Inspire: Meet the MFA Fashion Photographer of the Year Niall O’Connor
Q What time does your alarm go off?
N: My alarm varies from day to day, usually around 7:30am.
Q What’s a typical day like for you?
N: I start the day off with a coffee, first of many. I’m in my final year of study so there’s a constant flow of reading and research going on whilst listening to live renditions of Arctic Monkeys on Spotify. Because I spend the majority of the day studying, it’s good to have time for family, friends and my girlfriend, but always with another cup of coffee.
Q Tell us about your education / career route, where did it all start for you?
N: My photography journey, if you like a cliché, started when I was in West Coventry Sixth Form where I got my first ever in ‘A’ in photography. I then applied to study photography at university and haven’t looked back since.
Q What was it like taking part in the Midlands Fashion Awards 2018?
N: Quite daunting at first. I have never entered my work into anything where it would be judged for an award. Being from Coventry as well, it was nice that there was something like the Midlands Fashion Awards so close to home.
Q And how did it feel to be announced as the winner of your category?
N: Proud moment for sure. I’m always creating work but never with the intention of winning an award for it, so the feeling was something new, and something I can look back on with proud eyes.
Q What’s your career plan going into the New Year?
N: Heading into the New Year my thoughts will be focusing on my university work rather than my career plan as of now.
Q What would you say has been your most difficult hurdle so far?
N: I’ve found difficulty in thinking about creating work with meaning, more from visual inspiration. I’ve created images that aesthetically look pleasing, but maturing those images with a contextual element is something I previously found difficult. But I’ve found the change with practice through university, and personally as well.
Q Best piece of advice you have been given?
N: My Granddad once told me “do it when you can, while you can” that’s always in my mind. When opportunities open up I listen to that little line of advice and do what I can to enjoy the moment.
Q Is there anyone in the fashion sector that you think is inspirational?
N: I’ve never been fond of answering questions like this. I get inspired by so much it’s difficult to narrow down who or what.
Q After work you like to…
N: Watch ‘Law and Order Special Victims Unit’ – there’s something relaxing about trying to solve a fictional crime from my bed.
Images from Niall’s portfolio and from the MFA’s event by Garazi Photography