friday feature: gemma booth

You probably know Gemma Booth from her dreamy and imaginative fashion stories. We're so lucky to learn more about her and her work.

Born in Manchester, but residing in London, this famous photographer has photographed for big name clients such as American Eagle, Levi's, ROXY, Carhart, Vogue, i-D, Nylon, and more.

Her new blog, GemBlog, has a collection of her latest work, and photographs from other photographers. Visit her personal site and agency's site to see all her amazing work.

Here is our interview, for you:

01. When did you start shooting?
I started shooting in 1998 when I was doing work experience at i-D magazine, Terry Jones asked me to go up North to take pictures at a club (I think it was because no-one else wanted to go).

02. When did you catch your first big break?
Although I did lots of good jobs before I feel it was in 2006 when I was taken on by my current agent Marco Santucci. He and his partner/ photographer Elaine Constantine believed in me, encouraged me to shoot fashion and gave me the confidence to show my true personality in my images.

03. Where have you traveled for work?
All over the USA, Mexico, New Zealand, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Japan, Iceland, and many other places in Europe. I've been lucky, I love traveling.

Any favorites?
My trip to New Zealand was a real highlight as I was shooting for i-D magazine and the journalist and I were treated like royalty. We were flown all around the Islands, stayed in the best hotels, went paragliding, visited the set of 'Lord of The Rings', and even had a party thrown in our honor!

04. What is your favorite shooting job so far?
I like shooting fashion stories the most, when I can come up with the concept and see it through to the end result. It's like making up your own storybook, and I love it.

05. What do you look for when you cast a model?
A girl with personality and confidence, someone who has a talent to act naturally in front of the camera as well as look beautiful. Modeling is like acting.

06. Have you had any disasters with models on set?
Not really. My worst experiences are with girls who find it hard to be natural, and think they have to 'model', you have to try and get them to forget what people might have told them before and encourage them to be themselves. I always make sure I cast models myself before I shoot them, personality is so important to me.

07. What equipment do you shoot with today?
Either my Mamiya 7, a Nikon D3 or a Hassleblad H3D. I still prefer to use film when I can.

08. Favorite photographers? Stylists?
My current favorite is Venetia Scott, she styles and shoots and her effortless style is consistently cool.

09. What inspires you?
Old family photos (mine and other peoples, esp from the 1950's-70's), storybooks, movies, my boyfriend, the sun.

10. Do you ever get stressed on set?
No. Stress is counter productive, and if you appear stressed your team will too. It's better to take a deep breath and think, you can't be creative whilst panicking.

What do you do to prepare for a shoot?
Collect visual reference, try to create a story for the shoot so that the models or characters can get into roles.

11. Who is the best celebrity or model you've worked with?
It's nice shooting people before they get famous, then watching them grow into being famous. I did that with The Arctic monkeys.

12. Any advice for those entering the photography world?
Believe in yourself, don't obsess about what other people are doing, persevere, and most of all enjoy what you do, if you are not enjoying it, there is something wrong.

Thank you, Gemma. You have such wonderful work! -nicole

add to sk*rt


Finance-ista said...

these photos are amazing!


geri said...

i adore her style and photos! what an inspiration!!
her words of advice hit home with me.
(i think i'm going to write them down.)

Joanna Goddard said...

great interview! thank you! i'm such a huge fan of gemma.

naomi megan. said...

her work is incredible! i love every photo.

emily said...

wow. this is my favorite friday feature so far. thanks!

Sarah-Lou said...

Thank you for making me discover this amazing artist! So inspiring...

Misha said...

I wish you an amazing day with lots of kissies or lovable thought. Decided to make it official than I'm an official stalker and one of those readers that rarely make myself known. Coming back to this blog is such a treat. And this post was a delight to read! Beautiful and inspirin.

So hi to you :)

laurakitty said...

So cute! I love her work!

Kryptonite said...

Love this interview!
Thank you!