For our World Photography Competition in collaboration with Vault by Vans, we highlight our in-house photographers who take us through their love of photography, their favourite projects and their dream photoshoots… Kicking things off with Alice Holland.
We have extended the deadline of our World Photography Competition in collaboration with Vault by Vans, until Friday 30th September.
Footpatrol: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within Footpatrol?
Alice: Hiii! My name is Alice, and I am the current Junior Photographer at Footpatrol:) You may have seen my face from working at the Soho store, I worked there for a couple years, starting in 2020. About 8 months ago I applied for a job in the office and about 6 months ago, I went part time as the Junior Photographer whilst finishing up my 3rd year at university and when I graduated, I started full time.
FP: What first drew you to the world of photography?
Alice: I always describe photography as my first love. I remember the first time I loaded my film camera and I was so confused by the whole thing, I refused to watch a YouTube video telling me how to do it. It was the first time I had enjoyed working something out for myself. And then everything that comes afterwards, shooting and processing, seeing images that were tangible and that I had created, making more of them was all I wanted to do next.
FP: How do you visually express yourself via photography?
Alice: I guess the only way I would say I express myself when I am photographing is that I always try to trust my gut. I shoot what I am drawn to, which seems obvious now but it makes sense to me at the time. I will usually have an idea of what shots I want to come home with – not that it always goes to plan – and I try to be as peaceful as I can when shooting. Photographing has always been an escape for me so when my head is clear I can focus only on my camera. I have been told I am an architectural documentary photographer but I think I just like taking pictures of buildings.
FP: What would you class as your dream photoshoot?
Alice: When I was younger all I wanted to do was to tour with artists and bands and take their pictures in the process. The only two things I spent my £4.45 an hour wage on were shoes and gigs, I loved being at the venues and it is where I first felt truly happy, music will always have a special place so touring with artists, as their photographer, made sense. So I guess I don’t have one ‘dream photoshoot’ but that’s the dream.
FP: Tell us about your camera set up, do you have anything on your wishlist?
Alice: It has changed a lot recently. Until working at Footpatrol I would say that I only shot on film, 35mm to 4×5, I was in love. Specifically though, with my Hasselblad 500cm which shoots medium format, square shots. I also always had a 35mm camera on me wherever I went, shooting pictures of my surroundings, nights out and in, but mainly my friends, the 35mm was always there with me. Now not so much anymore as £20 for one roll isn’t worth it to me. My wishlist? Contax T2 and film prices to be cheaper.
Footpatrol: What’s been your favourite project you’ve worked on, Footpatrol or not?
Alice: Whilst I was working at the store I was lucky enough to shoot with Footpatrol before I got the job here full time. When Tom came to me and asked if I wanted to shoot a campaign with Saucony…obviously I said yes, before even knowing what the project was about or where we were shooting.
During my final year at university I was following an ongoing project about British seaside towns. I was infatuated with photographing there – this project is a good example of following my gut when photographing – there was no real reason for me to be photographing there I was just obsessed with it.
When I was then told that the Saucony campaign was going to be shot at Southend-on-Sea I was super excited, I was able to showcase my skills in an area that I loved and felt comfortable shooting in. Perfect project in my opinion.
FP: Quick fire question… digital or film?
Alice: Ahh hard one at the moment as I’ve ‘quit film’ but my gut response is film… Kodak if you’re listening, lower your prices.
FP: How do you think this opportunity with Vans and Footpatrol helps the next generation?
Alice: Having just come out of university, a lot of the places we get told to look at going when we are finished are the same places everyone else will be looking and it often feels as if you’re going up against every other creative. Wether that be apprenticeships, assisting in a studio or even working for free. All great options and they work. However, there are other options, opportunities open up and if you put yourself in the right place then those doors will open. I guess what I am trying to say is that if the ‘conventional ways’ to get you and your work out there aren’t the best option for you, that’s okay. Put yourself in a place where you feel confident and make sure your voice is heard.