Callum Harrison, better knows as Mozzey, was one of the fantastic photographers at our recent arts festival. You can see his album of photographs from the night here. He also contributed four fantastic images of women in bin bags to raise a point about our standards of beauty. Find out more about his work in our interview with him below.
Please could you introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us a little bit about your work.
My name's Callum Harrison but known to my family and friends as Mozzey, and I'm a Manchester based photographer. I mainly shoot portraits, weddings but have also been known for aviation, products and food.
What inspires and motivates your artwork?
It's not hard to get inspired when you look around. I mean with the likes of Jerry Ghionis, Sue Bryce, Lindsey Addler, Lara Jade, Jason Lanier and fellow Mancunian Brett Harkness it's incredibly hard not too.
So, Portraiture certainly influences my work, I just really enjoy working with people, and having some great images to share after the shoot.
How long have you been working creatively?
I've been shooting for about 4 years now but only just started to try and pinpoint what it's is I really like, I love all kinds of photography don't get me wrong all the way from aviation to landscapes and everything in between, but over the past 2 year I've started to try and find my style, what I like in a image, and what it means to me.
What have been your favourite projects so far?
Well, cards on the table time, this is the beginning of my first project, and I'm already amazed at how well people have reacted to it at the Label : Arts Festival and on social media, the response has been really positive.
I know that the images in this little collection so far aren't masterpieces of light or even award winners by any stretch of the imagination, but instead, my mission was to keep the emphasis on the girls and outfits, but also the images came with a message,
To all the girls and woman out there, don't listen to the magazines, you don't need to buy the latest clothes to be in fashion, you don't need to buy them cosmetics to be beautiful, if you don't buy that you're not going to be ugly, nobody's going to judge you for not buying it, you don't need the new beauty regime because you're already beautiful.
What does body positivity mean to you?
[Climbs on soap box this could take a while]
Were do I begin?
Body positivity means a lot to me:
What people don't realise is that beauty isn't measured in a jean size or even how much your brand new, overpriced makeup cost you.
Just because you see beautiful woman in magazines doesn't mean you're not and you shouldn't be comparing your worth with someone else's . There's nothing more beautiful than confidence, the sooner you believe you really are beautiful , the sooner the world believes it, celebrate what makes you, you.
So own it, you're beautiful.
Do you have any advice to people just starting out?
Ask loads of questions from other experienced photographers and pros (if you can get your hands on one) and never stop learning, but more importantly find cameras and equipment that work for you. People are under this big illusion that it's the camera that takes amazing photos and "all we have to to is press a button". I've had it at wedding receptions, you get uncles or cousins coming over to me saying "I bet that takes good pictures" (rolls eyes) WRONG! The camera captures the photographers vision. But more recently I've found being true and real to yourself is massively important. If you like to take images in a certain way or style don't be disappointed or disheartened when people criticise it. People are always going to hate, but just remember it's only someone's opinion. And lastly Find out what YOU love to take pictures of and keep at it.
If your thinking about becoming a model:
Please be wary of these company's that say oh you look like a model come for a shoot. Then after the shoot they sting you with a £500 bill for something ridiculous like 20 images on a disk, I hear horror stories like this quite often, make sure you do your research on the company and in some cases the photographer before hand and don't feel pressured in to doing anything. If you're paying them it's wrong. The legit company's or agency's pay you for your time. And expect to do loads of shoots for free ( tfp-trade for pictures or time for pictures) to build up your portfolio, that's the down side of modelling, but when you make it you can charge what ever you like. You just have to start small.
What would you like to do in the future?
My real love is plus size , curvy woman and I'd love to be a full time photographer shooting curvy girls for catalogs or fashion because for me there just as beautiful if not more beautiful, I just find the press an media are always saying differently, but then again I've never been one to do as I'm told.
What story/ ideas/ identities would you like to share through your work?
I thought I'd ask some of my girl mates if they would sit for me so I could take their portraits, being tfp or free photos for Facebook for them while I was trying out new techniques and refining any potential photography style. So I asked about 10 or so girls, that I thought had something beautiful or unique about them in all different shapes an sizes that I wanted to capture.
I thought it would be easy and that most people would want some great images even if they were only for Facebook. Yet again I was wrong, I kept getting knock back after knock back and I started to wonder if it was my approach? Or if was saying something that didn't sound right? I still don't know, but there was a common theme in the replies back it was " thanks but I'm not model material" or "I don't like my photos being taken because I never look good in them."
This completely dumbfounded me because there was no doubt about it these were beautiful looking girls. So I tried to sway them back around to at least have a go said "I believe you would look good in a bin bag", obviously the thought of them potentially being in a bin bag didn't work either.
The girls I asked looked stunning but they just didn't believe it themselves, so I thought I'd set out to prove it, to myself and also them. Which as you can see by these 4 images, their wearing a bin bag, but you can't tell me they don't look beautiful?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Firstly I'd like to thank the amazing Stephanie Florence the make make up artist for doing a smashing job with the makeup.
Ella starkey for being my outfit designer on hand, and also helping and the models into there outfits.
Last but not least the models! They traveled all the way from Preston to take part and were willing to take a chance with me, they believed in the idea and were down to the cause, they were really great to work with and both incredibly talented models, so as massive thanks Nicole Shape and Amelia Ryan.
I'm still currently on the look out for models to take part in this project. If you believe what I'm saying is true and are interested in taking part in the "Bin bag project" on a trade for pictures (tfp) basis then please visit my website: www.mozzeyphotography.com