Heledd Roberts is a commercial photographer from North Wales. Heledd specializes in combining incredible natural surroundings with beautiful people to create complementary and intriguing photographs. We were really glad when she agreed to complete a feature interview for Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out about what fashion means to Heledd, who her favourite photographer is and what its like living in North Wales.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I didn’t start seriously photographing until 2009, but I enjoyed it so much. I could never draw or paint, but I always felt creative. Photography let out the creative, ‘arty’ person in me.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
Beautiful people in beautiful places.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
It was quite exciting actually! I shot my most successful photo series’ and I got to know a lot of new, interesting people.
Q: Who inspires you?
That’s a pretty vague question! Everything inspires me. It just all depends on what strikes me the strongest. Living in a rural area, I’m constantly inspired by nature.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Oh gosh, where do I start?! Alexander McQueen is the most prominent one. The stories, the work and the beauty behind his creations..words can’t describe. Miuccia Prada is another which is always changing the look of fashion, always leading the way with gorgeous, innovative designs. I also adore Elie Saab, Phoebe Philo at Celine, Mary Karantzou and Christopher Kane. As for fashion ‘icons’, I think the models who wear the amazing designs and whom appear in editorials are people I admire. The way Sasha Pivovarova is like a chameleon when it comes to different looks and styles, Vlada Roslyakova’s fairy tale aura and Freja Beha Erichsen’s seriousness and mystery.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
A good photographer must have a great eye for light, composition and mood. A photographer who can shift from one style and mood to another in a few steps is a great one in my opinion. I’m very peculiar about composition and light. They have to be perfect for me to love a photo.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
I use both. I shoot my fashion shoots mostly with digital, purely for the simplicity and ease, but I love the feel of film; the click of the shutter, the excitement of having to wait to see what you’ve taken. Most of my journal shots are taken with my film cameras.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
Location, definitely. Natural light is the essential ingredient when it comes down to me taking a photo. I love fusing different elements of nature with fashion and synthetic objects. I like that I can create irony and juxtaposition through my photos.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
Me and the models generally have a great laugh when we do the shoots. Once, I had two female models and one male. We’d gone up to this old mine where there were pools and I thought it would be a great idea to take some shots of them in the pools, so off down we went when suddenly one of my models started to strip and I didn’t know what to say (it was a bit awkward!) so I went along with it, and she was so confident being a nude model, the photos turned out amazing. The other female model also became a nude model by the end of the day and I think it all worked out well. Nothing better than a bit of spontaneity!
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I shoot fashion fused with nature, but with magic and loveliness thrown in.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
I could be here forever choosing a favourite photograph taken by another photographer. If I had to choose my own, it would most probably have to be one from ‘The Country Elegance’ series.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
My all time favourite is Tim Walker. His photos just leave me speechless every time. So much work and planning has gone into every single photo and they always look like a completely different, much more beautiful world than the one we live in. I could escape into any photo of his. Other photographers I love include; Solve Sundsbo, Steven Meisel, Paolo Roversi, Allasdair McLellan, Mario Testino and Camilla Akrans.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
I would love to photograph with Tim Walker and I would love to photograph Sasha Pivovarova.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
It means being imaginative with the body, being expressive through a different art medium and creating new connections and juxtapositions between numerous themes.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I’m a big fan of neutral colours at the moment. I love a pure, whimsical and dreamy look but sometimes I do opt for a more bold and colourful vibe, but keeping to the earthy colours (yellow, brown, deep red, black..)
Q: Where are you based?
I’m based in North Wales
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
It’s quiet and quite lovely, but I do wish I was closer to big cities and towns so that I would have possibly more opportunities in the photography and fashion world.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
It may not seem like a big deal for many people, but my photo was approved to be showcased on Vogue Italia’s PhotoVogue and it has over 70 votes at the moment. This makes me feel pretty good about my photography!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I hope to get more fashion based work, maybe more publications and hopefully a solo exhibition by the end of the year.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I run a photoblog which I love updating with beautiful images. It’s an image bank for future reference. I read and listen to music a lot also.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Oh dear, I haven’t updated my iPod for ages, but I’m a huge fan of Muse, so I have pretty much every song of theirs on there. I also have Hurts, The Strokes, Florence & the Machine, Coldplay, Maximo Park, Ellie Goulding and all kinds of other music. I have a very broad spectrum of genres which I enjoy listening to, from Drum ‘n’ Bass to Classical.
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
I enjoy painting and drawing, even though I’m terrible at it. Sewing and making things is also a hobby of mine, but I really have to be in a calm and patient mood.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
Just keep on photographing all the time. Take your camera everywhere and photograph anything you find interesting. Also having a place of reference is good, a sketchbook, photoblog or any visual reminder is great.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I’m just thriving to capture beauty all the time.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I also shoot lansdcapes, as I live in such a beautiful area, but I don’t enjoy it quite as much as fashion photography.
Editor’s Note: Heledd’s unique approach to both landscape and fashion photography undoubtedly will have tremendous commercial appeal when more people are made aware of her work. We’re looking forward to seeing more of Heledd’s work in the coming months and years.
If you’d like to see more work or contact Heledd, just follow the links below:
twitter link: www.twitter.com/heleddroberts
facebook link: www.facebook.com/pages/PHOTOMATIQUE/128622740504776?ref=ts
web page link: www.cargocollective.com/heleddroberts