In Interview: Deirdre Marie O’Sullivan

In Interview: Deirdre Marie O’Sullivan

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by Danielle Holian

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am an Irish photographer. I hold a diploma in Photography. I have been awarded as an associate with the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and also distinctions with Irish Photographic Federation. Mostly I shoot Art Nude or Fashion Nude on both film and digital cameras.

Why did you choose photography as a career?

I am from a small town in West Cork but living in Dublin the last ten years and it was after I moved to Dublin, my father gave me an old film camera which I was very curious to learn how to use and thereafter became obsessed with still images.. so really it is by chance that I started to learn photography.

Which photographers influence you? And can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?

I am influenced by a lot of artists, painters, street artists, musicians, poetry. I will love a skin tone or a concept in an image or the colour schemes usually. Film used to be an inspiration but I threw out my tv many years ago now because I see most mainstream television as largely a waste of time. Colour and concepts I suppose mostly inspire me or the message an image portrays.

What sort of work do you specialise in?

I specialise in Art Nude and creative work. Art nude to show that the human body beneath fashion is the true beauty in all it’s shapes and sizes. My creative work is more to do with emotions, usually quite personal to me.

How would you describe your style?

I shoot mainly black and white, concept photography and nude photography.

What is it you’re trying to say with each photograph, and how do you get your photographs to do that?

Each image will say something entirely different. Usually, body expression, facial expression, colour, fashion and props help to tell a story.

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What camera/software/technology gear do you use?

I was Canon for many years but have recently changed to Sony Mirrorless. I was sick of lugging heavy gear so wanted something lighter to carry around and so far I am quite happy with my change-over.  I also have a Canon 35mm and a Mamiya Medium Format camera.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

Books, courses, articles online. I try to read as much as I can. Also, I love to look at paintings or other art when I can, either online or at galleries. I believe that continuing to try to push yourself past a “style” is also important. I tend to get bored if an artist produces images quite similar to the last without much of an effort to say something new.

What photographic ambitions have you not yet achieved?

Shoot more film. That is always my ambition. I’d like to hold another solo show soon too but probably it will be 2017.

Among your works, which is your favourite and why?

An image I shot on red-scale 35mm film of Lute Al-raad is probably my favourite all time image but also more recently images I took of a model called Lorelei Swan, I absolutely adore too. I think the relationship for me between myself and the model is important, his or her expression is the vision being captured and their input in imperative to the result I want to achieve.