24 HOURS WITH
Photographer / Filmmaker
A Series by Frank Rodriguez
24 Hours with Flora
We are finally back with our fourth episode of our series documenting a day in the life of a creative individual.
Frank Rodriguez continues our new series by spending a day with Flora, a talented photographer and aspiring filmmaker. Through a Q&A and film photography documenting her day, we gain insight on Flora's latest project and her reflection on some of her goals and accomplishments thus far
Frank: Tell me about yourself?
Flora: My name is Flora Scott, I am a 21 year old photographer, filmmaker and visual artist from Hackney.
Frank: What are we doing today?
Flora: Today we will be shooting with my friend and artist Talia. I asked her to write a poem last summer and we are putting together some visuals to go alongside it.
Frank: Who are we shooting?
Flora: Talia. She’s a rapper, artist and poet.
Frank: Do you tend to work with friends a lot?
Flora: I would say so - I think that certain friendships allow that space for ‘professional’ collaboration. I think this is usually how the best work can be made.
Frank: What’s the biggest project you’ve worked on?
Flora: In what kind of media? Just in general?
Frank: What’s the biggest personal project that you’ve worked on and what’s the biggest commercial project that you’ve worked on?
Flora: The biggest personal project for me, is my ‘Young London’ photographic archive which I have been working on since I was 16 (so it spans about 6 years in total at the moment). It’s body is made up of photos exploring what it means to grow up in London; all these ‘Chosen’ families which can be formed when you meet your people as a young person. Commercially speaking, in 2018 it was a big deal for me to work for Nike in hand with Jorja Smith. For me, she’s an artist I remember listening to on soundcloud in my bedroom when she first started releasing music. That opportunity for me as a photographer was a turning point, when I really realised the potential for my work to go far.
Frank: How is it working on the Jorja Smith project?
Flora: It was an experience that sort of bowled me over (in a good sense).
I just remember receiving a call out of the blue during university, asking me if it was something I wanted to be on board with and immediately I was like ‘yes’! I think what was most valuable was the chance to work alongside other young women artists who are crazy talented, whilst we were mentored by older, more established women in the industry. I was paired up with Ana Sting and we immediately had a connection. It was important for 2018 me to be able to work with a photographer like Ana and to have my work affirmed by her.
Frank: What’s the difference between personal project and a commercial project?
Flora: I think if someone is paying you or asking you to conduct creative work for them, it means that they have seen (stylistically) your purest creative eye through your personal work, if that makes sense? Hopefully, whoever is commissioning commercial work recognises this uniqueness and allows you to bring that to whatever commercial work it is.
Frank: When a brand approaches you, what are the main things you ask for?
Flora: I guess what the budget is, what it is they want from you and how much creative freedom there will be. The more clarity, the easier the work can run.
Frank: What camera are you currently using?
Flora: At the moment I’ve been borrowing my friend Connie’s Pentax 67 which is a crazy camera to shoot on. Shout out to Connie for that. I used to shoot a lot (and still do when I’m out and about) on point and shoots but the quality is just no where near what you get when you're working with a medium format camera like that.
Frank: For someone that’s starting out, what camera would you recommend?
Flora: I think for me I would always, always suggest the Olympus Mju-ii. My dad gave me his when I was 16 and it is just the most compact and easy to use camera I have. For me personally, what I love about it is the cinematic quality it brings to the images. So many of my favorite photographs were made with that camera.
Rely on my eye and trust my instincts
Frank: Why film not digital?
Flora: I don’t like seeing the photographs then and there. I want to have to rely on my eye and trust my instincts, (which does mean theres more chance to fuck it up).
Frank: What film do you shoot with?
Flora: Portra 400 is my current go to.
Frank: What are you currently studying?
Flora: I am in my third year studying Film Practice.
Frank: I noticed that you mainly take photos, why didn’t you study Photography?
Flora: For me, I know I want to write and direct my own films (at least for now). Photography is something I felt I could continue to learn about outside of university, whereas more specific filmic education is something I actually wanted to dedicate those three years to learning about.
Frank: What’s the difference between photography and film?
Flora: Film submerges you into someone else's world, photos let you peer in.
Frank: So, would you say that film is more powerful than photography?
Flora: They are both important, film and photography feed each other - one is always getting inspiration from the other.
Frank: What got you into collage?
Flora: I remember doing a zine making workshop that Brick magazine organised and from there that DIY practice just became part of my work. I like the physicality of making work with my hands.
Film submerges you into someone else's world, photos let you peer in.
Frank: Who are your main inspirations?
Flora: London as a city definitely constantly feeds my creativity. The best ideas are made when I’m on the bus or train.
Frank: Ok, life inspiration?
Flora: I mean I think the poet Yrsa-Daley Ward is someone I look up to a lot. Her way of being so painfully honest with her words and in such a beautiful way is something I find so inspiring. It’s not something a lot of us take the time to do.
Frank: Artistic inspiration?
Flora: Alexander McQueen I think is again one of those people that comes directly into my mind - he was able to pour himself wholly into his creations, which were so dark, twisted and iconic. Everyone has that side to them they hide from others, but he just laid it on the table and built his whole legacy upon that rawness.
Frank: What brands would you love to work with?
Flora: Not sure about brands, but I would love to be able to work with A24 someday and Kourtrajme.
Frank: How do you normally find inspiration?
Flora: I read a lot, as I think words for me are often a good source of inspiration. But as I said before just being out in London - there's always something round the corner.
Frank: How does someone get the work that you’ve got? / What advice would you give to someone that wants to get the work that you’ve got?
Flora: Take the time to find out what you actually enjoy creating, don’t force it and if it does begin to feel like you are, or it becomes a chore, move on to something else. With these things it’s just about finding the creative practice/practices that you always want to be doing or are always thinking about. If you do happen to know what you already love, keep up a steady work rate and most importantly get your work out there. The right person will see it at the right time.
Frank: Make work for yourself not others?
Flora: Always, you have to be true to your work. It is your own way of creating that makes you different from everyone else.
Frank: What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Flora: A lot of things are in the pipeline, but I tend not to think too structurally about the future especially with everything going on right now.
Frank: Do you think university is worth it?
Flora: Only if you're going to make the most of it. It is too much money to go and not enjoy it/genuinely learn from it. But I do think there is no ‘right’ way between deciding to go or not, it’s just what feels most natural to you. Uni is definitely not the be all end all. All the opportunities I’ve had, I created for myself outside of university.
The best ideas are made when I’m on the bus or train.
Frank: Would you put university or a job opportunity first?
Flora: Job opportunity. That one job could have the capacity to shift everything.
Frank: Thank you for this interview and do you have any final words?
Flora: Thank you for taking the time to speak to me.
Photography & Interview by Frank Rodriguez
Transcribed by Olive Oberoi
Produced by New Wave Studios