It's been a while since we've featured a professional Pentaxian on our homepage, but today, we're happy to bring you an article about Charis Talbot, a talented model photographer from the UK (forum username CharisVega)! Throughout the biography you fill find many samples of her work. We're happy to have her as our first female Pentaxian!
When I was a child I was obsessed with books and stories. My parents photo albums to me were a story to which I didn't know the words. I spent hours looking at old weathered black and white photos of almost forgotten family members trying to work out what they could tell me, hoping they'd surrender their secrets to me. My love of imagery blossomed in my teenage years when amongst my random doodling it appeared I had a startling talent for painting portraits. I went to university to study fine art but soon became disenchanted with painting. Photography rescued me.
I learned photography using my dad's old army issue Yashica and spent endless happy hours in darkrooms tinkering. During my last year digital became a ‘thing’. My work was mostly photographs of abandoned houses in the rural countryside of Wales, I did do a few portraits here and there but because they didn't look magazine standard I wasn't interested and we didn't have Photoshop to experiment with.
After graduating I took the (not so) obvious choice of working in finance, singing in bands, modelling and generally ignoring my degree. This was mostly because I didn’t have any faith in my own ability. Eventually five years later, I’d got a job managing a small photographic shop in the Cotswolds. I was sitting in the repair workshop cleaning out a mouldy lens and thinking about the ‘professional photographers’ who came into my shop and suddenly I knew I could do better. I knew I wanted a Pentax K-x as they were my favourite models to demonstrate to customers. The Pentax rep popped in around this time and recommended the Pentax K-r.
I was immediately sold as it came in white and I loved the features. I believe when choosing a camera it’s a little like Harry Potter in that the wand chooses a wizard and a camera chooses the photographer.
I use old Pentax A-series lenses I have nabbed from charity or second hand shops. Or have even been given people's old lenses when they've upgraded. My lights are secondhand, my beauty dish was a lucky gift and my props are usually made by me or happen to just things I have lying around. When people make faces at me when I say what camera I use and tout their 5d Mk IIs, etc., I just smirk inwardly because my little K-r does just fine for me and my work is very well received across the globe. I do want to upgrade soon though for the extra pixels (requirements for magazine publications).
For me my photography is influenced by Victorian paintings and illustrations in dusty old fairytales. The upside of my time at university is the endless hours of art history- they have taught me how to critically approach an image. My projects start with a feeling, song lyrics, paintings, a colour or the way the sun is coming through a window. My ideas are abstract but the end result never is. I want my images to be evocative, mysterious and charming.
Please give me site a visit at www.charistalbotphotography.co.uk!
More sample photos:
Click on any photo for a larger version!