In the seventeenth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city, we feature Rebeka Ashton (@rebekaashton). Rebeka is one of my favourite photographers around at the moment, I love the detail within the images as well as the diverse subjects within the photos. Rebeka’s traditional portraits make a nice change from selfies! Don’t just take my word for it, crack on and see for yourselves.
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am a local girl with a normal job and a big passion for photography. I have spent most of my life living in Southsea and I honestly couldn’t be happier to call this place home.
Can you tell me more about your photographic experience; is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby that you’ve developed?
I have always been creative but as adult life was getting the better of me, my love for anything arty farty had started to slip away. This left me rather lost and searching for a new hobby. Photography became a big part of my life around a year ago and I started to spend a lot of time trying to learn the best way to use a camera properly along with Lightroom and the process from taking a photo to editing the end result. I really must thank my boyfriend as he has helped along the way with different techniques, understanding the camera and also letting me use his old equipment.
Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
My favourite piece of kit would be the Panasonic GH2 and probably the 12-35mm lens. The camera is over 8 years old but I’m more than happy with the pictures and it has been the perfect platform to learn with. I’ve looked at other cameras but really it is just a hobby at the moment and I haven’t yet felt I need anything else than what I have.
Exploring the theme of local, the south coast has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph?
I’m experimenting with different styles of photography and don’t want to just take landscape photos. So I’m starting to look at everything differently I suppose. I definitely have my favourites though and would probably say that the stretch from South Parade Pier down to old Portsmouth is my favourite area to photograph. I also spend a lot of time down at Canoe Lake watching the world go by. We are lucky to live by the sea and that Southsea looks so different through out the year, it is hard to get bored of going out with the camera when you live here. We have everything from the fairground to cobbled streets in Old Portsmouth that are all surrounded by the sea. There’s so much to photograph that I feel I’ve only touched the surface, I’m forever seeing loads of great photos from local photographers all around Portsmouth.
Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
From the beginning it has been for myself, but I would really one day like to do more with my photography and have started to take a mixture of photos varying from landscape, portrait to some food photography. So i’m now starting to think about the subject a little more and having more of a purpose behind the shot. It’s lovely to work with some friends to capture portraits that represent them and not just what I think looks nice. The same goes for restaurants and food and planning a shot. It mixes it up a bit and pushes me not just to walk around taking random pictures. In time i’d love to one day turn it into a profession, but for now i’m just enjoying learning and taking pictures I love.
Are there any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
I love the ‘one thinking man’ (Piers McEwan) – his style of street photography and portrait shots are really inspiring. Also my boyfriend is a big influence and always supporting me. He does a lot of filmmaking and helps me with all the technical stuff, he is also a drone operator and made a popular video in Southsea last year.
You can find out more over on her website: www.rebekaashton.com