May I Introduce: Francesca Allen
The first time I ever read about Francesca Allen was when I saw 5 girls in pink jumpers chilling around at one of my favourite places in London, SKETCH. What a great shot! Not the only one as I discovered. She has a great sense of finding exactly the right kind of girl for her photos. I love her slightly pastel colours and her rather rough style. I also found and interview with her on i-D ... check it out below!
Tell me a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I'm a 22-year-old London based editorial and portrait photographer. I didn't really grow up in one place, my parents moved around a lot so there's no specific place I would refer to as home, as romanticised as that may sound. I spent a few years in-between Los Angeles and Oslo as a child, and I have a particular fascination with California.
What is it about taking pictures that interests you?
When a camera is in the room, nothing feels inappropriate. It almost acts as a blanket and my nerves somewhat dissipate as soon as I am holding one. You can really ask things of people, and get to know them in a very different way. When you're looking through the viewfinder, what you're seeing doesn't feel very real so the boundaries about what is and isn't appropriate are skewed. I think that's what interests me the most, how a camera affects social normalities between two people.
What is it you're trying to do with your pictures?
I think my work should be taken at face value, no connotations or deeper meanings, I'm just trying to have fun! My photos are light-hearted and playful and I want that to resonate with the audience. I get really frustrated when people try to decipher and add a conceptual side to my work--I never created it with that intent.
What sets you apart from other photographers of your generation?
I see myself as being very much a part of a larger movement of women who have been given the freedom of expression and encouraged exhibitionism through the internet. The internet has given everyone a voice and the ability to engineer their own success and representation.
What do you look for in a subject?
Someone who I can spend an enjoyable day with, who contributes to the images as much as I do, collaborating and opening themselves to me. I like to have continuous subjects, people who I will always want to photograph. I have images of two girls Ophelia and Theo that span over almost three years now, and I find it pretty interesting to look back on the first photos we took together. I like my photos to be a very literal documentation of adolescence.
Your work is quite girly - lots of pinks, nudity, lots of intimate bedroom shots - what are you trying to say about girlhood in 2015?
I wouldn't class nudity as being representative of girlishness, I feel that is a common misconception, and along with the term 'feminist', 'girly' is somewhat an umbrella term used to describe all work made by women. No men are ever accused of their work being 'manly'.
What are you working on at the moment?
I've just finished working on my piece for FreshFaced+WildEyed exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery. I'm displaying an installation of over 40 images, both new and old work. After this, I kind of want to wrap my GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! project and start on something new and different. I want to turn it into a book but I'm waiting for the right time; probably when I haven't looked at the work in a while and I can learn to love it again.
June 16, 2016
Labels: May I introduce