PHLOCK

Anna Wood

Photography has been a big part of my life for the last 13 years. My initial reason to start studying it was to build a career out of it. At first I thought this would be as a forensic photographer but in actual fact I became a wedding photographer after shooting a few friends’ weddings and becoming completely hooked. I’d never really considered that I was an artist or that I could find additional joy in creating photography for myself.

I’d do a few shoots of the kids through the course of the year but this was usually just for the Grandparent’s Christmas Present! However the day lockdown started here in the UK was the day my Grandma died. I just picked up my camera and started to shoot through the grief and the pain of not being able to be with my family. I took photos because home learning felt overwhelming, my business felt like it was crumbling and as a distraction from the cases and deaths and fear and worry.

I had followed phlock for a while and I was always so inspired by the incredible work of the community. In my wedding work I had always pushed myself to continue to grow in my skills and creativity and, as I now had no weddings, this drive shifted to producing better images in lockdown. I attended every online summit phlock ran during 2020 to learn as much as I could. It was a class by Chloe Lodge and Cindy Cavanagh that just made something click inside me. I can’t really describe it any other way! I started to see light differently and learnt to bend the rules of photography that I’d always felt so bound by. My work changed so much during these months and I found I loved the freedom of producing work just for myself. It was never about instagram likes or anything like that – just the joy of creatively capturing my family’s memories. I decided I wanted to give myself the space to do more of this and so  returned to university in September 2020 to do the BA(hons) top up year in photography. I have continued to document family life with a 365 that I started in January this year. I can see that my work has come so far and photography for me is no longer just my career but also my way of making art. I am so thankful to the phlock community for all of the support and inspiration.

My personal work now entirely focuses around my children’s childhood. andI like to see it as a collaboration with them.  My daughter  loves to be in photos, my son is not as keen which is why she appears in a lot more of my work than him! I love to find interesting angles, compositions and light. I try to never photograph any of our activities in an obvious way and will always strive to find a different approach. I have developed a passion for the smaller details like their hands and (more commonly) their feet. My work is storytelling and whilst it’s mostly not completely documentary, all of the photographs I create are inspired by the things they like to do. I hope this creates a physical bank of memories for them to remember these years by.

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Anna Wood