valerie huggins location_edited.jpg

VALERIE HUGGINS

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHER

Artist's Statement

In my photography I am aiming for more than to record a place or a moment. I am seeking to represent the emotions that I am experiencing by using creative and mindful approaches, such as Intentional Camera Movement (ICM). Before I even get my camera out, I spend time in the space, paying careful attention to the way the light is falling, where the shadows are, the patterns that are emerging and the movement in the scene. In particular, I look for new insights on the familiar and this is helping to give me new perspectives on other aspects of my life.

VHuggins teignmouth pier icm photography.jpg
Teignmouth Storm (11 of 12).jpg
 

Portfolio

 

About Me

I am a creative photographer based in South Devon, UK, between Dartmoor and the coast. 

For many years photography was part of my everyday life, largely involving recording family occasions and places we visited to create family albums. However, increasingly I found myself wanting to develop my photographic skills, to get ‘off auto’ and to be a ‘proper photographer’.

My recent retirement from a highly-pressurised career in education gave me the time to learn the technical aspects of photography. So I signed up for lots of workshops and courses, but increasingly got frustrated. The images I created were technically more correct, in focus, well-composed - but they lacked something. I was wanting to capture subtler, more personal impressions of the beauty and fragility of the natural environment. I discovered that I responded emotionally to more abstract images, of trees or masts reflected in rippling water. There was a uniqueness, a surprise, a different perspective in these occasional, less intentional images.

The onset of the pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent lockdowns meant that I was restricted to photographing in my local area, revisiting the same familiar places again and again, searching for new ways to represent them. I found that I became more mindful and reflective in my approach to photography, taking time to immerse myself in a place and note my emotional responses before I got my camera out of my bag and start shooting.

During this time, I encountered the technique of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) which as an early years educator, appealed to my views of creativity as playful and experimental and enabled me to use environmental photos not as records but as material for creative expression. Always a fan of the impressionist artists of the 19th century, I found that I could recreate something of the movement and atmosphere of JMW Turner or the texture and colour of Monet by waving the camera while the shutter was open – breaking all the rules that I had painstakingly learnt so recently!

Now when I am on a photoshoot, I focus on chasing the light in a scene and capturing how it reacts with the environment to enhance colour, texture and contrasts. At times this seems akin to the work of modern painters such as the Abstract Expressionists.  I aim not to define a moment or to tell a story with my images, but to provoke emotional and critical reactions in my audience and hopefully encourage their own responses and stories.

Along this photographic journey, I am particularly inspired by the ICM Magazine Network, led by Stephanie Johnson, Morag Paterson and Kaisa Siren https://www.icmphotomag.com/ and Charlotte Bellamy https://www.charlottebellamy.com/.

 

I am a Registered member of the Guild of Professional Photographers.

 

 

Publications:

'My Journey with ICM' in ICM Magazine March 2022

Exhibitions:

ICM Beginnings Workshop (Online)  from March 2021

TAAG Something New September 2021

'Freedom' Joint Arts Project August 2022 

Competitions:

ICM Magazine Zero Footprints

Winner ‘Hope’ category November 2021

 

Contact

INFO@VALERIEHUGGINSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

If you are interested in having a print of any of the images in my portfolio, please let me know. I can arrange high quality prints in a range of sizes through Chris Smart of Smart Imaging.

Copyright

Please note that all of the images, texts and ideas on this website are protected by UK and international copyright laws. They must not be downloaded, or reproduced in any form without my written permission This also includes copying. duplicating, publishing (including on other websites), and storing in a retrieval system.