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Carrie On Regardless
You don’t need me to introduce you to Carrie Davenport. If you’ve picked up this mag at any point over the last few years, or logged on to any number of local band blogs or music sites – the chances are that it’s one of Carrie’s photos that’s snagged your attention.
Colin Carberry, 28 Oct 2011
From experimentations on an old Pentax SLR in her school’s darkroom, to snapper of choice for most of the Northern music scene – Carrie Davenport is living proof of the distances that can be travelled by a person with a capacity for hard work, a decent contacts book and a brilliant visual imagination.
While hardly a veteran, Carrie has built up an impressive body of work. And during this year’s Music Week in Belfast, she will be exhibiting a selection at the Ulster Hall.
It’s quite an achievement – but then, this is someone who spends her time transforming the most miserable looking indie scruffs into objects of adoration, she clearly has a gift for the unexpected.
“Yeah, they can be a bit guilty of shoegazing,” she laughs, “but it’s a case of making the shoot as much fun as possible. If people are relaxed, you get a much better photo out of them. So many bands have shots of them standing against a brick wall, looking a bit fed up – why would you want to have something the same as everyone else? I give bands a lot of direction on shoots – everyone gets nervous when they’re not used to being in front of the camera, but if you make it enjoyable, then it goes well.”
While Carrie’s work pinballs through a variety of styles, a common aesthetic fingerprint can be identified running through her work: the result of a happily fluid view of the snapper/subject dynamic.
“I like to try and get bands and musicians involved in the ideas process,” she reveals. “At the start I’ll ask if they have any thoughts on what they want or don’t want, and then go from there. Some bands will have a very clear idea of what they want and others won’t have a clue. I like to try and come up with different ideas and locations for every shoot, so I’m never repeating myself, which is hard but it makes it more fun. Usually I’ll pitch a few ideas, ask what they like best then go from there. But no matter how much you plan, sometimes things happen by fluke and that’s great too.”