A Story Behind a Photograph by Georgia Hunt

A photograph of a person surrounded by newspapers and reading a newspaper.

A Story Behind a Photograph by Georgia Hunt

On Photography

Georgia writes about their photograph Read All About It

It’s the first summer after the Pandemic and I’ve moved into a flat in London with my best friend. We’ve known each other since I was eleven.

Said best friend, the woman in the photograph, is a journalist.

This photograph was taken in our shared flat. I was living there temporarily for a couple of months and one hot August afternoon I walked to our local tube station and collected a bunch of leftover Metros from the day before. The idea for the photograph had come to me the previous night as I sat and watched my best friend writing an article for work.

News is constant and always changing. Every day, when we get on the tube or the train or turn the radio on in our car, we hear the latest update in Government, the latest trend in beauty or the latest tragedy that is too quickly glossed over.

I wanted the backdrop for this photo to give a sense of entrapment. The subject sits at the centre of the photograph as the newspaper-covered walls give the feeling of the space closing in. The repeated pages of the papers allude to the repetitive, cyclical nature of the news and offer up a chaotic visual that helps isolate the central figure.

The setup for this photograph was entirely self-made. I used a white sheet as my original backdrop, shooting some profile shots to get into the right mindset. With the help of my best friend, we started dismantling the newspapers, setting the double spreads aside until we had a heaping pile of words. Using poles and strategically placed laundry airers, we adorned the metal with more white sheets and began laying out the newspaper spreads to best work out how to decorate the backdrop.

We mostly used pins and adhesives found in our kitchen to attach the paper to the sheets, stopping every now and then to remove a duplicated double spread and to cover up gaps. Finally, we were faced with a dizzying visual of words and colourful images. They appeared as if almost vomited out every way possible over these previously blank sheets. I was keen to make use of the papers before they were thrown away and – hopefully – recycled.

This photograph is important to me and my work in two ways. One, for me as a photographer, it was an exciting opportunity to work with perspectives and busy backgrounds, something which I had not previously attempted. I enjoyed the challenge of drawing a focus within the crowded backdrop. And secondly, this photograph reminds me of the incredible hard work my best friend has put in to be where she is now. She is the one person who has never failed to remind me that I can do whatever I set my mind to and the one person who encouraged me to pursue my passion for photography. Being able to photograph her and capture her in my own work is both a joy and a privilege.

A photograph of a person surrounded by newspapers and reading a newspaper.