Simon: You were a model in the 80’s can you tell us about that. What made you go into modelling?
Liddie: I was approached by a model scout in Manchester who’s connections were with Bookings agency in London. After an initial meeting & a few photographs later I was promptly sent to Milano just in time for the spring summer collections. Initially this wasn’t a great success mainly as the fashion industry was still incredibly glamorous, I was competing for work with the likes of Jerry Hall, Iman & Marie Helvin all of whom were the epitome of glamour. Fortunately also at this time a photographer named Bruce Weber had just emerged, his representation of beauty was the complete opposite, no makeup natural hair & not a belted waist in sight, suddenly things were about to change. One afternoon a friend of mine had a casting for Vogue Italia & suggested I tagged along, yet again I had no appointments & not much else to do so I figured nothing ventured nothing gained so off I went & surprisingly got the job. This was the change, from Milano I moved to Paris, from Paris I moved to New York, I spent time in Tokyo & Germany & so forth & so forth. I have been incredibly lucky throughout my career I’ve worked with some of the worlds leading fashion photographers such as Paolo Roversi, Albert Watson, Tim Walker, Koto Bolofo & of course the wonderful late Peter Lindbergh all of which have had a lasting impression on my own photography.
Simon: You did the dog photos for us last year which were amazing! How did the process differ regarding this years imagery with the boys?
Liddie: Both offered different challenges, I have an absolute passion for animals so the key here was non other than patience. All the dogs used in the previous photo session were very familiar & therefore very compliant albeit I hasten to add the odd piece of cheese helped immensely.
As for the boys they were simply young & beautiful there was not a lot that could go wrong, the only issue I had was the fact both boys wanted to wear all of Simon’s jewellery in one single shot & I think they got pretty close. You can put Simon’s jewellery on anything or anybody, you can wear it on mass or be selective either way it will always look fabulous.
Simon: Did you have a favourite piece of jewellery ?
Liddie: Difficult to say really the spiders were fantastic as they are such statement pieces & Jamie carried them off perfectly whereas the small pins on mass which Finley wore on the jacket lapels were also incredible.
Simon: You said you wanted to shoot the jewellery on real people why was this?
Liddie: I love portraiture, I like shooting real people & to choose the boys not being models I felt I would get something extra. With the right direction you are able to mold there’s a naivety, there is the unexpected. Sometimes when you use a model it can be just another job, I didn’t want that.
Finley is actually my god son & Jamie is his best friend, both boys are seventeen years old they looked fabulous & were an absolute joy to work with hopefully we will be able to work together soon on future projects.
Simon: The boys did look amazing! How did you get into photography & how much of an influence did your modelling career have on it?
Liddie: I have always had an enormous interest in photography so for me it was a natural progression, I am what would be said as a self taught photographer but in my opinion I’ve had the best tuition ever, I’ve met some incredible people I have travelled extensively & have been exposed to so much. I think subconsciously throughout my modelling career I have absorbed a part of many different experiences all of which play a role in the making of who I am & what I do, I consider myself to be extremely privileged.
S: And how does your modelling career influence you as a photographer?
L: I spent much of my career in Paris, New York and in Tokyo. And I think you absorb so much subconsciously when you're a model because you see such wonderful things.
Great architecture, great countries, great people, great clothing and everything. You subconsciously absorb all of these things and all of these things have an absolute reference to how you do photography yourself. So I think for me it's lots of influences from all over the place that I've just sort of I've taken on board without even realizing it. It's all relevant in what I do.
Photography: Liddie Holt @liddieholt
Hair: Howard Harrison @HowardHarryHarrison
Models: Jamie & Finley
Special thanks to @Tallulah Islington
Loved this interview. So good to hear the personal stories behind all the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes to bring B&W’s amazing windows to life!!😊