Actor and theatre practitioner, Sam Cartwright, has been exploring his newfound art form as a photographer. Sam ventured into photography as a way of keeping costs down when needing promotional photographs for his theatre productions. Now, he takes headshots and portraits for his friends who are actors, which was his latest project at Copperdollar Studios.
Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?
So I’m actually an actor, that’s what I’ve wanted to be for a long time and am currently in my third year of training at the Brighton Institute for Contemporary Theatre Training. But I’ve always loved creating my own work. I’ve written and put on three of my own plays, most recently The Art of Caring at Brighton Fringe and I aim to continue on producing my own work in the future.
What was the project you were working on at Copperdollar Studios?
Since I began producing my own shows, I learnt that you’ve got to do a lot of things yourself to keep costs down and paying photographers is a really substantial cost when you’re making low budget theatre, so I decided to learn to take my own photos. This grew into a real passion of mine and so the project I was working on at Copperdollar was taking some actor’s headshots of some friends of mine to use on professional online platforms.
How did you hear about the studio space?
I did a quick Google search of spaces available in Brighton and there she was with plenty of recommendations.
What is your favourite aspect about Copperdollar Studios and what makes it different from other spaces you may have used in the past?
For one, I love the name – such a cool name. Aside from that, I loved the feel of the space, it felt like a creative space. It has a really unique vibe and a character that other studio spaces lack. Plus the textures on the wall made for some really juicy photos.
Can you recall a memory when you fell in love with photography as an art form?
When I first took my new camera out for a spin, didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I loved the look of people’s faces when you’d show them a great photo you’d just taken of them.
What particular styles are you attracted to most as a photographer?
I’m pretty much dedicated to taking portraits. I love telling stories with photos and people’s faces can tell a million stories. As I’m pretty new to photography I’m only just starting to develop my own unique style, so I’m just having fun experimenting with different things at the moment.
Were there any artists or photographers you admired who particularly inspired you and your work?
There’s a great photographer called Brandon Woelfel who is incredibly creative with props and lighting in his photos. His work is really vibrant and interesting and I aspire to create portraits with a similar unique feel.
How would you encourage others to pursue photography?
All you have to learn is how to use your camera in Manual Mode, just get to grips with the basic exposure triangle then just get out there and shoot. You learn that no one really knows what they’re doing, don’t plan anything too much, just be confident in your ability to wing it and you’ll come out with some bangin’ photos.
Where could we see more of your work?
I’m only on Instagram at the moment, which is sam_withacamera.