Take a trip to candy land

Becky in Candy Land
Becky in Candy Land

A Brighton photographer explains to Charlotte Harding about how her pictures transport people.

Art is known to take people to other worlds, whereas photography is seen to capture memories.

But for Brighton photographer Becky Netley she has managed to do both by combining her two passions.

“I have always loved art but I was never very academic,” she reveals.

“My teacher suggested that I focussed more on my photography, so I started to combine the two.”

The results of which have seen her transport children to faraway places or create strawberry hot air balloons.

“I really love doing the surreal work as I really love surreal art,” Becky says.

“Some of my favourite pictures are the surreal ones.”

Becky did a photography fast track national diploma at City College as she knew she didn’t want to go to university and she decided to go freelance straight after.

“Many photographers think it is about how high tech your equipment is but although I do think you need good cameras for me it is about being creative and artistic,” she explains.

Working with children Becky says that although she does do casual shoots the children can feel awkward so the fun, surreal element can help eliminate this.

“Kids never know what to do,” she says.

“So I will say to them pretend you are a superhero or something like that and they get into it.

“They enjoy it more as they feel they are playing and having fun.

“I have been photographing a little boy for the last five years since he was about two next to his favourite toy. Last year it was a minion, it has been lovely to be able to see how his personality has changed as he has grown up.”

In the past she has shrunk down kids to fight their toys, and transported people to fairy lands, but it isn’t just children that Becky has found relax when they are having fun, she has even been hired to photograph at weddings.

“I have only just started doing weddings,” says Becky.

“I just wanted to see if people would be interested but the few I have done love it as they love that they can show off their personality in their wedding pictures.

“So they have more traditional ones and then they will have a few more creative ones such as them being chased by a dinosaur.”

One of Becky’s latest photography pieces saw her create a Candy Land by hand.

She was inspired by Will Cotton who was the artistic director for Katy Perry’s 2010 music video California Gurls, which was based on themes and imagery from his paintings.

“I really like his work and wanted to recreate something like it. I did it all myself using real sweets, but then I couldn’t eat them because of the glue,” she laughs.

“I have had myself walking through it or I have put children walking through it, it is just really fun.

“People can also buy prints just of the empty candy land as well.”

In the future she is hoping to go one step further with this and use cupcakes, however she does admit they don’t last that long.

Her photographs have also helped her in her personal life.

“My photography has helped me with my own mental health I would show pictures of how I was feeling which really helped me,” she reveals.

“I couldn’t do it at the time as I would feel drained but afterwards I found it therapeutic. I wrote poetry and in journals but I never felt like I could share those whereas the photos I could.”

Talking to Becky it is obvious that she is happy she picked up a camera all those years ago.

“I love the variety of the job,” she smiles.

“I am so glad I did it.”

To buy Becky’s prints or to look at her work, you can visit her website beckynetley.co.uk

This first featured in the July edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.