Meet the GFF 2020 Fashion Photography Award Nominees

  • Lowri Cooper
  • Holly Lavelle
  • Tabatha Lopez Palmby
  • Nur Khamis
  • Jack Shanks
  • Amy Foster
  • Sophie Howard
  • Kesia Zissman

Fashion photography plays a huge part within all aspects of the fashion industry. Graduate Fashion Foundation is proud to support the creative practice of fashion photography and recognises the value it holds within the fashion industry. We are keen to support the ever increasing number of graduates communicating their concepts through fashion photography and celebrate the presence of the ‘image’ in the contemporary fashion industry. Meet the award nominees below!

Amy Foster, Norwich University of The Arts

Driven by my artistic background, my practice began with a fascination of studying facial features and drawing portraits; ultimately, transpiring into the compassionate approach recognised in my portraiture. The appeal is to curate beautiful, striking imagery that are abundant in detail, emotion, and intrigue, expressing personality and distinctive characteristics. Like a painting, the creative process behind an image is just as rewarding as the final outcome, from concept to composition, I aim to establish a compelling visual language to express an essence of my personality and sensitivity within my work to demonstrate my personal involvement throughout.

With keen interests in fashion, nature and people, my practice has evolved to enable my photography to be informed by my curious eye for conflicting colour, pattern, and texture. From the veins in a leaf to the pleats in a skirt, to the colours in an iris, my imaginative visions are inspired by all manner of daily obscurities that offer photographic potential. In my current work, I have focused my attentions on honesty and natural beauty within today’s filter- cultured society; making a conscious effort to ensure my models are unretouched and that all outfits and accessories are not purchased shoot-specifically. My ambition with my work is to unveil this artistic perspective, to demonstrate that fashion photography can be as conscientiously beautiful as it is statement-making by promoting positive, impactful change driven by honesty in an era where transparency is in demand.
Bryony Fenn, Northumbria University

Originally hailing from Colchester, a small town in Essex Prior to moving north to Newcastle to complete my degree in fashion communication. Initially kickstarting my photographic journey in fashion and portraiture, I am now predominantly a live music and band photographer. My shooting style and format depends on the subject, but typically will lean towards capturing moments on film.
Holly Lavelle, Manchester Metropolitan University

These two editorials are a visual and psychological exploration of dreaming and the creativity of the unconscious. Fashion has always been hand in hand with fantasy, however with COVID-19 dreams are more relevant than ever. Lacking daily stimuli and confined to our bedrooms, dreams are our only escape. I conducted an experiment to see if they reflect the events in our waking lives, collecting the quarantine dreams of 15 participants and creating different photographic narratives based on the nature of their dreams. I explored epic story dreams, black and white dreams, recurring dreams, lucid dreams and metamorphosed characters.
Jack Shanks, Heriot-Watt University

Jack Shanks’ work is a coming of age story, part childhood memoir, part autobiographical voyage of self discovery, an exploration of his queer identity and of understanding and acceptance. Jack's photography reflects the confusion of growing up feeling ‘other’ and the need for a sense of belonging and the two stories presented here represent different episodes in his life, one referencing childhood freedom and familial love and security, contrasted with confusion, isolation and bullying. Shoot two depicts a teenager trying to ‘fit in with the boys’ and again experiencing feelings of alienation with the realisation that he feels juxtaposed to his entire environment. The personal stories which inspire Jacks work reflect pertinent contemporary issues and debate within gender, identity and politics.
Kesia Zissman, Birmingham City University

With feminism as a side narrative, the editorials explore what life is like as a thirteen-year-old girl, specifically. My vision was to incorporate my sister, who is thirteen, into my work to make it extremely personal to me. I wanted to pull her out of her comfort zone to reveal real emotions of a thirteen-year-old.
The presentation of these editorials shows her personality and reflects other personalities of girls her age. They are all different, hence why the graphics change. The photography is suitable for each concept, with lighting and backdrops carefully chosen to bring out the vision. Finally, I successfully collaborated with a team of creatives and brands through an organised plan of action.
Lowri Cooper, University of Brighton

The overarching theme of my fmp project explores the increasingly blurred line between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’; the grey area in the middle of this dichotomy and the di i- culties encountered in making the distinction. The works explore the distorted human relationship with the natural world and capture (in)distinctions between ‘the natural and the artificial.’ The works further explore how ‘the natural and the artificial’ work side-by-side and how the merging of these elements can evoke surreal and uncanny outcomes. The uncanny (a concept coined by Sigmund Freud) has been one of the main concepts that I have explored during the project and while creating my final works. My reasoning behind the focus and exploration surrounding the uncanny is its creation of emotive and sometimes uncomfortable experience for the viewer. For example, when the unfamiliar rises from within the familiar, it produces this inner conflict; the brain cannot factor it into its original category – the brain confirms what we see is the familiar and yet familiar it is not.
Nur Khamis, Northumbria University

Photography and fashion have always been a part of my life, ever since I was young. I would say they are a natural part of who I am, and the way I view the world. Photography has always helped me capture unforgettable moments, or subjects I deemed as superb. It is my way of expressing my creativity. My main inspirations come from my multi-cultural background. I grew up in Bucharest, Romania, with a Middle Eastern father. Moving to the United Kingdom to continue my studies has been a way of observing the unique characteristics of my Eastern European background, such as the brutalist architecture, the communist mentality impregnated in the culture, and the youth, hungry for difference, craving the Western mindset. Presently, I enjoy celebrating difference and creating engaging, controversial content.
Sophie Howard, University of the West of England

My practice is informed by exploration into identity and heritage, visually representing this through the medium of photography and creative direction. Through projects led by extensive research my goal is to create content that is highly informative as well as visually beautiful, with an emphasis on bold colours and considered compositions. My photography focuses on opening up a broader debate surrounding culture and identity, incorporating an element of education and social awareness into a fashion related practice.

The projects I have decided to present - ‘Matriarchal Wales’ and ‘The Everyday British Woman’ both focus on moving fashion forward, presenting diversity and providing a voice for those who may often be overlooked within our society. Both works are built around personal honesty, projecting a vision of my own identity as a Welsh, working class woman into my imagery. Through diverse casting and a consideration of the landscape in which my subjects are placed, the content upholds this element of honesty, relatability and transparency that is so crucial to my practice.
Tabatha Lopez-Palmby, University of the West of England

Girlhood is a series of photographs documenting a variety of girls residing in Bristol, and their views on what it means to be a woman. The project was created with the purpose of promoting self love and awareness about how women feel about the social and economic pressures they feel are put on them, for example, by the media. The girls are captured in their own environment and around Bristol. Each layout has been created to be unique for each girl and feature quotes from many interviews I conducted with each woman I photographed. I had a clear vision from the start. I wanted my images to promote self love, not only within each subject but towards young women throughout the community.
Zoe Moungabio, Liverpool John Moores University

UNKNOWN has pursued the aesthetics of the emotions and feelings linked to being isolated at home. Translating the emotions through shadows and angles over a face time photoshoot due to social distancing, accompanied by landscapes taken around Anglesey before lockdown that touched upon isolation before Covid-19 existed. These landscapes were taken with the intention of using them for a different project based around Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tales which was cut short. My work is autobiographical in parts as my home is in North Wales. Though I have spent my time studying in a large city I am always drawn back to this place and it’s beautiful landscapes. The poetry within these landscapes stays with me wherever I go. The images are shown with a poem written by Emily Harrison, highlighting the pain that comes with loneliness and insomnia. Exploring the darkness that comes with the unknown.