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Work / Photography

From Lemon Twigs to Laura Marling: Hollie Fernando’s painterly photography folio

Photographer Hollie Fernando is fast becoming a well-known name in the music industry. Having worked with major and indie labels in London and a slew of mags including Crack, Brick and Q, her folio is peppered with music stars from Lemon Twigs and Animal Collective to Laura Marling and Sampha.

Aesthetically tying together her portraits and the occasional landscape in her personal work is a use of nostalgic tonality, nature and soft, romantic lighting. Combined, these qualities give her shots a dreamy atmosphere. “I use old paintings as my colour palette templates,” Hollie explains. “I’m meticulous with my colours and use certain films for certain situations for the colours they produce."

“I aim to make images that feel like they’re part of a bigger story,” she says, “so there’s something going on that makes you think again. My approach to shooting is very relaxed, and I find this creates situations where I can catch the real moments in between planned setups that have that spark."

Hollie’s shoot with Laura Marling was for the musician’s album Semper Femina, which according to the photographer “translates as ‘a woman is ever a fickle and changeable thing’, or more simply, ‘always a woman’. The concept was all about femininity and female relationships, and Laura’s exploration of herself as a woman, so I wanted the photos to be stripped back and pure. I used soft lighting and natural fertile elements such as overgrowing foliage and blooming flowers, and tied in my compositions and colours to pre-Raphaelite paintings that depicted women as glowing goddesses.”

Also shot in natural environs, her photographs of Champs are set in the Ventnor Botanic Gardens, a location Hollie describes as “non-placeable and fantasy-like”. Her personal series Shadows of the Sun similarly celebrates nature, visibly linking her subjects’ poses with their surroundings.

Having discovered photography as a teenager, studying at Reigate College and using her dad’s old film camera, Hollie often still shoots on film and is inspired by painters and photographers alike. “I love John Collier, Evelyn de Morgan and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Sally Mann, William Eggleston and Alex Webb. My little brother is really inspiring me at the moment too, as he’s at that tender pre-teen age that I find really nostalgic, so I have been documenting him quite a lot over the last year.”

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