An Interview with Lara Jade
- By Erin @ WPO
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The WPO caught up with photographer Lara Jade to chat about her experiences, achievements, what’s coming up and life in general.
Born in 1989 in the West Midlands, England, Lara Jade began to develop an early interest in photography when she received her first camera at the age of fourteen. Her early experiments focused purely on self-portraiture and fine-art photography, which are still an essence in her creative themes today.
At the age of seventeen, Lara opened her business ‘Lara Jade Photography’ where she began by taking on small creative industry clients, extensively building her portfolio, and developing a quick understanding of how to develop the commercial side of her business to adequately deal with the growing demand for her work.
Playing with creativity, fashion, and romanticism, Lara captures her subjects in timeless settings, allowing the viewer to embrace her work. As an avid user of social media, Lara’s modern media approach has enabled her to earn recognition in the photography industry as a whole. Her unique approach to storytelling is apparent throughout her editorial work and has become a point of interest of major companies worldwide, enabling Lara to receive a number of noted accolades and sponsors.
When did you first consider yourself a photographer?
For a long time I considered myself an experimental photographer - I felt it was important to experiment as much as possible in the first few years of my career (and to this day I still challenge myself with new personal work and projects). I started photography at the age of fourteen, but it wasn't until the age of seventeen that I decided to make the transition from photography as a hobby into a full-fledged photography business. I was naive, and a little hesitant to say the least, but I had passion and realized that was all I needed to kick-start myself into becoming a better photographer.
Do you feel you are treated differently considering your age/ gender?
I feel this happens but it definitely isn't something that discourages me from doing something I love. It's only natural that clients are going to feel concerned about young photographers shooting for bigger campaigns - there's a lot at stake, especially in the current economy. It was only recently that I sat down and realized that there aren’t that many female photographers within the industry, which surprised me! It is definitely male dominated - which I think is partly what makes people question a female wanting to do this job - but there's room for all of us, and I think females approach their subjects a lot differently than males. For this very reason, I find myself drawn to following the careers of several female photographers. I can't put my finger on it, but there's always something within an image I can relate to.
What is your biggest achievement?
I am proud of many of my achievements along my journey, personally and professionally. I wouldn't say there is anything I have shot that I am completely happy with as there’s always room for improvement, but I am satisfied with the results of my work. I enjoy collaborating and completing ideas, but I also love the journey - learning, meeting new people and getting creatively and technically better with each photo shoot. I became incredibly inspired after getting my first fashion editorial and cover in Canadian fashion magazine LUSH at the age of nineteen - I realized then that this was it, this was me stepping into the industry and I wasn't heading back!
What equipment do you use?
I am very much a believer that equipment is just a tool in the process of taking great photographs, so with that in mind, I limit my equipment to basics and use only the things I need to get the job done. I currently use the Canon 5D MKII and 85mm 1.2, 50mm 1.4, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. Lighting-wise, I rely on natural light or shaping light with accessories outside and in the studio I favour soft lighting, often by the use of one light. On set, I always set up my idea first, and bring in the technical part later. In my opinion, technicality only 'enhances' your idea. A photograph cannot exist without light, but a well-light photograph is boring without an idea.
What advice would you give to young aspiring photographers?
The best advice I could give to aspiring photographers is to get out there and shoot! If you have an idea, then try it out, and if you're not successful straight away, try again. Every shoot you do is going to encourage you to be more confident and although you may not realize it, you are learning each time you pick up the camera. Set yourself new projects, challenges and meet with other creatives. It is also important when you're starting out to get back up/help - if you have access to models and styling teams, your work will instantly improve simply because you've got help from all sides of the industry.
One of the most important things to consider when you've established a business is the way in which you market your work - remember that every marketing opportunity (if correctly linked to your work) is helping others recognize your work. Social media is a fantastic tool (and free too) so start by sharing your work on social media channels and e-mailing companies or magazines you are interested in shooting for.
Have you ever attend formal photographic tuition?
I think the choice of photographic tuition or educational should be left to the individual and how they learn. Each person learns differently and sometimes education can hinder a person as much as it does help. I myself have completed high school, as well as a diploma course in photography at a college in England; however, I later left my three year university course after a year because I felt that the program didn't suit me. I knew where I wanted to go, and so I decided to move to London and throw myself into the deep end so to speak. It wasn't easy, and it took a long time, but slowly my hard work paid off and my work started to receive recognition in the photography and fashion industry.
What can viewers expect to learn from your new collaborative educational tutorials with Joey L?
'LJ Vs JL: Photographer Shoot Off' is a collaboration is between me and Mr. Joey L The concept is quite comical - we are two rival photographers in a 'shoot out' trying to declare between us who the better photographer is, through a series of set shoot themes and ideas. Although the theme is fun, there's something everyone can learn from - it's packed full of shoot inspiration, lighting ideas, and Photoshop tutorials; it shows exactly how Joey and I go through the process of our shoots from start to finish. The DVD has taken almost two years to create as we filmed it on-and-off between our schedules and trips, so it's amazing to finally see it as a finished product! You can find more information at www.larajadevsjoeyl.com
What can we expect from you in 2012?
I think 2012 will be a fantastic year; already I've been on option for some amazing clients. I am most excited about my book being released at the end of the year. I can't release too many details just yet, but the content is simply an educational handbook for amateur and professional photographers alike to guide them within the ins and outs of the industry as well as referencing my own journey and personal opinion. I never thought I'd be given the opportunity to write, so this is an achievement for me!