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Hannah Nagle

The 17-year-old photographer might have interned with Mario Testino but it was her Gustave Klimt-inspired glitter images that impressed us

At the tender age of 17 not many people can say they wholeheartedly know what they want to be, Hannah Nagle on the other hand is different. This young aspiring photographer holds steady the optimistic visions in her photography, knowing exactly where she would like to take it, and by delving into the teenagers work there is much reason to believe. After spending a week with the iconic fashion photographer Mario Testino, only one can presume that Hannah is learning from the very best as she strides to gain a foothold in the ever competitive world of fashion photography.

Although some would say such youth is wrapped in innocence and naivety, you couldn’t suggest this when observing the sheer confidence of her exposures, with the standout pieces being the manipulated shots of her sister in a Gustav Klimt inspired style. Nagle has a clear path ahead of her where the same for her compatriots is less crystal. Intrigued, we asked a few questions about her arrival into photography and of the work that caught our eye...

Dazed Digital: When did you first realise that you wanted to become involved in photography?
Hannah Nagle: I think I was about 14. I'd become really interested in fashion at that time and just kept coming across all these images that I loved. It took a while for me to become fully interested in it and even longer to actually pick up a camera and take photographs. I remember seeing one of Gisele by Mario Testino that he took for Vanity Fair that really made me more aware of photography. That's one image that sticks in my mind that made me want to get into fashion photography.

DD: Your work seems to focus more on still life and portrait exposures of your personal environment and of your friends; Is there any explanation behind this or do you gain more inspiration from these kinds of things?
Hannah Nagle: I guess it's got more to do with convenience. I photographed my sister because she was always available and it didn't cost anything. I used objects that I found lying around the house for the still life photographs, again because it didn't cost anything. However, with the fashion and portrait photographs, I like that they're predominantly made up of photos of my sister. You can see her grow up in them and I like the fact that people can recognize her in one photo but not in another.

DD: There's a playful element to your photography especially with the various manipulation techniques you have used; what does this aspect of your photography reflect about yourself?
Hannah Nagle: I don't ever want to take my photography too seriously. I love playing around with the images after I've taken them, whether it's layering images over the top or just changing the colours. At first I was a bit hesitant to use Photoshop in such an obvious way but I wanted to try and make my images more than just the standard photograph of a model looking pretty. I guess it's my age as well. You start to grow up and you want to try and hold on to that imagination and playfulness you had as a child. 

DD: Can you explain concept behind the images of your sister and how you managed to create the 'glitter' effect?
Hannah Nagle: The images using glitter were part of my photography exam at school. I'd been looking at Gustav Klimt's work and wanted to recreate the gold colours in some way. I took some glitter, laid it on a piece of paper and took a photograph of it and then used Photoshop to overlay it onto portraits I'd taken of my sister. 

DD: After having spent time interning in Mario Testino's office what have you learned?
Hannah Nagle: It definitely made me 100% sure that this is what I want to do. It also made me more aware of the influence that art can have over fashion photography. Before I was just looking at photographers to inspire me but now I'm looking at art, especially sculpture pieces as well.

DD: As an aspiring fashion photographer whom would you like to work with when you’re older?
Hannah Nagle: There are definitely a lot of fashion photographers that I'd love to assist. I think Mario Testino and Nick Knight would probably be at the top of that list. I'd also like to collaborate with artists. I love Maurizio Anzeri's work and loved the combination of art and fashion photography coming together when he worked with Dazed and Confused. I did a similar thing to my photographs for a project at school and it made me want to look at more ways of hand manipulating my photographs. 

DD: What do you want be doing in the future?
Hannah Nagle:
I'd love to have assisted a photographer and be signed to an agency, just making a living out of taking photographs really.  I also love finding out about new photographers, artists and musicians so maybe having a project or website based around that would be good as well.