Human Habitats | Amber Bardell

My latest photography project is titled 'Human Habitats' and is an exploration in to people and their surroundings. I always approach my work with insight from both documentary and very stylised approaches. This results in exploring my love for set design but leaving a rawness to the images. I don't like to edit my photographs much so I try to create the final image that I want to be seen on the shoot, experimenting until I see what looks right to me.

I took all of these photographs on the same day although they explore three main different ideas. The first two are based around the colour blue, one that reflect's the model's personality and brings together collections of objects in her house. I love introducing different aspects or textures to my images, like the mirror or the layered jewellery.

The second two images are especially textured, I covered a sofa in gingham fabrics of many varieties and we see them strewn beneath the model. These photographs capture the idea that she has surrounded herself with a collection of things, like how you might comfort yourself. These repeated visuals of matching colours or patterns are a reminder of the personality that we each construct and things that we surround ourselves with, it's all part of identity I suppose.

The original title came from 'changed spaces' and I think that what I'm really exploring is how people change or adapt to their spaces or 'habitats'. I could have approached this in a very documentary style but I like to express themes in a visual way, matching colours and patterns to represent things within realistic contexts. These top four images were created in the model's home, mainly with things from there so there is a strong element of truth to the images despite their constructed nature.

My final two photos were taken at a local park, here we isolated elements which encourages the viewer to think about them in more depth unlike the more cluttered compositions seen above. They're more about colour and composition than deeper meanings in all honesty. You can see the beginnings of my works involving miniatures here as well, I love how I could show such different textures with the bright yellow coated with raindrops and tiny deckchair on top, there's a striking use of colour and shape with the graphic lines and contrasting tiny organic rain pools which are more raw. The chair is somewhat off centre but in a way that works - you see that a lot in my work, I love the symmetry of things but prefer something more realistic a lot of the time - throwing lines off kilter to restore a sense of naturalism. We can't control everything so why try too hard when it comes to your art?

Model: Charlotte Bull @charlotte_karin