London-based photographer Felicity Ingram is a steadfast film photographer, shooting primarily on 120mm medium format and hand-printing all of her images herself in the darkroom. “I hated the instantaneous approach to digital and love the anticipation of seeing my contact sheets after the film’s been developed,” Felicity tells us. Felicity’s practice is based in fashion and beauty portraiture, using the medium as a means to champion a natural and often unconventional aesthetic.
That’s not to say that Felicity’s photographs aren’t beautiful, though. In fact, beauty is the thing that pervades all her imagery. Bold colours are somehow made soft in her work and casting is clearly a particularly strong element of the process. It’s the idea of working with different people, different faces, which drew her to beauty photography in the first place. “I love doing stories with people (especially women) with strong opinions and voices,” she elaborates. “I make mood boards and concepts all the time and pick the best ones to shoot and I save interesting models and faces on my Instagram as well. I like to be inspired by the models.”
Felicity, who’s originally from Bath, didn’t take the traditional university route into the creative industries and was instead encouraged by “a really great photography teacher in my school” to head to London and start working as a photography assistant. It was on set that she learnt her trade and an interest in “creating visuals from scratch” as opposed to documenting what was going on around her led her towards the fashion world.
Asked how she would describe her practice, Felicity tells us: “My work is strongly rooted in female empowerment navigating between classic natural beauty and unorthodox bold portraiture.” These ideas give her portfolio a consistent tone of voice, which is furthered by her use of film and diverse casting. On top of these elements, Felicity’s images are recognisable due to her cropping. “I never use a tripod as I want to get interesting angles fast and have more energy in the images,” she adds, explaining how she achieves her idiosyncratic compositions.
Recently, Felicity took on celebrating Pride month in New York for i_D. A series of portraits which feature Felicity’s signature style, they document queer models who are “shaping fashion’s future”. “Brooklyn had such an amazing atmosphere of love and expectance during this time that it inspired me to shoot this project,” she says. It was this atmosphere which inspired her to reach out to several modelling agencies and gather together signees known as much for their “voices and outspokenness as they are for their beauty.”
An ongoing project of Felicity’s and one that we were initially drawn to upon seeing her portfolio is Flowers. A personal project, the series aims to highlight “the growth of women both internally and externally.” Using flowers in every portrait as a metaphor for this, the images are tender depictions of all kinds of women and a testament to Felicity’s ability to draw intimacy and sincerity out of her subjects.
Ultimately, Felicity’s portraits are a reflection of the people she chooses to shoot. By casting her net wide, she paints a diverse and eclectic image of what it is to be a woman, representing beauty in myriad forms.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.