I’ve been to the UK many times now having quite a bit of family over there but this was the first time I was going as a photographer and an artist. I took with me my Leica M6 and Pentax 6×7, I was unsure of the Pentax at first as the weight is not the most desirable for travel but after a few days I fell in love with using it all over again and the size became irrelevant and after getting the negatives back I had zero regrets.
Living in Perth I often find myself frustrated with trying to find new content to shoot. So given this opportunity to go somewhere so beautiful and different from my everyday I put a lot of pressure on myself that I was not to blow this opportunity, and that I needed to shoot the best I ever had.
It was quite interesting in my first few days there in a grungy area called Woking, just outside of London. I noticed how much I was struggling to shoot with a lack of harsh sun and shadows, as the past couple of years I have learned to embrace the Australian sun as a signature part of my style. But everyday we continued to have clouds (it was incredible light don’t get me wrong) but I was so used to finding peculiar shadows and using the sun that I definitely had to re adjust the way I thought.
We travelled around the UK for about a month and I think the most disappointing thing with this country is the freedom to pull over wherever you want is not like It is here at home, so often I saw such incredible images just pass me by with no way to stop or return.
While traveling I had made it my mission that I was going to shoot portraits (something that I don’t often do) and I did get brave and shoot a few, but ironically I lost the roll that had the majority of them on. So I was left with a lonely bunch of negatives, which I now think really speaks for the locations I went, and I guess speaks a bit about myself. But in the end I think it made The Zine.
The Pentax 6×7 and Leica M6 were both incredible to travel with. But the Pentax became my main tool. I think if I had been travelling around inner London I may have swung the other way, but I was faced with such incredible landscapes that deserved the detail of medium format. I shot predominantly with Kodak Portra 400, my go to choice. And a few rolls of HP5 for those particularly moody days that called for black and white.
The idea to make the zine came a few weeks after I had returned, A good friend of mine pushed me to make something with the images I had taken, and I’m very glad I did. The process of creating a zine was completely new to me, from designing a layout to just using in design, but I was fortunate to have some great help. The Zine gave me a focus for the next few weeks. And it was fun and motivated me to be productive each day to try and improve and perfect what I had created.
The finishing touches were the labor of love, with the front title hand torn and stamped so that I could create something that was all from me. And the title ‘God’s waiting room’ the nickname of a little town Sidmouth which feels like another home for me.
When the time came to put the zine out for people to buy, that was the most difficult task. I had never put my work out like that before, and once I posted the zine I was filled with such fear that it would be a disaster, and as I had my first order I had even more anxiety! But then I had more orders and incredibly lovely feedback that I realized as scary as it is to put your work out there, its possible and the hard work pays off.
About Lauren Ireland
I’m a 23 year old photographer/artist from Perth. Film photography began a few years ago for me and since starting it has completely changed the way I approach photography, I shoot slower and more thoughtfully and I’m now completely in control. Currently working on a new project that I hope to share in the not so distant future!
I currently have my zine and a few prints available for sale on my little web shop, or you can find my everyday work on my instagram.