Interview with Photographer Holly Wren

We caught up with Holly Wren, Commercial Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer, based in Brighton.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a commercial portrait and lifestyle photographer working out of Brighton, fresh to the seaside from 10 years in London! I work photographing a range of people, from travel portraits to celebrity magazine covers, and everything in-between! I like to say I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I obsess over straight lines, and am particularly interested in using light (and shadows) in my work to help tell the story. 

When did you realise you wanted to be a photographer?

About 10 years ago when I was working for a property developer, I realised I wasn’t getting the warm fuzzy feeling I’d got from jobs in the past. I wanted to do something everyday that I felt passionate about, even if that meant a reduce in income. I’d dappled with photography when I was younger as my grandad used a SLR and was interested in the theory of it, but it was around the age of 28 that I started to reassess what I was doing with my life and what was important to me. 

What has been the best photography job you have done to date?

Ohhhh, hard one. I love different jobs for different reasons. One of my favourite projects in the last few years has been photographing celebrities for The Princes Trust for a project looking at celebrating Young People in the Trust. The reason I loved it was the pressure! I was shooting them at an event and often only had 2 minutes or less with someone, which adds a whole dimension of pressure. I was also allowed to take it in my own art direction, so I got to use some gels and make some super lovely portraits, it really pushed me out my comfort zone and I’m really proud of the results. 

We love your personal work, are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m hoping to have some more travel projects on the go soon, but Covid has put the breaks on that one for a while! I’m really interested in visiting other places that are culturally diverse and different from life here for me, so watch out for more of that work coming as soon as I can get on a plane! 


Best piece of advice you would give someone working towards becoming a photographer?

Make sure you do it for the love. There are ideas that the job is glamorous and pays well but that’s not the reality. And you need to love it to commit the time and energy to be in market where you can live off being a photographer. It takes perseverance, sacrifice and dedication – so just make sure you’re doing it because it sets your soul on fire, then if you don’t make a fortune it won’t matter because you’ll spend your days being happy. 

What would be your ideal photography job?

Working on a large advertising campaign with a celebrity. So Beyonce selling a Dyson hairdryer?! Or something similar!! I’d also love to have the opportunity to be paid to do travel portraits – that would combine my two favourite things! 

If you had a free day in London to do whatever you want, no limits, where would you go?

I’d hire a helicopter and view it from the sky, I’ve never seen London that way and I imagine it would be an amazing way to see a city that I’ve explored on my feet for many years! 

To view Holly Wren’s photography visit: