14 June 2012

Interview with photographer Abbi Kemp

We caught up with photographer Abbi Kemp to find out how she got started and what inspires her images. 

How did you get started as a photographer?

I travelled around India and South East Asia with a simple Sony Compact camera, and after a year snapping away I realised I had an eye for photography. I was simply captivated by India’s visual beauty and have been hooked on photography and travel ever since.

What inspires your photography?

People. I am fascinated with how other people live. I thrive on experiencing different cultures and that’s what drives my photography ultimately.

When you’re travelling, what do you try to capture through your lens?

Interesting faces, untouched landscapes, beautiful compositions. A lot of my photos are visualised through colour. I seem to be drawn to colours hence my love of snapping street artwork.

What’s been your favourite place to photograph so far?

Namibia without a doubt. There’s something about Africa that really never leaves you. From the moment you touch upon African soil, you feel different. Namibia is such an incredible country, it’s so varied in it’s landscapes, people and wildlife. It really is a photographer’s dream.

Do things in London inspire your next travels/projects?

When in London my photography is very different. I focus more on fashion, absorbing myself in blogs, magazines and wandering around hidden parts of London to draw inspiration. I also spend a lot of time reading foreign literature to escape and explore where I want to jet off to next. I am fascinated with war photography and sociology, so I immerse myself in London galleries exhibiting the likes of Don MuCullin, Steve Bloom etc

Who’s your favourite photographer?

Wow this is a tough question. Really depends what field of photography and what mood I am in! Can I choose two? Fashion it would have to be the Icelandic photographer Saga Sig. Her photos are so feminine, dreamlike and colour centric. In the field of travel its Steve McCurry. He’s my god! If I could swap lives with anyone it would certainly be him. His portraits are mesmerising and his eye for composition is beyond brilliant.

What’s next?

There are a few ideas in the pipeline at the moment…. The 3 options are Afghanistan to work with a charity building schools in the mountains, a road trip through eastern Africa or a trip to PNG for the Kundu festival.

Watch out for more of Abbi Kemp’s beautiful images showing up on PINCH. Meanwhile, visit her site to see her work here.

Interview by Marianne McPhee