Tag Archives: Poppy de Villeneuve

Dusk Until Dawn: The Poppy de Villeneuve Interview

Before my amazing Dusk Until Dawn walking tour around East London I chatted with photographer and film director Poppy de Villeneuve about her collaboration with HTC for their creative project. Basically we chatted about what inspires her photography, the amazing competition, and we bonded over our love for using our mobiles as a scrapbook.

If you aren’t familiar with Poppy let’s do a quick recap, she is the daughter of Justin de Villeneuve, the Sixties fashion photographer who discovered Twiggy, and model Jan de Villeneuve, and with a fashionable background like that it is no surprise that Poppy decided to become a photographer. Poppy has snapped and directed a number of amazing campaigns and projects including making the first Instagram music for The Vaccines as well as the incredible Ray-bans Raw Sounds, and has done a number of fashion shorts for Dazed and Confused.

How would you describe your new project with HTC ‘Dusk Until Dawn’?

The hours of dusk and dawn provide the perfect backdrop for striking photography – the HTC ‘My Life: Dusk Until Dawn’ campaign is a fantastic way to encourage people to take time out of their busy lives to truly appreciate the UK between these hours. We wanted to inspire people to capture their own personal images and to take the time to look at their surroundings in a whole different light plus they could win a trip to go to the Northern Lights, which is a pretty good prize.

What inspired you take part in the project?

What appealed to me most about this project is that inspiration comes from all different sources and I am kind of reminding people of that. It is important to think that if you are interested in something there is no reason that someone else might not be, I don’t think there are any rules and people need to be reminded of that sometimes. As it is My Life: Dusk Until Dawn, the idea is that you do the same.

If you are asking people to be inspired, can you tell me what inspires you?

Things that inspire me personally are often really quiet moments, generally things that have been left behind or not noticed, things that take a second look for you to see them, the more overlooked things. I am a big fan of a photographer called William Eggleston, the first pioneer of colour photography, which makes me not choose the obvious objects. But I also love shooting in black and white as I love taking the time out of it.

The project has been running for a few weeks, have you been impressed with the entrants so far?

I’ve been really pleased, people have done what I hoped and chosen things that aren’t expected. One of the most interesting so far was a picture of a roller coaster that was literally just in frame, it was taken out of context which creates a narrative. For me the photographs that I love the best are when I have to think about what it means, what’s going on, and you have to create a story around the details in the image.

Some photographers find it annoying that a smartphone allows anyone to be a photographer – do you enjoy using your mobile for snapping?

I do, and what’s great about it is that they are always spontaneous, I find my HTC as more of a scrap book or a sketch book of my life. When I am working I generally have a specific scenario but with my mobile it is a kind of freedom. I really like exploring and hunting and my phone allows me to snap a picture of say a chair and then find something similar in an antique shop. I also love that there are no obstacles with shooting with a mobile; I can’t always fit a camera in my bag, so being able to access a good camera on my phone is amazing.

I am a big fan of fashion editorials, do you enjoy doing them?

When I do fashion I do it in a film way and have it be more of a narrative and not so much straight fashion.  I just did a project for Opening Ceremony, it is a fashion story ultimately but it is a documentary of portraits of young athletes and they are all wearing their uniforms. That’s how I like to interpret fashion, I am not interested in just the clothes, and for me I want the clothes to be part of a story.

It was seriously lovely chatting to Poppy, seriously inspirational and I loved her bright pink Nike trainers. Don’t miss out on the amazing chance to go and see the Northern Lights as this week is the last week to take part in the amazing HTC Dusk Until Dawn project and the theme is ‘My Style’ – perfect for fashionistas – so get snapping. Don’t forget to tweet to @htc_uk using the hashtag #DuskUntilDawn.


Dusk Until Dawn: My HTC Adventure Around East London

Last week when the sun was blazing and before I was gripped with Olympic fever I went on an incredible walking tour around East London with the lovely HTC team and renowned photographer and film-maker Poppy de Villeneuve to test out the incredible HTC One S. I have learnt with experience that anything HTC do is generally amazing, they have a unique ability to showcase their phones to perfection, last year I went with the brand to New York for an inspirational tour, which showcased the technology firms people-watching customisation skills, well my fun night searching out the wonders of East London was the perfect way to test the new HTC One mobile, which boasts one of the best cameras on the market.

I am not going to go into too much of a review of the HTC One series, that is to come in a separate post, this blog is all about the incredible pictures that I snapped, yes all the pictures and videos in this post were taken, edited and shared via the HTC One S – basically I used all the filters, which are very similar to Instagram and I used the very easy to use pre-installed photoshop editing tools.

The tour, part of the HTC Dusk Until Dawn project, was full on inspiration, tons to see, tons to snap and it all started off at the incredible Pitfield London, which I hadn’t been to before but I adored. I am probably not going to give it justice with my gushing but the only way I can easily describe it is as an eclectic emporium mixing divine crockery, mix-match furniture, vintage finds as well as a seriously tasty cafe – the cakes were insane. I didn’t have a lot of time to snap, trust me I will be going back, but I took a few piccies of the amazing straw motorbike and the cute crockery – I really could have spent all night in there!!!

From Pitfield Street we wandered to Hoxton Square to see the weather art installation and to snap the sun worshippers taking up every bit of grass, it must have been amusing seeing our little group all wielding the same mobile ready to snap the action!!!

What caught my attention the most on the walk had to be all wonderful street art, regular readers to my blog will know I love a bit of graffiti if it is done well take my post from the French town of Augouleme, and snapping the creativity from East London made me think I was in New York with the large murals on the side of buildings. This is when my smartphone really comes into its own, granted a normally camera may take a better picture, but for me street art is spontaneous and I love how mobiles allow you to capture it with ease.

I tried out most of the camera functions from the continuous shooting to the portrait settings, and everything in between from the zoom, which is made easy with the large touch screen, to the very easy to use panoramic, and the low light setting, which basically inspired the Dusk Until Dawn project – the below sunset was shot on the low light and I think it captures it perfectly.

The HTC One also captures moving imagery very well, take the flame thrower that we met on our travels, this image came from one of the videos I took – yes you can snap while you record. It was also the perfect setting to test out the slow-motion setting on the video – see below I will certainly be using that more at fashion week.

What was amazing about this tour, other than being impressed with the HTC One S, had to be discovering East London an area I am definitely not cool enough for. I love all the back alley bars where the cool kids spilling out onto the road, the love fence opposite Shoreditch Station inspired by the Paris love bridge, the views over the city, and having a behind-the-scenes tour at tailors Timothy Everest, who has dressed both David Cameron and David Beckham was a real highlight.

I am not saying that a smartphone can replace my beloved Olympus Pen, what I am saying is that you shouldn’t comprise with photo quality while on the move. I an addict when it comes to snapping on the move, I took nearly 200 pictures over the course of the evening, not all amazing but there are some really incredible snaps that I plan to get printed. What I took away from the really fun night out with HTC is that creativity needs to be shared and this phone really helps me do that.

Fancy taking part in Poppy’s HTC My Life: Dusk Until Dawn photography competition and win a chance to see the Northern Lights? Well all you need to do is simply upload a photo taken on your smartphone from your city between the hours of dusk and dawn relevant to the weekly theme to @htc_uk using the hashtag #DuskUntilDawn. Find out more about the competition here.

Want to check out more of my images from the East London tour? Head on over to my Facebook Page.

**Big thanks to HTC UK, Fever PR and Poppy de Villeneuve for an amazing night.**