This just in from 2017 graduate Reece Pickering.
This week, Lush Times photographer, Reece Pickering, reports on his recent visit to West Australia to visit a remote Sandalwood distillery which is benefiting the indigenous population, and delves into the illegal industry of felling Australian Santalum Spicatum. Reece has also been exploring how permaculture is being embraced by indigenous communities moving towards self-sustainability, and an Australian horticulturalist who is changing the way we look at the flora and fauna of the outback.
“My name is Reece Pickering, and I recently graduated as a 25 year-old mature student from the Editorial & Advertising : Photography BA (HONS) at the University of Gloucestershire. Prior to the course I was finishing a stint of travelling, driving through Western Australia in a beaten up Ford Econovan late July 2014. The van broke down a couple of weeks later along with my options, and assessing my life’s direction; photography had always been present in my life, I just hadn’t thought it was even a career option.”
“Less than a month later, I was at the University’s studios practicing studio lighting, post-production, but most importantly the creative direction of my interests, and how they could be incorporated into my work. This took me in the direction of stylised portraiture and creative reportage, the former allowed me to begin approaching national editorial magazines, the latter then allowed me to visit narratives that were remote and unique to what other photographers were photographing. I began to incorporate aspects of studio lighting into remote international regions, and this began to put my own interests and work into interest from potential clients.
Through the encouragement to follow personal interests as opposed to following ‘trends’ or ‘styles’, my interest in documenting narratives in remote and hostile regions has brought me to becoming a photographer and filmmaker for Lush Cosmetics Global. This has brought me into a full-time role, working both nationally and internationally for Lush working in remote and hostile regions, in the short two months I’ve been there, I’ve been sent to South-East Asia, and Australia, with upcoming trips around the world.”
Though the placement was intended to be temporary, there is a possibility that the role could now be permanent with me dictating exactly where I wish to go to next. It’s set me a foundation to document the kind of work which never would have been possible on a personal budget, and an approach to visual storytelling that has made my role unique; for this I am forever grateful for my time on the course, and to my lecturers and mentors who continually encouraged me to keep going. It’s a relationship I now have with the University which I can’t wait to see develop and grow.”
“The course had given me the tools to accomplish what I set out to do with my work, from 5X4 large format film processing, to exploring the new world of moving image, which is currently a large portion of what I do in my role. But these were merely tools in accomplishing what I set out to do, the real importance from the course came from the contacts provided and encouraged by the lecturers, but they worked with me more so as mentors in explaining the business side, and the industry itself. This carried through from the beginning of defining my area of specialisation, to the current start of my career, where lecturers from the course are continually supporting my journey.”