Originally from a background in fashion photography, Meg Sharp has made a transition which she describes as a 'natural progression' towards photographing musicians, in line with her personal interest in electronic music. Working only on film, Sharp's images captures the unpredictability of photography and the subjects she shoots. Opening today, Thursday 5th July, Sharp's work will be featured at J&A Cafe in Clerkenwell as part of a new series with Metro Imaging showcasing young photographic talent every six weeks. With this as her first solo exhibition just around the corner, Meg Sharp chats to Dazed Digital about her work...
It's interesting to photograph a person whose aim is to be listened to not looked at
Dazed Digital: What is it about musicians that appeal to you to photograph as such?
Meg Sharp: I was studying fashion photography and everything seemed a bit shallow, and I was getting really into the electronic music scene so it was kind of a natural progression. It's interesting to photograph a person whose aim is to be listened to not looked at. The interesting thing about shooting musicians is that I always get a picture in my mind of how a musician will be or look like when I listen to their music, and I love being surprised at how different in reality they are from that picture. A good surprise.
DD: Do you feel they make good subjects to shoot in particular?
Meg Sharp: I find there is depth to photographing them as subjects, which is created by their music. I'm not only photographing their face but also in a sense trying my best to capture their internal musical world, although mostly this is just from my point of view. And they're such a mix of brilliant people, who are always up for doing something a bit different and not too serious.
DD: Who has been your favourites to shoot so far and why?
Meg Sharp: Sunny rooftop beers with Lower all day, or letting off smoke grenades on an estate with Blue Daisy, throwing water balloons at 16bit and shoving cake in their faces, or dressing Starkey up like a fisherman and taking him to the Thames, major blagging of a warehouse space with iO, or wrapping Kanji Kinetic in danger tape in Hyde Park, spending the day with Toddla T, or spending the day in Epping forest from 4am with Elan Tamara, climbing over the fence into a park at night with Pangaea and throwing glitter at him, or mummifying Egyptrixx's head...
DD: How much does your music taste affect your personal style as a photographer?
Meg Sharp: I have a very varied taste in music, but particularly love a great rhythm. I think my photographs often hint at science, natural history and science fiction, sometimes serious but mostly playful. No I don't think it does effect my photographic style, but perhaps subjectively this is hard to see clearly. An interesting conversation I usually have with my subjects however is my choice of always shooting on film / analogue, and the reasons for preferring analogue seem to make sense in music too. Musicians mostly agree that analogue photography / music has more depth, a 3D quality, whereby mistakes are made beautiful and everything seems more real or even an improved reality, not photoshopped reality.
DD: The effect of double exposure features a lot in your work, why the interest in this technique?
Meg Sharp: It's such a fun and exciting way to get something totally unique. With the rise of Instagram it's hard for anyone to do anything different. I really enjoy not knowing what will happen, although this does sometimes result in a ruined film or photo shoot, but that is the nature of shooting on film too. I also find it a great way to say something about the musicians and their music; I can layer an image of them with another image that I think represents their music.
Meg Sharp at J&A Cafe, Clerkenwell, London - Private view on Thursday the 5th of July from 6pm with a DJ set from Blue Daisy.