A chat with Abbie Douglas

Abbie Douglas is a 22 year old photographer originally from Manchester but now living in London. Something that we can definitely relate to, she describes herself as coming across quite shy when you first meet her, but if she feel comfortable around someone, she will show them her true colours. First wanting to study fine art at college she then changed her mind to fashion design and is now (quite successfully we must add) delving into the world of fashion photography.

“My mum used to buy me disposable cameras for Christmas and my birthdays since I was really young and I loved taking them out and taking photos of everything around me. I appreciate everything and see beauty in simple things and I try to capture that. My photographs are never over the top or fancy, I’ve learnt that my style is rather simple and realistic.”

Your most memorable shoot? Probably a shoot I did with my friend Jack, I didn’t plan a location and worked with the houses around the area I was living at the time and the photos turned out so well – even though I was panicking that the backgrounds would look terrible. I think that’s how I learnt to just use my surroundings rather than over-planning locations.
You’ve recently added American Apparel to your clients list. Could you tell us about your experience shooting with the brand? It was a great experience, I love the clothes and I think there’s so much more you can do with them rather than ‘sexualising’ them, I wanted this to reflect in my photographs. I will try to continue with this style for American Apparel.
You graduated from fashion communication and styling in London. Do you believe everyone should study? What were some of the mostest valuable lessons you learned that you now apply to your photography? I’m glad that I studied because it opened up opportunities that I don’t think I would of had if I didn’t, such as interning with my favourite stylist John Colver. I also interned at D1 models and have assisted a lot of photographers.

I don’t think you always need to study, but it can help you to focus on your main talents and open up pathways for the future, especially if you’re not really sure what you want to be.

I’ve learnt to just keep on photographing, and nothing has to be perfect, even accidental shots can be successful or a photograph of someone talking – being natural instead of posing.
What are some of your favourite hang out spots in London? I like going swimming in Hampstead ponds when it’s really sunny. I also have a new obsession with Peckham Plex Cinema. Greenwich is nice too.
Why analogue? I love imagining what the photos are going to turn out like, and then being surprised when they’re developed. I don’t like perfect images so I enjoy it when you can see imperfections. I’m always learning so much about film cameras every time I use them.
What do you love most about working with fresh young faces/models? Is there something you hope to capture within each of your photographs? There’s always something I find interesting in the difference in young faces and because it’s not always perfect, that’s what makes it fresh. I like the rawness of youth culture.

My tutor told me that we have a point in our lives when we are at our prime age, a lot like flowers, we have a time when we’re most beautiful.
We cherish youth and I like to capture the reasons why. I like to photograph people doing normal things and I enjoy bringing out the beauty in every day life.
Any new faces you’re dying to work with? Kaia Moore @ Storm models !!!!!
Last but not least, who would you love to see interviewed by Zeum? Shaima Ayoub