An Interview With: Alice Wills
Who are you and what do you do?
Hello! I’m Alice and I’m currently in my final year of studying BA (Hons) Photography at the University of Huddersfield, with my main interests lying in landscapes and wildlife.
How did you get into what you do?
From a young age I was convinced that being a vet was the only way I could ever have a job that I loved as I have a huge passion for animals and wildlife. However, something changed when I took the leap from film to digital photography, and instead of just capturing family holidays I began to experiment more and saw photography as a way of expressing my creativeness. It was only at the age of 16 when choosing my A Level options and beginning to think about uni that I seriously considered photography as a career, and I have since gone on to study the subject at degree level as well as doing my own freelance stuff on the side.
How do you work?
I tend to work fairly spontaneously – a typical day in my life would consist of getting up early, driving out to somewhere in the middle of the Lake District then spending the rest of the day exploring mountains, forests, and little hidden tarns and just seeing what photographs I come out with at the end. Occasionally I have a specific shot in mind but I find that you can immerse yourself in a landscape a lot more when you don’t actually know what you’re looking for.
How would you describe your work?
At the moment my work is a mixture of landscape, wildlife and travel photography with some weddings thrown in here and there to pay the bills! I tend to work with natural light where possible and enjoy sharing the magic and beauty of the natural world, with the hope of inspiring others to travel more and look after our world a bit better.
What is your background?
Where does your inspiration come from? Being born and bred in the Lake District has definitely been a huge inspiration for me and my passion for the outdoors stems from a childhood exploring this beautiful place I am lucky enough to call home. I have always been fascinated by the natural world, from the changing landscape to the evolution of animals, and another massive inspiration for me has been wildlife documentaries and magazines such as National Geographic.
Initially what attracted me to photography was the ability to capture memories with some level of accuracy to look back on years after they happened. I still love this sentimental quality and sometimes there’s nothing better than looking back on old photos and reliving some of your favourite memories, but I have also learnt that photography is a fascinating art form. One image can be interpreted in so many different ways and what it means to the photographer can be something entirely different to what it means to the viewers. There is so much scope for imagination and creativity.
What are you goals after University?
Right now I’m not entirely sure what I will be doing after University! Ideally I’d like to shoot landscapes for magazines or travel companies, but my absolute dream job would be working for National Geographic!
Is there any specific equipment you use?
I currently own a Canon 70d with 10-18mm and 18-200mm lenses – I love this camera as it’s a lot smaller and lighter than a lot of other DSLR’s I have used which makes it fairly easy to carry around with me when travelling and hiking. I also have a growing collection of analogue cameras from brands including Polaroid, Agfa, Zenit, Nikon, Canon and a couple more.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give the readers of The Pupil Sphere?
Do what you love! If you have a deep desire to do a certain type of photography then pursue that dream, even if you’re not sure what career it could lead to in the future. If you do work that makes a bit of money but you’re unhappy in doing it then your work will eventually suffer. If you’re passionate about your photography style then it will show in your work!
All images copyright of Alice Wills