Sam, Luke Hutson-Flynn.
Part of Issue 02 New Graduate Feature.
Carnival Magazine speaks to Middlesex University graduate Luke Hutson-Flynn about his incredibly diverse fashion and beauty portfolio. Luke talks inspiration, his communication with photography legend Perou and his plans for the future...
What university did you study at?
Middlesex University, BA (Hons) Photography
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up and still live in London. Music is a big part of my life; whether my headphones are in as I travel on the underground or I am at live events, most of my day is accompanied by music. I also spend a lot of my free time within nature. Richmond, Hampstead Heath and Epping Forests are all personal favourites, as well as the sensational butterfly house by the natural history museum. Photography is the perfect tool for this as I am able to capture more images for my personal portfolio as well as train and keep my photographic eye sharp.
What began your love for photography?
I started in photography at the start of my A Levels, admittedly choosing photography as I thought it would be an easy subject to pass. However three weeks into the course, we were given a project on shutter speeds. I captured water balloons exploding as a friend shot them with an air rifle and that was the moment my passion for photography started. When I saw the result of the water balloons mid explosion I realised photography was about capturing a moment that won't happen again and my interest in the subject started to grow. The more I learnt, the more I wanted to produce work and what started as a very vague idea of the field I wanted to work within, studying for A Levels and completing my degree has helped me become much more selective. I know now that fashion, beauty and nature work are my chosen fields and where possible - fashion editorials within nature.
Tell us about your photographic style.
I work and stay true to what I believe in photography. I try to form a connection with the model before we start working so when they are in front of the camera they are as relaxed as possible. When working on location within nature I tend to choose spots that not only have aesthetic qualities but also some significant meaning to me. As for a recognisable aesthetic, I will always work with Fujifilm transparency film in a Mamiya RZ67. I tend to keep the colours of an image as true to life (this is a key reason I use E-6 film) and when using digital, I will take a few steps back so I can crop to 6x7 in post without loosing key elements to the image.
What photographers inspire your practice?
Perou, Rankin, Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Richard Bush, David Bailey, Mario Sorrenti and Nick Knight.
Tell us about this featured editorial, Sam.
The shoot with Sam was inspired by current high-fashion collections combined with urban street wear for a more approachable alternative to the runway. A small team of five worked in a portrait-sized studio at university. The small space was extremely hard to work in when capturing the full-length shots. The light that I directed diagonally across the backdrop kept spilling onto the model and there wasn't enough space to separate him from the backdrop and still fit him fully in the frame. This was a big learning curve for me; leaving the studio that day I felt a lot more confident with lighting.
Tell us about your featured editorial, Lips. [View]
My lips project was a response to a university brief and was based on identity. I decided to focus on a single feature of the face to eliminate any distraction. From here it was about making each pair of lips into a different story, creating a personality and history for the women depicted in each image. Each of the shots were captured in the studios and I gained a lot of experience in retouching.
Tell us about your featured editorial, Georgia. [View]
The art-director/stylist Camilla Sverdrup-Thygeson and I wanted to explore the notion of intimacy in fashion photography when we photographed Georgia. We worked together to create a minimal setting in Camilla's apartment, by stripping the image of distracting elements and focusing on conveying emotion from subject to photographer. The results are honest portraits with a fashionable flair. The shoot was not only a lot of fun, but was also good experience in mixing natural ambient light with flash captured on E-6 film.
Tell us about your featured editorial, Sophie. [View]
The shoot with Sophie was once again work formed by Camilla Sverdrup-Thygeson and myself. Captured in her apartment once again, a continuation and progression from our previous shoot. We sought to bring the natural world around us into her living space and with many pot plants and fungi decided to keep with simple black styling silhouetting the body to create contrast in form between human and plant to create a utopian inspired balance between the two. Once again this shoot was an excellent day and provided a lot of experience with mixing ambient lighting with flash on transparency film.
What's next for your career, now that you've graduated?
I have been assisting for the past five years, and now that I have graduated I would love to continue assisting a photographer full time. I’d also like to work within a studio, helping to keep the space running smoothly – also allowing me to work during my free time on my personal projects and gain exposure as a photographer.
If you could show one person your portfolio, who would it be and why?
The first name that comes to mind is Perou. His work has been a big inspiration of mine and I truly admire what he does. I had the opportunity to speak with him about The Bow Bunker while writing my dissertation and he was genuinely really interested in helping. I would be really keen to hear his thoughts and what I could improve on.
Has your work featured in any other publications?
Images of mine were used to run alongside two interviews, for Field Grey's online blog.
What was the best moment of your time at university (extra curricular included)?
Apart from all the amazing people I met in the past three years, my best moment at university had to be seeing my images up on the wall the End of Year Degree Show.
Finally, where would you like to be in a year’s time? What is the dream?*
If all goes well, I would like to be networking with like-minded creatives, working on each step of the process, from concept to post. I hope to be photographing as much as humanly possible for online and print magazines, both a mix of my own personal ideas as well as brief oriented photography.
PHOTOGRAPHY / Luke Hutson - Flynn
STYLISTS / Sarah Winton & Sophie Hetherington
MUA / Tabitha Ellis
MODELS / Samuel Alexander
See more of Luke's work in Carnival Magazine Issue 02 New Graduate Feature and on his portfolio website.