Stephen Wooldridge – For The Love.

Meet Stephen Wooldridge, the second winner of twelve in our competition ‘For the Love’ with Kodak.

Wooldridge is a photographer, based in Manchester, UK. His fascination with story telling through photography, which has been with him since childhood, has lead him to photograph such subjects as the Barnsley Sea Cadets, the British public at the seaside and his own grandmother, Brenda.

The winning image by Wooldridge is one from his series ‘Brenda’ and after many great entries this one kept returning to our minds. It’s soft lighting and beautifully delicate colour pallet, which complimented each other so well, left us wanting to know more.

We had a chat with Wooldridge to find out more about the winning image, his love of portraiture and his addiction to photo books!


Stephen Wooldridge
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 To enter “For the Love” competition please click here. 

Congratulations once again on your winning image! What's the story behind your photograph “Brenda”?

Stephen Wooldridge

Brenda is my grandmother and she's a beautiful woman. At some point around 2010, I decided to start photographing her - just to document her as a person really. After my grandfather died, she had free reign of the decoration in the house and it started to take on a very unique look. She likes the bold and decorative. It was then that I started to realise that she is as much of a reflection of her surroundings as they are of her and this image was shot in her bedroom right before being redecorated and made to look much more characterful.

Brenda © Stephen Wooldridge

What's your preferred set up?

Stephen Wooldridge

I love Mamiya cameras - the Mamiya 7 and RZ67 in particular as I prefer the 6x7 format. I used to shoot 4x5 alongside the medium format but it's become increasingly expensive and once Fujifilm stopped making FP100C, I sold up - I do miss 4x5 polaroids! I also use flash where necessary.

Where do you find inspiration as a photographer?

Stephen Wooldridge

I collect photobooks and because of this, I'm always seeing new photography. I particularly enjoy the work of portraiture and documentary photographers. A couple of influences worth mentioning are Rineke Dijkstra, Robin Hammond, Stefan Ruiz and Rob Hornstra.

Who Dares Wins © Stephen Wooldridge

Why photography?

Stephen Wooldridge

I've always loved photographs of people and taking photos ever since being a kid. I'm no writer and photography is really another way of story telling.

If you had to choose one which would it be, Digital or Analogue?

Stephen Wooldridge


CADET © Stephen Wooldridge

How would you define your approach?

Stephen Wooldridge

I like telling the story of a person or place and lean quite heavily on portraiture to do this. I always try to capture the personality of a person whilst trying to develop maintain my own style of photography.

What's your favourite film and why?

Stephen Wooldridge

Kodak Portra (400 for daylight and 160 with flash).

Did you see it? Alan did. © Stephen Wooldridge

Which lab do you use?

Stephen Wooldridge

Peak Imaging, Sheffield, UK.

If you could pass on any advice to an aspiring photographer what would it be?

Stephen Wooldridge

Photograph subjects that you enjoy and try not to think too much into what you're doing.

Who Dares Wins © Stephen Wooldridge

Have you got any future projects lined up?

Stephen Wooldridge

After a stint at 35mm, I'm back into the MF and working on something at the moment that will probably take another 6 months or more and I'm looking to publish something as a result.

What is it about film that makes you want to use it?

Stephen Wooldridge

Film has a look that can't be replicated. I accept that digital has it's place but it doesn't have the look or feel that I prefer.

Brenda © Stephen Wooldridge

Portra or Ektar?

Stephen Wooldridge

Portra, always!

Who Dares Wins © Stephen Wooldridge

Updated:July 15, 2017

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