance, an LCC alumni whose candid portraits were already discussed in the FOCUSED September feature. From LCF (London College of Fashion), now in his senior year, the work of Nicholas Hayward has caught our eye – beautiful, surreal images and have already been featured in a fantastic analogue based magazine, Pylot. We caught up with the upcoming photographer to find out more about his love for film and why, when it comes to projects, quality always comes before quantity.
Film’s Not Dead: Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and how your love for photography began?
Nicholas Hayward: I grew up in a small town called Clevedon in North Somerset. It has a beautiful Victorian pier and one of the world’s oldest cinemas. Growing up in Clevedon meant I was close to nature, which I believe is everything a child needs to have a lovely upbringing!
My interest of photography stemmed from my interest in art. When I was 16 years old, I began photographing my ideas instead of drawing or painting. Photography then became my main medium as I had more control over the overall image, and I enjoyed translating my ideas in real life as opposed to presenting it in another medium.
Film’s Not Dead: What cameras do you use in your work? Do you have a favourite?
Nicholas Hayward: Recently I have dabbled with using a few different cameras, but I can’t say that I have a favourite camera at the minute. I have been shooting with my Fujica ST801 the longest.
Film’s Not Dead: We are also curious to know if you develop your own film and make your own prints. Your pictures have such a surreal, dreamy vibe to them, and we were wondering if it’s a special lens or post production. Can you tell us more about it?
Nicholas Hayward: I always use continuous lighting; this enables me to achieve the grain and helps me avoid a clean look, which I do not identify with. Smoke and mirrors is something I continuously work with too, and this is a big part of creating a soft but textured image that can be identified a lot within my work. I don’t develop my own film or make my own prints, although this is something I would love to start doing.
Film’s Not Dead: You haven’t even graduated from LCF and you’re already doing fashion editorials for magazines. Do you intend to keep shooting fashion or is there something else you’d like to try? What would your dream publications to work for be?
Nicholas Hayward: I think my work will lie mostly in fashion, but I also like to create my own personal shoots which are on a much more smaller scale, and reflect 100% my own ideas. I think this is something I will work within more, to create a healthy balance of fashion and art, as creating a fashion editorial is always about the team as a collaborative. My dream publications would be the obvious choices such as Vogue Italia, or any publication that appreciates my work in fact, that is a dream publication to me!
Film’s Not Dead: By the way, why do you decide to shoot majority of your work on film?
Nicholas Hayward: I certainly can’t see myself working digitally for any personal project or fashion editorial. Shooting on film gives me the colours and grain to my work that wouldn’t be as achievable on digital. When working digitally, I sometimes found myself mindlessly shooting without thinking enough about what I’m photographing, but with analogue I think an awful lot more.
Film’s Not Dead: There’s no budget limit for your dream fashion shoot. What would it be about? Model, clothes, location, camera… Dream on!
Nicholas Hayward: I think the next project I’ll be working on is my dream project. When I have an idea all I want to do is shoot it in the best way possible, so I’m always currently obsessing over the possibilities of the story, and how I can make it come to life. As long I am working alongside creatives that share a similar love for art, I think it’s possible to make any project the best it can be.
Film’s Not Dead: Art is something that seems to really inspire you. Where else do you get your references and inspiration from?
Nicholas Hayward: Besides 17th century paintings, I gain a lot of inspiration through architecture. Be it ornate gothic castles, or beautiful gardens. But I mostly connect with artists from the Dutch Golden Age. Paul Delaroche is my favourite artist, for his representation of women and children in gothic distress. I adore the tragic nature of his work, the palette of cold, muted colours are heavily influential for me. The heavenly glow of his subjects and imminence of his paintings direct me strongly with how I compose my images.
Film’s Not Dead: Do you have any plans or future projects that we should look out for? Any plans after graduation?
Nicholas Hayward: At the moment I am currently in pre-production for my 8 month long project for my final year of University, as I graduate in the summer of 2015. I’m really excited to get starting on producing my ideas, and hope it will result in images that reflect myself as a photographer. In terms of the future, if I can continue shooting with incredibly talented people for the rest of my life, I will be extremely happy. No matter where I am, either if I have no money or access to anything, I will always be creating and giving life to my ideas, and will continue to do so and see where I end up.
Film’s Not Dead: If you could give one piece of advise for the next generation of photography graduates what would that be?
Nicholas Hayward: Don’t feel pressured about shooting as much as possible. Sometimes a lot of photographers will shoot every week and create mediocre images. I feel that shooting once a month, for example, and really focusing on the project, will result in more carefully thought out images that actually mean something and be a lot more rewarding. Explore the area you live in, find beautiful locations and find the world in which you feel fits you. This way, you can never be uninspired.
Film’s Not Dead: What do you think about the current state of photography?
Nicholas Hayward: Film is a tactile process both on camera and with post-production. It’s rewarding to work in such a traditional way, and all the great photographers over the years have shared their work through this medium. I feel that this process is a little neglected, as fashion imagery is drowning in clean, sharp, minimal editorials that can get a little tiresome.
With film, every shot needs to be carefully composed and thought through in a lot of detail. Every shot counts so you spend more time perfecting and planning, which ultimately pushes you as a photographer and can accelerate your thought process, enabling you to become a better artist that produces a higher standard of work.
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Film’s Not Dead: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Nicholas Hayward: Thank you for reading, please don’t hesitate to say hello or ask any questions!