Documenting her encounters with various people and places across a month-long road trip in the US, Bella Howard's new exhibition aptly named 'Drive Thru' features her often colourful and full-frontal photographs. With a knack of capturing the energy of the characters she meets, the often laid-back and casual poses in her images give them a sense of youthfulness and light-hearted fun. Dazed speak to the London-based photographer and blogger before the launch of her exhibition at Bethnal Green's Wayward Gallery from the end of this September for five days only.
Dazed Digital: Can you tell us what your exhibition is about?
Bella Howard: My exhibition is about people and places I encountered on a month long road trip around america with two of my girl friends. It was a total non-stop adventure spending no more than three nights in each place we visited. It was a bit on an ADHD holiday.
DD: What made you chose America as your main focus?
Bella Howard: There was no real focus apart from to capture the spirit of the people and places we visited. I have been obsessed with American culture since I was little, I read Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" when I was younger and felt like life on the road was for me, I loved the idea of the freedom of having a car and doing whatever we felt like and visiting wherever we wanted. the landscapes were so diverse throughout the country it felt like Iwas visiting about ten different countries and different planets.
DD: What would you like to make the viewer feel with this particular set of photographs?
Bella Howard: I want the viewer to get a sense or feel for the places we visited and the people we met, there is a lot of diversity in the images and you can tell it was a journey throughout the country.
DD: Your photographs look like a lot of fun to be in, how do you get your subjects into the mood you want to capture?
Bella Howard: I think its just about interacting with the subject having a chat with them before shooting and just playing loads of fun music and having a dance and a laught while shooting, I think fashion takes itself to seriously sometimes. I also shoot a lot of my friends so that is always a lot of fun and never feels like 'work'.
DD: Do you prefer Film or Digital?
Bella Howard: Film!
DD: What motivates you to photograph?
Bella Howard: I think of my photographs as a diary of my life as I have a crap memory, haha.
DD: Any other projects in pipelines?
Bella Howard: I am working on a book that is set to be released next year, it will be personal pictures and unused fashion images, a sort of scrap book style book. Luv Luv Luv Records are putting out the book. I can't wait to start working on it.
Bella Howard at the Wayward Gallery, 47 Mowlem Street, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9HE until 4th October 2010