Holly McGlynn is a Dublin-born, London-living fashion photographer. A graduate from the prestigious Goldsmiths, University of London (where I also received my BA and MA from), she was nominated for the Irish Fashion Photographer of the Year 2014 and 2015.
Holly is fast becoming the ‘photographer du jour’ in the world of fashion counting her client amongst brands such as Grazia, Louis Vuitton, Matthew Williamson and UGG Australia to name just a few, as well as covering this year’s London Fashion Week.
Describe a typical day for you?
t varies a lot and that’s what I like about it. It’s London Fashion Week at the moment though so it’s all go.
This morning I spent shooting for a client at Somerset House, then I raced out to west London for another shoot, and I’m currently writing these answers en route to Somerset House again hoping I make it back in time for the Daks show!
It’ll be this level of madness for the foreseeable future I think. After LFW I’m back in Dublin to shoot an editorial then the day after I get back I’m off to Milan Fashion Week and possibly Paris Fashion Week too.
Plus another trip to Ireland in between for the awards ceremony (I’ve been shortlisted for Irish Fashion Photographer of the Year).
It sounds exciting but believe me, there are plenty of days where I’m just entering my monthly expenses into a spreadsheet or editing photos in my pyjamas!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
At the end of the day, I am really quite proud of the fact that I work for myself and earn my living from taking photos. I worked tirelessly to get myself into this position… and I work tirelessly to keep myself in this position too! But it’s all worth it as I love what I do!
I was nominated for Irish Fashion Photographer of the Year 2014, which was a great achievement and last year, what started out as a small photography project for Levi’s turned into a European campaign. It was a good year! I’m excited about my plans for 2015 and what this year will bring.
What’s in your handbag/satchel etc?
My camera! It’s so heavy I get pains in my shoulders from carrying it around.
A notebook filled with to-do lists, goals, and ideas. A book, I’m reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton at the moment . My iPhone, I listen to podcasts wherever I go – the commute, the gym, etc. I’m obsessed with the Woman’s Hour podcast. Most of my sentences start with ‘I was listening to Woman’s Hour the other day and…’
Also lipstick, I don’t feel dressed without it! Bobbi Brown’s ‘Red Carpet’ is my go-to classic.
What are your ambitions in life?
Career-wise, I want to shoot billboard campaigns for brands that push the boundaries with photography, such as American Apparel, Marc Jacobs, Sonia Rykiel, the list goes on.
Love, Elle, and Stylist are my favourite magazines so I would like to be contributing editorial to them as well.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Shooting the above-mentioned billboard campaigns!
What advice would you give a budding photographer?
Shoot, shoot, shoot! You can never shoot too much!
Make the projects you conceive happen and don’t find an excuse not to. Find a model (agencies are always looking to test their new faces) find a stylist, find a location and take the photos you want to take. If it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, work out why and try again.
Assist as much as you can and take as much learning from those experiences as possible. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. And remember, every photographer in the world, including those at the top of their game, has doubts about their work. You’re in good company.
Finally, happiness is…
My dad always says, ‘At the end of the day, all that matters is family.’ The simplicity of this statement is very powerful. Lots of things make me happy, very happy, but they fade to insignificance without family.
That said, don’t tell my dad I’ve started quoting him in interviews!