Mandarin Oriental’s fan campaign photographer talks about her dream holiday, travelling on assignment, and favourite plane carry-ons

How often do you travel in a year and to which parts of the world?
Most of the projects I am working on at the moment are based in the UK, but the adventure of what I do is that plans can change. An assignment taking me somewhere exotic could be just around the corner.

On a plane, do you rest or work?
I rest, watch movies, eat and flick through magazines.

What do you always take with you?
A camera. I use different cameras depending on my subject, but I usually have a 35mm film camera in
my hand luggage, so I am prepared at all times.

What are your must-have carry-on items?
Ren lip balm and Aesop hand cream.

What do you like to bring home with you?
Fridge magnets. I’ve been collecting them for years and they always remind me of my travels.

What do you buy when you are abroad?
I don’t necessarily buy much, because I like to travel light, but I do enjoy eating out to get a feel of the local culture. Recently in New York I stopped off at EAT. I had a couple of slices of delicious raisin and pecan toast with peanut butter, and half a grapefruit – my perfect breakfast.

How does travel influence your work?
Travelling to new countries and seeing different cultures inspires ideas for my photography projects.

Do you have a favourite country where you have travelled for work?
I loved going to Japan to shoot Mandarin Oriental’s 'I'm a Fan' campaign. It was so different it was almost like being in a new world. The country has amazing history and such warm, friendly people.

What is on your iPod when you are away?
Podcasts such as Desert Island Discs, plus various playlists for different moods (on photo shoots I play anything from Jimi Hendrix to Tame Impala).

What books do you take?
Something like Madame Bovary, which I’m reading now. The character descriptions are so vivid.

What is your dream holiday?
Being with my family anywhere with a beach view, where I can listen to the waves and eat great food.

What was your most magical recent trip?
It was when I was in New York on a shoot with a female jazz musician I have huge respect for. We went on a day’s excursion around the city taking photos.

What do you like about Mandarin Oriental hotels?
The impeccable service, friendly atmosphere and the calmness in the rooms. It leaves space to think.

Is there a Mandarin Oriental that you like best?
I visit Mandarin Oriental, New York most often. I love the view from the lobby on the 35th floor.

What is important to you when staying at a hotel?
To feel looked after and have quiet after a busy day. I love the sanctuary of going back to my hotel room.

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