People, Places and Perspectives: Fanni Sutus

FANNI SUTUS

Photography degree students from the University of Arts London (UAL) London College of Communication (LCC) took part in a creative project to showcase the essence of Elephant & Castle. We spoke to one of the photographers, Fanni Sutus, about her images and inspiration.

Headshot credit: Mon Levchenkova www.monlev.com

What’s your name? And a little about you as a person (background, personality)?
My name is Fanni Sutus, I’m from Hungary and I’m 25-years-old. I lived in London between 2013 and 2018 and I currently live in Budapest.

What do you do now, and what are you hoping to do in the future?
At the moment, I work as a freelance photographer and analogue lab assistant. I do street and portrait photography wherever I go. I am also researching for my next social documentary project about Hungary. This is not the first documentary project I have worked on. I would like to carry on with my series called ‘Diamond Tales’. It covers charity-based beauty pageants in the UK. I started the project in 2016 and there is so much more to see and discover about this topic.

What did/are you studying at LCC?
I graduated from LCC in 2017 with a BA in photojournalism and documentary photography.

How did your degree help develop your career/what do you plan to do after LCC?
Studying at LCC helped me realise what I’d like to do within photography. I found my voice through the freedom of using different techniques, equipment and the continuous support of my mentors, Roger Hutchings and Jocelyn Bain Hogg. I built up my portfolio during the three years of my course and my final major project became the main body of my documentary work. I made good friends; we still help each other by giving feedback and support whenever we need it.

What did/do you enjoy about LCC?
I enjoyed the ‘one to one’ and smaller group tutorials with my tutors; they helped me to improve as a photographer and as a person. I also liked the flexibility and support of the university, which allowed me to work alongside my studies.

What did you enjoy most about Elephant and Castle?
Elephant and Castle has fantastic transport links and most places are within walking distance of the University. I also like the fact that you can grab a variety of meals.

What good photo opportunities are there in the area?
Definitely the people. There are so many interesting characters walking or travelling through the area and it’s all happening so fast – perfect for street photography. I also enjoyed capturing images of the many interesting and reflecting surfaces – especially in the morning light.

Preference: film or digital?
I fell in love with film photography when I got my first medium-format camera five years ago. I prefer to work with colour film (especially slide film). I found it challenging (in a good way) to shoot in a similar style on my digital camera.

How would you define the visual style of the area (heritage v new)?
I see many, many layers. It is layered with nationalities, architectural styles, traditions and lots of colours. It’s a great mixture of all of these and it makes the area visually interesting.

First memory of the area?
My first memory of Elephant and Castle is when one of my friends took me to a hidden coffee shop. It was magical, close to a garden and I think it serves the best Italian coffee in London!

How do you see E&C changing now and in the future?
I see Elephant and Castle becoming a more modern, safe and art-centred place in the future, without losing the heart it has now. I see it as an open and shared space of creatives, locals and commuters.

Favourite hangout at Elephant and Castle?
Sidecar Coffee Bar at Hotel Elephant. They have an event called ’Photoscratch’ from time to time where photographers can exhibit and talk about their projects with the visitors. My friends and I also used to go to ’Jenny’s’ in the shopping centre. There is something very charming about the decor – dark green chairs and simple mirrors. We also really enjoyed the fried egg on toast and the hot chocolate.

In three words, describe Elephant and Castle
Diverse, pulsing, vibrant

Do you prefer portrait or landscape? People or places?
I prefer people. They tell stories.

What is your dream photo shoot location?
My dream photo shoot location would be 1960s street in Budapest. I recently found many black and white 35mm rolls in my grandparents’ attic from this period and have been fascinated by them. I would love to see or document these scenes and people in colour. I now try to capture this vibe in the 21st century. One day, these streets will be gone or transformed, but that’s the beauty of it!