Based in Northumberland, UK, Deborah Parkin holds a MA in Holocaust Literature. Today a confirmed artistic photographer, she expresses herself using medium format, 4x5 and wet-plate collodion cameras. Working with large format cameras allows her to slow down and connect deeply with her subjects. Born from a fascination for family stories and an obsession for the photographic image, her pictures explore the past and the present – childhood stories and memories built by the passing of time and captured on film for eternity.
5 Questions for Deborah Parkin
What is the one thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
My children, my husband, being able to create & the sunshine.
What would be your perfect day?
A walk over the fells in the Lake District, a pub lunch & finish by photographing with my large format camera down by the lake. Or a day working with the wet plates collodion process with loads of children in the garden.
What is the longest trip you ever took to make a photo?
I never travel far. All my images are local to me, in the home, garden, at the sea or the lakes.
What was the hardest image you ever had to make?
I think it was a wet plate of a little girl that is wearing a cat costume, sitting on a tricyle. She had refused to have her portrait taken for years & agreed when she saw other children getting wet plates. She came out with a black cat costume, pulled up on a bike – it was getting late, the U.V was going, exposure would be long. I didn’t think we could do it but gave it a go – it worked, beautifully – she was like a statue – I was delighted.
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer?
Being able to express my emotions into something visual. To create a beautiful object that we can hold & pass on to the next generation. Creating something that lasts longer than our fleeting moments of life.
My wet plates laid out on my studio floor
Me on location, photographing my children