Poppy Marriott’s photographic interests began with music – “I got my start doing music photography,” they tell us, adding that “going to gigs was my favourite thing ever.” Coming from a “tiny seaside town in Suffolk,” the 23-year-old describes their photographic journey, as they put it, as “actually sort of sad.”
After being assaulted coming back from a gig, Poppy found themselves having panic attacks in crowds. “The assault happened literally the day after I shot my first gig and things fell into place from there,” they recall. “Sort of twisted, but I guess it all worked out OK?” Poppy’s determination has led them to study on an MA in Norwich, where they returned after completing a BA in photography in London – they “hated every second”.
Poppy’s identity as non-binary has great importance to their work, explaining that “in the last two years, my work has become exclusively portraiture or documentary work” with a focus on only working alongside “queer and marginalised groups” due to the importance “documenting my community (and my friends!)” has to them. As well as their community, Poppy also draws inspiration from films and photographers, including Charlotte Patmore, Daria Kobayashi Ritch and films; recently the likes of Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Little Women, jokingly adding “I’ll watch literally any film if it’s pretty, whether there’s a storyline or not.”
Almost entirely photographed on film, Poppy’s work is vivid and exciting – “I tend to shoot bright, ‘honest’, raw portraits of my queer community.” Explaining the development of signature visual themes in their work, Poppy says, “I didn’t realise I had a noticeable style until I published a recent project on Instagram and saw how cohesive my most recent projects look!” Their “biggest goal” is to portray “queer and marginalised people” in a light that is “exciting, happy and bold.” This is where we see Poppy’s sunny spirit bursting through in an entirely joyful and optimistic body of work. “I just want my pictures to look happy,” they add.
Poppy recently produced Rebellious Beauty for Getty Images, a project taken over the course of a single “joyous day” involving the queer community around “the topic of how they use or don’t use makeup to express their identity.” They explain that they gave “all six models complete freedom for their hair, make-up and styling and everyone interpreted the theme so differently.” It’s an experience Poppy goes on to describe as “magic.”
Inspired by Laurence Philomene, in their personal practice Poppy operated Shoots 4 Babes, an open studio photographing portraits “of queer folk for an accessible rate” with precedence directed at “people of colour, trans folk and people of low income.” By the end of one day, Poppy “ended up doing seven shoots” that were “full of laughter and joy.” They fully intend on repeating this exercise, saying “it’s definitely something I’ll be doing again!”
Poppy excitedly finds themselves “planning another project with Getty” alongside being in the final stages of their MA. Discussing future plans, Poppy concludes “I’m definitely going to be running more open studio sessions and I want to set-up my own studio in Norwich too! I need to finish my master’s first though.”
About the Author
After graduating from Winchester School of Art, studying graphic arts, Harry worked as a graphic designer before joining It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020. He nows works as a freelance writer and designer, and is one half of Studio Ground Floor.