A photo of people bathing in calm, blue water A photo of people bathing in calm, blue water

Dip a Toe into Hazel Gaskin's World

By Kelly Turner

Although interested in photography from a young age, Hazel Gaskin didn’t have the option to study it while growing up in Ireland. So it wasn’t until she was 19 and took a trip to Japan, her first “proper camera” in hand, that she discovered a love for the craft.

“I just couldn’t stop taking pictures,” she recalls. “I was there for a month and found everything around me so inspiring. That’s when things fell into place and I decided it was what I wanted to do.”

Rather than go for a degree, she began working as an assistant to photographers, gaining experience on the job until she was ready to strike out on her own.

Examples of Gaskin’s editorial work.

Today, Gaskin works as a photographer and videographer in London shooting fashion and other editorial work. She describes her style as documentary, seeking to find the beauty in the real world. It’s an aesthetic she brings to her fashion shoots as well. “Editorial work is usually a team effort, so it’s about forming ideas together,” she says. “But I always try to make it feel real.”

While tight deadlines can require a digital workflow, when possible, Gaskin prefers to shoot on film.

“The colors feel like they have more depth,” she says. “There is a density to it because it is a physical thing. It’s also nice—when shooting personal work especially—as it gives you space from the image. With digital, you take the picture, look at it, and analyze it straight away, pick it apart. With film, you capture a moment; you instinctively know you have the picture and move on. When the film comes back you have such a feeling of satisfaction.”

Gaskin is drawn to beautiful light, and to the energy of her subjects, particularly those who look like they  have a story to tell.

When looking for inspiration, Gaskin heads for the beach. “I love working by the sea,” she says. “I grew up by the beach in Dublin and spent a lot of time there. The people there feel real and honest. I want to go to places that haven't been taken over by exclusive beach bars.”

Her beach series is one of her favorites. “They are so personal,” says Gaskin. “They resonate with me. I feel happiest when shooting these.”

You can see more Gaskin’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram.