Chanel Irvine was born in 1995 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She moved to Australia in 2001, where she spent the next seventeen years. After graduating from her BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, she moved to London in 2018, to complete a MA in Professional Photography at the Spéos Photographic Institute. Since then, Chanel has been working on a freelance basis, and has spent the majority of her time documenting the timeless rituals that accompany summertime.
As a documentary photographer, Chanel’s practice seeks to portray the power of human initiative, connection and contribution. Inspired by the importance of constructive, solution-based journalism, she embraces visual communication that empowers readers and subjects alike. Her stories often focus on livelihoods, environments and communities that are susceptible to change based on emerging trends, development demands and environmental pressures. Aware of the multitude of sustainability issues they face, she is particularly interested in the people and organisations who are working to make a positive environmental and social impact in their communities.
Using a retrospective lens, Chanel’s more personal work similarly reflects this tension between preservation and change. With an eye for moments she deems timeless, her observations consistently focus on scenes that are reminiscent of older, simpler times, which persist seemingly unaffected by the advancements that otherwise transform the world we live in. As a result, her photographs accentuate the “ordinary” - reasserting its importance as a photographic subject and highlighting the beauty that can constantly be rediscovered in the everyday.
Chanel’s work has been widely featured and published, and exhibited in photo festivals and group shows globally – in Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Haarlem, New York and Paris. Her first photobook, ‘An English Summer’, was published by Hoxton Mini Press in June 2022, and has been featured in The Times, The Guardian, BBC, The Face, and The Telegraph, amongst others. A number of photographs from the book are available to buy as prints by Millenium Images.