Q&A with Felicity Ingram
Photo courtesy of Felicity Ingram
The 29-year-old London and Paris based beauty photographer represented by Visual Artists Agency chats with us about what it’s like being a female beauty photographer, and what made her choose it.
What inspired you to become a photographer? Did you go to school for it? I know every photographer says this but I did want to be a photographer from a young age, about 13. One of my teachers in school really inspired me to go for it. When I moved to London from Bath I became a photographer's assistant and learned the trade first hand. I assisted a lot of photographers as a lighting and digital assistant for around 8 years and then in the past few years, I started shooting on my own.
Why solely a beauty photographer? Do you shoot anything else? I just shoot beauty, so my focus is on cosmetics, hair, jewellery, bodies... It’s the type of images I enjoy looking at the most, the ones that inspire me. I find it more creative than fashion, with less brand restrictions and I just love people's faces. Funnily enough, I don’t take pictures outside of the studio, that sort of documentary style photography doesn't really interest me.
From what the mass sees, males seem to dominate beauty/fashion photography. What do you about being a female beauty photographer? I think I have an advantage in beauty. I know what a product is meant to look like on the skin, how it feels and blends. As a female, I’m a customer of the brands I shoot for so I know what women want and what would inspire a women to buy a product. That’s why I always make my subjects look real and aspirational.
Would you say that being a photographer allows you to showcase women's beauty? Yes, I always want my models to look captivating in some way. I love to showcase beauty in its diversity. Since beauty transcends age, race, gender and sexuality, my models are always diverse.
What is it about the beauty industry that fascinates you? I love that makeup can transform someone’s face. It can make you look older, younger, enhance certain features or turn someone into a completely different character.
What's one editorial or shoot that you're most proud of? Why? Strangely it’s not the shoot that was published in the best magazine, or the shoot that’s made me the most money. It’s a story I shot for Models.com with model, Alicia Burke. Her agent rang me to tell me she was in town and had just shot with Paris Vogue, and asked if I would like to shoot her. So, I got my team together and just shot a really beautiful story without any planning, and it just came together so organically and effortlessly. They are still my favourite images in my portfolio to date.
What’s your favourite part of your job? Working with talented artists and models. Just creating beautiful images and not taking ourselves too seriously. I love the camaraderie of working in all-girl teams.
Any tips for upcoming beauty photographers? Shoot as much as possible. Don’t over think everything, not every shoot is going to be amazing. Be true to your style and be original. Not everyone is going to like your work, but the most important person to love it is yourself and others will follow. Most importantly, be kind and respect others that work with and for you.
Follow Felicity on Instagram @felicityingramphotography