FEATURING: Lara Jade
WHAT OR WHO DO YOU FIND INSPIRING?
I am constantly finding new sources of inspiration; I like to think I'm an open book when visiting galleries, watching movies or researching artists but I am a big believer that your work should be a reflection of one's self. One of my favorite quotes has to be by Tim Walker "You take inspiration from whatever moves you and you find your voice in those things". Trends are what drive most fashion photographers so for me that would be 20s, 50s, 60s and 70s styling and from there I begin gathering my inspiration. Over the past few months I have been traveling regularly for work opportunities (this year I've already been to London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Costa Rica). Every location I visit gives me new inspiration and I often re-visit locations a second time around with a fresh set of eyes. Lately I have been most inspired by California and 50s/60s trends. I am constantly thinking of new ways to approach the whole time-warped motel/hotel and retro looking model idea!
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVE PROFESSION?
I don't have a groundbreaking story but I have a journey. I fell upon photography at fourteen during my final art exams whilst researching creative photography - I found other mediums immensely boring and I could never get the idea in my head onto paper. I was a dancer from my late childhood to my early teens and the costumes and styling aspect inspired me more than dance itself. When I discovered photography it felt right - using a point and shoot camera (a year later a Canon Digital Rebel) I would shoot self portraits inspired by Cindy Sherman and Sarah Moon. My early body of work was experimental and I would hone my skills using myself as the subject as it was how I felt most comfortable. A couple of years on I transitioned to become more of a conceptual photographer shooting friends and clients in various natural locations in my local hometown in Staffordshire, England. The themes were always elaborate and far from reality featuring large props and heavily processing to turn reality into fantasy. From there, I developed into a fashion photographer because I started to get more interested in trends and collaborating with styling teams.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST THING YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH PROFESSIONALLY?
I don't like to look at mistakes or setbacks as negative experiences. If I learn something from a situation then I see it as guidance to set me back on the right path. As a young photographer who started her business at seventeen there was definitely quite a few set backs in the beginning - especially with the feedback I got within the industry. Age and experience work against you. However, some of those setbacks really helped define my style. One of my favorite quotes is 'Never get comfortable or comfortability is the enemy of innovation'. It's very easy to take those early successes and rest on your laurels but the best creatives are constantly wanting to improve and to look for new ways to attract new clients. Take feedback from everyone, whether negative or positive and look for ways to improve upon it.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I've never had a long term mentor (apart from my mother - thanks mum!!) but there's a few people that I am inspired by and who have helped me along my journey. My agent in Europe, Andrea Blood of Blood & Co Artist Management has really believed in me over the past couple of years and has given me honest feedback and advice whenever I feel like I'm coming to crossroads in my career. Some of my close friends are photographers and we regularly meet up and discuss our careers and the level of encouragement I get is really helpful. One of my close friends is an inspirational woman who is not afraid of giving you a kick up the backside when you need it - photographer Sue Bryce.
WHY DO YOU LOVE ADHESIVE?
In today's industry everyone connects digitally - chatting over social media, text and email. There's closer connections to be made face to face and its more enjoyable. I really enjoy the concept of meeting new (and familiar) creatives without the pressure of meeting for the sake of working together. Sharing experiences over an activity or a drink is sometimes all you need to get some inspiration!
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