Interview with Serena Hodson, Photographer
Interview with Serena Hodson
Recently, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Serena Hodson, a photographer living in Brisbane, Australia. A selection of Serena Hodson’s work is displayed below. Please visit Serena Hodson’s website to view more of her work!
KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as a photographer and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?
SERENA HODSON: Strangely, I have never had a passion to become a photographer. It all happened one day when I was going away on a holiday and decided to buy a DSLR. I enjoyed taking photographs of my dogs so much, and it grew from there.
KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study photography formally?
SERENA HODSON: No, I am completely self-taught, but I am trained in Graphic Design.
KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?
SERENA HODSON: That’s a tricky one to answer, I’m not trying to emulate an established style or consciously create a defined style of my own. I basically follow my creative intuition and shoot the ideas that interest me. I have an offbeat sense of humor and I’m obsessed with my animals – so that dictates my subject matter. But with a background as a graphic designer, my visual style has evolved over time and be influenced by so many things, and it’s hard for me to put a label on it.
KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin photographing dogs?
SERENA HODSON: Rocco (my Bullmastiff) was definitely my muse. He started this all for me. This boy had a heart of gold and was always there for me. He had the patience of a saint and I learned so much photographing him.
KATHERINE CARVER: How have your own dog(s) influenced your work?
SERENA HODSON: They haven’t so much influenced my work they are my work. Their personalities are what inspire me. The joy they bring me I want other people to feel as well which is why I create what I do.
KATHERINE CARVER: Where do you show/exhibit your work?
SERENA HODSON: I have exhibited in Canada, Brussels, Germany and I am currently exhibiting work in Paris. Looking to exhibit work this year in Australia and hopefully New York.
KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?
SERENA HODSON: Sometimes it does mean being misunderstood. But for me it’s a means of self-expression, having passion and a way of life.
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being a photographer?
SERENA HODSON: Marketing and advertising. All I want to do is shoot concepts and hang with my dogs. I procrastinate on the growth part. But luckily I have a manager (i.e.: Partner) who tries to keep me on on track.
KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated?
SERENA HODSON: My dogs. They are my pride and joy. I cannot think of a more happier day than working with them on a shoot. So much comedy and they constantly make me laugh. What keeps me motivated is my following. I adore making people happy. We live in such a fast paced society that sometimes life makes it hard to smile. If just one of my images brightened someones day, than I have achieved something pretty special.
KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making photographs?
SERENA HODSON: I have a journal I write my ideas in and sometimes sketch them. I find and make the props and work from there. I never look at a shoot straight away. I like to give it a day or so because sometimes as soon as I download a series of images and start looking through them, I might be fixated with one image, while missing the “actual image.”
KATHERINE CARVER: Looking back on your accomplishments, to date, what are you the most proud of?
SERENA HODSON: Probably been given the chance to exhibit in so many countries. I want my work to be recognized as art.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?
SERENA HODSON: I am working with my publisher on my coffee table book. Very exciting!
KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?
SERENA HODSON: My dogs. They are living pieces of art that inspire me everyday in my work but also how to be a better person.
KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
SERENA HODSON: My advice first and foremost is to have a passion for what you do. Photograph things you really care about and interests you, not things you feel you ought to. Photograph them in the way you feel is right and not the way you think you ought to. Be open to criticism and remember not everyone will love what you do. My favorite quote is, “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” There will always be haters but never let them stop you.
KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view your work?
SERENA HODSON: The best place is to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Serenah-Photography/100482606687398; and www.serenahphotography.com.au.
All images are courtesy of Serena Hodson.
You can read additional interviews here.