F E A T U R E D  A R T I S T S

Megan Doherty

We've been admirers of Megan's beautiful work for a long time on 35mm and her recent switch up to medium format is blowing our minds, so we thought we should catch up with her for a chat about things...

Name? A/S/L?

Megan Doherty: 23 years old, female, Derry, Northern Ireland.

How much of your photography takes place in your head, and how much takes place in the moment? Do you go into shoots with a clearly story-boarded plan of the shots you want in your head or is it more of an as it comes thing?

In the beginning, I would set out to photograph with the intention of creating a specific scene that I had created in my head, however it’s simply impossible to create the vision in your head exactly - although you can get pretty close. There are always variables, but this is what makes it exciting. Something new takes place every time I set out to photograph - my subjects (or ‘characters’ if you will) always inspire me on set with something as simple as an expression, or gesture or even through interacting with one another. Therefore in a lot of cases, the photograph becomes as much as a documentation of them as a recreation of the initial idea in my head. This is the area I try to explore - the line between what is real and what isn’t.

Looking through a lot of your work it seems to me as though I'm looking at a lot of stills from the greatest film I've never seen - Is it fair to say that films/cinematography are a big influence on your stuff or does that feeling come from something else? If so, what kind of films are you into? Have you ever thought about making a movie?

Thank you! Film and cinematography are a huge influence on my work. There is a feeling that lingers after I watch a film that I fall in love with. It’s like any art form, if it causes you to feel, then it will stay with you long after looking at it. Films like Buffalo 66, Paris, Texas, Lost in Translation, Blue Valentine, Pierrot Le Fou, Christiane F. are just a select few that have created an impact on my work. To be quite honest, I feel like photography is almost like a stepping-stone for me. I feel as though it is all leading towards me creating films. I have so many stories building in my head that I want to share.

Diet Cola is the name of our zine - what's your favourite off brand beverage?

Anything with alcohol. 

What three tracks are you most into at the moment?  

Jackson Scott – PRPLMTV

The Pesos - Cumdown

Nipple and the Boobs - Ephemeral

Any words of advice on life for our readers?

I’m the last person that should be giving anyone advice on life.

Any other photographers you want to shout out?

I’m really digging the new generation of photographers; artists such as Olivia Bee, Marianna Rothen, Emily Beaver, Edie Sunday, Jennifer Medina, Bella Newman - and so many more - all deserve a shout out. 

How important is spontaneity? And how important is getting the results you originally intended?

Personally speaking, neither are important. All that’s important, is that, whatever you are photographing is compelling you to do so.

Would you consider or describe your work as feminist? 

I don’t intentionally set out to create feminist work, I just choose to photograph the people who inspire me and a lot of the time those people happen to be strong female characters. I will always be attracted to eccentric and free-spirited women; if that makes my work feminist then I’m proud.

Your photos capture what could be described as a feeling of youthfulness- what do you think you will be taking pictures of when you are 80?

I won’t live until I’m 80.

What is the biggest/best/worst/most surprising accident you have ever captured on film? 

When I was creating the image titled ‘Stoned In Melanchol’, my friend Charlotte had the role of the central character within the photograph. As I was looking through the viewfinder, just before hitting the shutter, a tear started rolling down her cheek. It isn’t visible in the photograph (apart from the glisten in her eye), but knowing that tear exists in that photograph makes it so much more powerful to me. 

Why do you take photos? 

To create the world I want to live in.

When are you most happy? 

Drinking wine under the stars with good company.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? 

How people treat one another. 

Is the world fucked?