Monday 9 February 2015

B&S Meets...Sarah Mason Photography

Drum roll please...we're delighted to introduce Bubble London's S/S16 campaign image! 

It's the work of talented local photographer Sarah Mason, who you may have read about here - or here

Sarah is based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, where she runs Sarah Mason Photography with her partner, Suzi. Bubble and Speak are big fans of her beautiful, atmospheric and often candid images - and we wanted to learn more about this season's campaign shot (not to mention Sarah herself! That's her on the right, if you're wondering). 

Sarah, could you tell us a bit more about Bubble's new campaign image?

This session was from last year, on the summer solstice. I’ve been photographing Phoebe & Mabel (two sisters), for a few years now. The family enjoy camping in their bell tent, so we decided to have a camping themed shoot in a beautiful meadow above Hebden Bridge.  There was much merriment, twirling and racing through the tall grass! Then Mabel just stopped in her tracks for a ponder, and that’s when I took this shot. It was a really beautiful evening.  Mabel is very pleased that her photo has been chosen to front the campaign!

We're glad to hear it! When did you begin taking photographs? 

I’ve always been interested in photography and I loved to borrow Mum & Dad’s camera when I was young to take photos on family holidays, pictures of my friends, and around Grassington where I grew up. I loved the anticipation of taking the roll of film in to be developed, getting the little slip, and going to collect them a few days later. It’s a lot more immediate these days, but I’ve been going back and trying film again lately.

What's your earliest memory of photography?

I think it’s probably of my Granddad taking photographs on our annual family holidays to Loch Awe in Scotland.  He loved to take all the grandkids out sailing on his boat.  Unfortunately I didn’t feel the same way, and most of the photos are me sitting in the boat with an oversized lifejacket on, either crying or looking very grumpy about the situation!  He had a really good eye for a shot though, and there’s a picture of me & my Mum he took that I absolutely love.  As a family, we’ve always loved getting the old photos out after a meal and looking back at all those memories (and all those fashion disasters!)

We love that red hat! So, when, where and why was Sarah Mason Photography founded?

I set up my own business in 2009. Before that I had been working in film & TV in London.  I’d been taking night classes in photography with 2 really inspiring tutors called Karl Grupe and his partner Julia Massey Stewart ( A hobby quickly became an obsession. I was eating, breathing, sleeping photography. An opportunity arose for us to move back up North to Hebden Bridge and we haven’t looked back since! I was called Zebra Photography back then as I used to take a lot of black & white images. But my style changed, and I outgrew the name.  As it was just me back then, it just seemed to make more sense that I called it after my own name, so I rebranded in 2012. Two years ago, Suzi joined the business. She’s a fantastic photographer, and she helps with the day to day running of the office.

What inspires you?

Meeting people and hearing their stories. I’m passionate about storytelling in my photography, I love documenting those beautiful family connections. I take photographs that make me happy! I love natural light and the way it falls, and nature & the changing seasons never cease to amaze me. On my shoots when the light is perfect and there’s a beautiful moment, these are the ones I crave. I get excited when I watch a good film or listen to a piece of new music that gives me goose bumps. I have regular walks with my friend Hannah who I also share studio space with in Hebden Bridge. These walks are really important to me, stomping through the woods or climbing the hills, talking about new exciting ideas for our businesses, and being inspired by our surroundings. Creating something that didn’t exist before, that feeling always excites me!

What's the key to good children's photography? Are kids easier to photograph than adults?

Sometimes adults can be a little more self-conscious. I’m the world’s worst at having my photo taken so I speak from experience! It’s important that everyone feels at ease and our shoots are very natural and relaxed. It’s important to us that the kids be themselves. For our family shoots, we’ll always ask what they like to do, and we’ll incorporate this into the session. I tend to find that once the kids have got to know me a little, they have lots of fun and enjoy the shoot! The same goes for our commercial photography with kid’s clothing brands - it’s about capturing the essence of childhood for us. Working with brands is a natural progression for us from our family photography, and we’re really excited about developing this area of our commercial work this year! 

You can learn more about Sarah and Suzi's work over at their website, - or, follow them on Facebook, twitter or instagram. Fancy a photo shoot of your own? Contact Sarah on 07912 325 833. 

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