It is always a great pleasure when a visiting speaker with a huge reputation travels a long distance to speak at STAPS. And that was very much the case with Yorkshire lass, Andrea Hargreaves. For someone who only became interested in photography in 2006 with the purchase of her first Canon DSL camera, the resulting years have given rise to a very talented and expressive photographer in a style she has developed and explored, to turn photos into works of art. The Yorkshire Photographic Picasso.
Andreas’s photography education started with a ten-week college course, 2 hours per week, and leaning from numerous tutorials she watched on the internet. In 2013 and a meeting with Tim Pyle from the Smethwick club set Andrea off on her journey. This was followed by a trip to Dublin under the tutorship of Ciaran Whyte and the field of fine art photography.
Then it was time to cut of someone’s head. As Andrea discovered, fine art nudes do not smile. There was no alternative but to chop off the model Holly’s head and replace it with an unsmiling Holly. This started a whole new perspective, creating and forming composite images. Next it was important to build up a portfolio of images. During 2014-15 she undertook a variety of costume shoots. With so many other photographers present it was often a challenge to achieve a decent set of images to use. It would seem from the images she showed on the night, she could manufacturer something from out of nothing. And she has a file full of body parts to help her!
Then onto horses. Not an area Andrea knew much about or was particularly fond of. Yet from those early tentative engagement with the equine family has grown a love for the animals.
Throughout her talk Andrea presented images which reflected the stages of her evolvement as a photographer. Andrea recognised to achieve what she has, required an organised work flow, orderly and tidy images. Before starting out to process an image, it is not reviewed for at least a week. Knowing her subject matter and models, helps to promote ideas, and writing down words which images bring out, provides a creative spark.
Her passion was evident for all the members to see and she readily admits, she puts her heart and soul into the images she creates. As she did with her talk.