Denise Felkin Interview, our Tutor talks about photography in her life

Welcome to an Interview with Denise Felkin, Tutor at Photoion Photography School.

Denise is a freelance Creative Photographic Artist with extensive experience in public visual art installations. She has over twenty years experience in working with the public and photographing a variety of subjects; fine art, portraits, music, arts and festivals, landscapes, and installations.
She’s also tutor / lecturer / trainer in photography and has spent the past eight years working for the City College in Brighton and four years working for Photoion Photography School. She has also delivered workshops to community groups and organisations such as the BBC, Brighton & Hove City Council, Phoenix Brighton, and Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Hi Denise, why photography? 

Portrait of Denise Felkin

Portrait of Denise Felkin

Maybe because my grandfather was a photographer, and my father a printer, although both of them died in my early years.

I feel photography is in my genes. If it wasn’t for photography, how would I know how my father looked like?

I had a slow start; my first camera was stolen at the age of ten, from Butlins, Barry Island. My second camera was stolen age 18, from Glastonbury Festival. I later went to Art College, where I discovered my passion and talent for photography.

I stick with photography because it makes me feel alive and has helped me get through some dark moments in life. It has always given me access to places I would not normally be able to attend.

What is a photographer?  

Denise Felkin (c)

Denise Felkin (c)

A photographer gets creative with light, captures the moment, organises chaos into order. In a way the photographer is a solution provider: he/she makes the best out of what is put in front of him/her.

I’ve always called myself a “photographic artist”, and at present my work fits somewhere between documentary and art photography.
Very importantly I’ve learnt not to pigeonhole myself:  it does not matter what I call myself because I’m still wearing all the hats.

In my own practice, I spend very little time taking photos. Most of the time I am researching, reading, visiting shows, talking to people, editing, location finding, etc.

I do wear at the same time many non-creative hats: from accountant, to cleaner to social worker, secretary, PA. I am an educator, facilitator, self promoter, and job hunter.

I am also still a student myself. I have been studying photography for 25 years and I am still learning. It is such a massive subject, which will take me to the day I die to master it and maybe that day I will still not know everything.