Sanna Charles started building her career in photography since college. In 2001 she received her first degree in photography from the University of Brighton and later, in 2015, she graduated with an MA from UCL.
Over the course of her career, she worked for a variety of music and fashion magazines, including Dazed and Confused, NME, VICE, etc. At the moment, she is teaching photography to the young minds at Morpeth School alongside working on her own projects in Finland and in London.
Sanna says that music festival photography has always been a part of her life. Her father was a photographer and she got her own camera at a very young age. When she studied at school, she began learning the art and decided to follow this path when she entered university.
Her original passion was architecture and she loved photographing the urban scene. However, gradually her other passion took over. Photographer Sanna Charles started taking images of rock and punk bands having several lenses for concert photography in her bag. Eventually, NME noticed a new talented photographer and hired her. This was the start of her professional music photographer career.
She has recently published a book called God Listens to Slayer. Working on the photos for the book took her more than 10 years. In it, she has included the photos of the fans of this rock band, whom she followed as they toured with their concerts. She doesn’t use expensive cameras for concert photography, she pays attention to lighting. With her photography, she can transport you to the concerts and recreate the atmosphere before, during or after the show. This is the main feature of her style.
Sanna Charles has always been very serious about both aspects (music and photography) of her life. After having moved to London, she began attending the concerts of the Parkinsons, a punk rock band from Portugal. After working with NME for a while, she is now a freelance photographer for magazines like Terrorizer and Metal Hammer. She also worked with the bands like Sadistic Goat Torture and Moss on some album cover photographs.
In 2015, at the time she was finishing her master’s degree, her work took a more political turn. She has released a video titled Beating the Bounds, in which she shows and talks about Waltham Forest, the borough where she came from. The inspiration for this piece came from the historian Colin Ward.
Videography has become another art she wants to explore a little deeper. One of her ideas is to shoot a film about Finland, which is the country where Sanna Charles’ mother was born. However, she is never going to stop working with either music or photography. She wants to be able to use photography as a way to visualize music to help us understand it better.