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FOCUS: Sarah Hogan

17 June 2020

SHogan BBD cover copy

© Sarah Hogan

Interiors Photographer Sarah Hogan and Interiors Editor Emilio Piemental-Reid met whilst assisting on shoots many years ago.  Fast forward and a dream project to produce a book has come to life this week with the publication of Bold British Design.  Having gained access to the homes of 21 top British creatives the book records new ground in interior style and decor.  Read our interview with Sarah below where we find out about her love for interiors and how this materialised into building her own location house aka home!

SHogan BBD cover 2 alt

We’d love to know what lead you towards being an interiors photographer?

When I was young, I emigrated twice, from Ireland to the US and then on to England. My family were always moving house, so the make-up of whatever space I could call my own became very, very important to me. I became fascinated by how objects and light build up to make a scene, and by my late teens I started to photograph the results.


SHogan BBD Hal

 © Sarah Hogan


What has been the most incredible interior space you have shot to date? 

In 2008 I was given the opportunity to photograph Ballyfin, a 5 star hotel which is not far from where I was born in the west of Ireland. The marketing manager asked me to document the painstaking restoration work being undertaken by the Irish National Trust, and I got to wander around this incredible space for three whole days with valuable paintings still in bubble wrap, drills on the floor and hand painted silk wallpaper being hung. Capturing all that artistry and workmanship before it was ‘finished’ really was a dream job.


SHogan Ballyfin

© Sarah Hogan


Congratulations on the release of your collaborative book Bold British Design. How did this commission come about and can you tell us about the process of working on a book? 

Emilio (my co-author) and I first met as assistants on shoots for Elle Decoration, and have since worked together on various commissions. A few years ago, we met up to brainstorm test ideas and we both mentioned that we really wanted to produce a book. We approached Quadrille (a publisher I’d already worked for) with some ideas, but then I became pregnant, so it all went on the back burner. But while I was on maternity leave interiors photography took off massively on Pinterest and Instagram, so our desire to capture bold British design was even more relevant when I came back to work. Now two years later Emilio and I are so grateful that Quadrille embraced the idea and trusted us. Their design team and the head publisher were all involved and helped immensely. It felt like the perfect team effort and we are all very happy with the result. 


SHogan BBD Lucy

© Sarah Hogan


Did visiting the homes of the top British creatives influence the interior of your home, which has just been shortlisted in the RIBA 2020 regional awards?

In a word, yes. The book features studios and homes that are all different and all unique, and these beautiful places brought it home to me that you should fill your own space with what you love and what makes you happy. Now that the house has been shortlisted, I’m delighted that the many tradesmen and women involved can now showcase what they’ve achieved. The house is also now available as a location, which is pretty exciting too.

SHogan BBD Yinka

© Sarah Hogan


You have been instrumental in the resurrection of the f22-Women Photographers at the AOP group, can you talk about the experiences in your career that have inspired you to address the present inequality

I have been a member of the AOP for 20 years. I got my start assisting and working with some very kind, hard-working photographers both male and female, who have always supported me and still push me to achieve, and they are all still great friends.  But I’ve had some negative experiences, like clients assuming I was only there to help until I got my camera out. I think there’s still a prejudice that photography is a male profession, and that women photographers are the exception. This felt even more acute once I’d had children. I was doing my best-ever work but I felt isolated and found it very hard to rebuild momentum. So I wanted to get involved with the f22 to help inspire confidence in up-and-coming female photographers and show them that while a career in photography is tough for anyone, being a woman shouldn't stop you or make you feel you that can’t do it. That’s why I value the f22, and it’s really come into its own during lockdown with its live events.


SHogan AwardsStilllife

© Sarah Hogan

As a long-standing member of the AOP what does it mean to you to be a member?

Like many photographers I work from home, and in the last few months that environment has gone from often feeling rather lonely to feeling pretty intense all the time, filled with three kids 24/7. In both situations the AOP has been a brilliant resource. The webinars, breakfast talks, newsletters and guidelines are informative and empowering. To belong to a group of people going through similar experiences, who can share their knowledge & expertise and provide a reassuring voice is worth the fee. I genuinely think that we are stronger together and can all empower each other, and this period has only made me even more certain of that.

SHogan HGStilllife

© Sarah Hogan


View more of Sarah's images in Find


Purchase Bold British Design here 

Published by Quadrille and co-author Emilio Piemental-Reid


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