With a growing reputation amongst a talented Cornish cohort, Maddie Meddings is a photographer who has joined us on many shoots. The initial inspiration behind our new F2.8 Field Jacket, we sat down to talk about what inspired her to pursue photography and the importance of preparing for all weathers.
Maddie Meddings: Photographer Portfolio
Joaquin eyeing up the prize, visiting friends in Galicia.
What was it that first captivated you about photography, who was your biggest inspiration and what made you want to pursue it?
At the tender age of 18 my best mate and I headed to Mexico for our gap year, where we spent 6 months hopping between chicken buses, hitchhiking and surfing our way down the pacific coast. The trip ignited the spark for surf travel and I started shooting soon after, wanting to capture the adventures. I then spent a lot of time in Melbourne which has a huge film photography scene, so I got hold of a beaten up Canon AE-1 and got snapping.
Learning on film really helped me figure out how to compose a shot, as you've only really got one chance to get it right. I also lived with some freelancers at the time. I remember slogging it out at a cafe, getting home and then listening enviously about the days they'd spent creating and working on projects. By the time I got back to the UK an idea had started to form and it's just sort of snowballed since then.
The old stomping ground - North Devon on one of it's sunnier days.
A lone captain waits patiently in the bay of Positano.
Van trips in Northern Spain, a coastline littered with rivermouth peelers.
My biggest inspiration is a hard one, as there are so many... My mum's a mixed media artist and my sister's an incredible illustrator, so our childhood was spent making in every which way. They were a constant source of encouragement, advice and ideas for me. In terms of other photographers though, I really look up to people in the extreme sports space; Jimmy Chin for example - he's keeping up with the best climbers in the world AND shooting whilst doing so, how much talent can one person have?!
I really rate the photographers and filmmakers we have here in Cornwall too. I honestly can't even name them all, as there's such a big community of us now, but the level is just getting better and better and that keeps me inspired daily.
Luke Gartside and the Orkneys, exploring the furthest reaches of the islands we call home.
Below the surface, Leonor Fragoso enveloped in blue...
You're often outdoors all day, shooting in challenging conditions. How do you prepare, and how important does your gear become when working in those environments?
Your gear is the most important part of a shoot, without a doubt. I can have everything in place but If I'm getting wet or cold or uncomfortable then my focus is off. You can very quickly be snatched out of that wonderful flow state where all the magic happens. My preparation consists of obsessive weather and surf forecasting leading up to the shoot, so I know exactly what to bring: in winter that might look like a 6mm wetty and a flask of coffee, a solid set of waterproofs or maybe, if i'm lucky, some suncream!
Lucy Small clocking in some time on the nose out in West Africa.
Moments in Portugal, surfed out in a way that only ever really happens on a trip.
A second home amidst the snow, Zermatt and the evening light.