‘Light is integral to my work as I use it as a way of exposing and concealing myself, reflecting how I feel at the time of shooting it allows me to hide or come forward'


Leanne Surfleet is a British photographer, currently based in Norwich. Born in 1987, she graduated with a BA in Contemporary Lens Media from University of Lincoln.

Leanne’s work is of a personal nature, dealing with themes of loneliness, nostalgia, anxiety & light. Over the last 8 years Leanne’s main photographic focus has been self-portraiture. Starting out simply through curiosity, capturing self-portraits has become a major part of her life and work. It has enabled her to overcome anxiety and fears over life & mortality. Using the creative practice of photography as a calming mechanism, and a form of escapism.

Her self-portraits explore dreaming, nostalgia, and loneliness.  Working predominately with analog and instant cameras. Including 35mm, medium format, and instant film. Her process involves her in every stage of development making Leanne’s work deeply personal. From choosing and experimenting with various film stocks, developing colour, and, black and white negatives. The aesthetic of shooting film plays a major part within her work, adding a dream like feel to the images, through the use of soft focus, colour casts, as well as the apparent dust and scratches that appear on her negatives, to Leanne they are all a part of the process and a part of the documentation of her identity, and her surroundings.

Dreaming states are a focus within her photography, providing us with a sense of memory and a familiarity that we can relate to. Her latest project, explores an anxiety that she has been experiencing while sleeping, after awakening, she frantically searches for light. She is lost in an extremely confusing state, with the unnerving feeling that she is dead and stuck in a state of limbo. There is a need to wake up and realise that she is still here. 

Leanne has been exploring this anxiety through self-portraiture, using double exposures, exploring the direct sunlight that casts darkness which envelope her surroundings.

Leanne’s work has been exhibited world wide in galleries such as Southbank Centre, Oz. Amsterdam, and Kiosk Gallery.

She’s been featured in numerous magazines such as Of the Afternoon, Lolita Zine, and FUSS.