LCN Story: Photographer Sanna Charles
October 2017


Sanna Charles‘ practice is rooted in photography. Graduating from the University of Brighton in 2001 with a degree in Photography and the UCL Institute of Education in 2015 with an MA in Art & Design in Education, she has worked for a number of music and fashion publications including NME, VICE, Dazed & Confused among others. She is currently teaching Digital Photography at the Mary Ward Centre and works with young photography students at Morpeth School and Sixth Form whilst pursuing personal projects in London and in Finland.

What’s the significance of the image you have chosen and how does it relate to your practice?
This image is from a new body of work exploring ownership of space and the spatialisation of social relations. It is a still from a film I recently put together which is showing as part of Salon 17 at Four Corners, all of the footage was shot at the house that my grandparents built in the east of Finland over the space of about three years. My photographic practice has taken a few different turns over the past few years, the most significant one being a move into video as a means to explore some personal themes around geography and authority of ownership. This video is the first part in a series which I hope to continue over the coming years.

What new medium or project are you introducing to your practice and why have you chosen it?
I think it’s a natural progression for photographers to move into video and one that I’ve been keen to develop for a long time. I am still learning the technical side and have just started to get to grips with Adobe Premier but to be able to bring editing into the equation has so much potential, it’s a bit overwhelming but I’m excited to see where I can go with it.

What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
I was feeling a bit lost as a photographer. I had just finished an MA and was enjoying doing a small amount of teaching but I hadn’t put any sort of commercial work I had on hold. I saw LCN as a good way to speak to others in the industry and to gauge what was going on. I think it’s important to have a network of professionals to learn from, even little things like sorting out your website, other people’s input can really switch your head back into gear.

What is the most useful advice or tips you’ve been given on the programme so far?
The most useful advice I received was from Four Corners’ Director Carla Mitchell in her ‘Writing Successful Funding Bids’ workshop: “Don’t bend over backwards to match the funders vision – make sure you hold onto the integrity of your project”. After that workshop I spent weeks researching grants and bursaries that might fit my project and with the help of LCN I received a Travel Bursary from a-n.

What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
I hope to continue with the projects I have started this year, more travel, more video, more photography. I just attended a great workshop on ‘Online Portfolio Design and Curation’ so I guess my next step is to finally get my website in shape.