From a young age, Hollie Crawshaw, has always had a love for animals, although she doesn’t come from an Agricultural background. She grew up in the scenic countryside of Gloucestershire, surrounded by farm land and rural villages.
Still living there now, at the age of 21, she in her last year at university studying Editorial and Advertising photography.
‘My love for photography started back in school where I completed qualifications in the subject. By this time, I had been doing photography as a hobby for a few years and particularly enjoyed taking my camera out when walking my border collie in the countryside. Studying photography allowed me to understand the technical side of the topic and I really enjoyed learning more about it formally. ‘
For Hollie, results day proved that her photography interest was more than just a hobby and this is when she decided that she wanted to complete a degree in the subject, with the ‘hope of making it a career in the future.’
It was in her second year at university that she decided she wanted to specialise in animals.
‘ I started to photograph various livestock, breeds, cattle auctions and birds of prey and soon recognised that the people, landscapes and lifestyles of the people involved with the animals were just as interesting, if not more! I soon focused on rural and agricultural topics heavily in my work and I absolutely loved it!’
She continued ‘By photographing my passions and shooting what interested me, the standard of my work increased dramatically and I could soon see what sort of photographer I wanted to be. I realised that there was so many stories and points of interest that would make great visual story telling and many deserving subjects that hadn’t been heavily documented. Rural focuses are becoming a popular mainstream topic within TV, radio and print and target not only farming people, but non farming audiences. I have always read these publications and watched the programmes on television so when I got a placement at BBC Countryfile magazine, I really enjoyed learning how the media use rural photography. I saw first hand how agencies, magazines and organisations commissioned my sort of work and could see myself working within this industry.’
Hollie told Catherina that one of her favourite and most interesting projects to date has been the opportunity to create he own first photo book entitled ‘Times You Might Get Kicked’.
‘The book documented a British dairy farm during the highly reported ‘milk crisis’ and I wanted to show the hard work, labour and involvements of the job as well as the political, physical and emotion pressures of dairy farming. It was particularly important to me to highlight the story to people who did not often see farming imagery and more importantly, did not understand what the industry was experiencing. I thoroughly enjoyed creating the book and it can now be viewed on my website (holliecrawshawphotography.co.uk).’ Hollie explained.
‘My most recent work has been focusing on the rise of female farmers working in the agricultural industry. I am very active on social media and was able to network with a lot of women in farming via Twitter. At the time, I was also writing my dissertation on the documentation of female farmers in the media. So many women through social media got in touch to tell me about their experiences, opinions and work and it was a really interesting study. I have loved shooting this project and visiting farms across Gloucestershire.’ She commented.
‘By attending various areas of agriculture, meeting the women and closely observing their work, I have gained not only a project, but a lot of knowledge of farming in general. Because it is an interest, I have researched, asked questions, watched and got involved at every opportunity. I love spending time with my subjects and being an agricultural photographer often gives me the chance to put the camera down and help in some way. Assisting a lambing, catching a ewe or guiding a tractor, whatever is involved, I love it!’ She added.
‘My future plan is to feature in agricultural publications, shoot for farming organisations and have my work seen by even more people. I would like to be a regular contributor to the farming media and want my projects to be enjoyed by farmers and non farmers alike. I see my female farmer project as a long term project and something I would like to continue. However, I will be exhibiting this work in a collaborative degree show exhibition 3rd-6th May 2016 at The Framers Gallery in London along side other work, including my books.’
“I shoot what I love. I want my work to reflect my passion and show non farming people the agricultural industry through photography”.
Follow Hollie on Social Media to get behind the scenes happenings on shoots, latest projects or to get in touch!