Photographer Cicely takes inspiration from her surrounding environment and has a talent for using gritty, urban landscapes as a backdrop to her portraits. She has photographed some of the most prominent figures in the UK Grime scene and continues to document the communities and fashions of this predominately underground culture. We sent Cicely some LomoChrome Metropolis and she talked to us about her work.
Hi Cicely, tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a photographer originally from Newcastle but have now moved to London to pursue my career. I shoot mainly portraiture and architectural images, and have made a name for myself within the UK underground music scene, having shot the likes of skepta, novelist, and footsie, and have also worked with brands such as Wray + Nephew and Element. I love wandering around with my camera at night, when people are in bed, and the streets are empty, capturing the eeriness of the night and hardness of architecture. But shooting portraits gives a whole other social aspect to my job, I love getting to know people and their stories.
How did you discover film photography and what made you decide to use it within your profession?
I discovered film photography before digital, my parents bought me a little plastic point and shoot when I was younger, and I remember taking photos around the age of 7.
For years I’ve always made sure to carry a point and shoot around with me, taking photos of my friends, travels, and my surroundings (I hate the idea of missing a moment and forgetting about it).
When I learned how to use a digital camera, it made sense to continue shooting film alongside digital. I don’t think I’ll ever stop shooting film, I’ve got shoe boxes in my mom's loft, full of hundreds of photos, there’s something special about having a physical copy of a memory.
What message are you trying to convey with your photos, if any?
I like to create an atmosphere or a feeling with my photos. Being from Newcastle, it’s almost always foggy and cold, so I think that translates in my photos. When shooting architecture and street photos, I just wander and look for interesting lines in buildings, or beauty in the mundane. When shooting people I try and tell their story, or show their emotions. I always try to photograph people in their own surroundings, so there’s a genuineness to the images.
How did you get on shooting with the LomoChrome Metropolis film?
I loved shooting with the Metropolis film, the cold green tones from the film worked really well with the gritty underground surroundings I shot.
Any tips for other people shooting with it?
Have fun! The colors can be quite dramatic, so having fun and experimenting is key.
What's coming up in 2021 for you?
I’m currently working on my first book, a photo book surrounding Newcastle underground scene, capturing people's stories and documenting their struggles, and also the gritty locations that make the north so unique. I’m planning to use the Metropolis film to capture a lot of these images because the tones work so well with the vibe I’m trying to create. I’m also going to continue working within the music scene in London and around the country, shooting new and emerging artists. I’d also love to work on more lookbooks for brands too, using film and digital.