Photography Credit: Oscar May
I’ve admired Lara and her work for a few years now. I’m not only incredibly enthralled by her fashion photography and attitude to business (and a tough business at that!) but the fact that she found ‘fame’ so young (she started sharing her self portraits online when she was just 14!) and has achieved so much all before her 23rd birthday.
Photography Credit: Oscar May
Hey Lara, for those of my readers who might not have heard of you can you introduce yourself – who you are, what you do, your journey to where you are today?
Of course! I’m Lara Jade, a fashion and advertising photographer from England currently residing in New York City. Like many young photographers, I took an interest in photography at a very young age (fourteen, in fact) purely by realizing that every other artistic medium frustrated me! I found photography after researching other artistic communities online, and during my school exams I experimented with it for my final project and was instantly hooked! In the beginning it was for fun, I’d experiment with costumes and disguises, placing myself in front of the camera as different characters (a la Cindy Sherman!) which enabled me to hone my skills and build my confidence to work with models and bigger styling teams.
You recently moved from England to NYC, why did you do this and do you feel the move has benefited your career? What does NYC offer that London doesn’t? do you think you’ll stay there forever?
Truthfully, I was at a point in my life where I needed a change of pace and NYC offered this. I decided on moving there after visiting for the first time in February 2010, and realized the rush of the city and new culture was what I needed to regain my inspiration in my personal and work life. After my second trip to NYC in the summer of 2010, I worked hard on the goal of moving there, and a year later I was there! I can’t say I’ll be here forever, but you can never say never! I enjoy being able to have a home base and travelling from it, and it’s great to be in a place where there are likeminded creatives and a pulsing art/photography community.
What is it about fashion photography that you love and why did you want to shoot fashion instead of any other type of photography?
When I first started photography, I was only interested in conceptualized fine-art pieces and self-portraiture – something that offered meaning and was visually impactful. However, later on in my career; after having a taste of the London scene, I realized that fashion photography could have this effect too – it wasn’t just about selling clothes, it was also about selling a meaning or lifestyle, and so I combined the two things together, and started shooting fashion stories.
To many, fashion photography will seem like the impossible dream to work in, do you have any advice for anyone that wants to pursue this path?
I am definitely not going to say it’s easy! You have to develop yourself a lot personally and visually as an artist and offer something that is instantly recognisable – style is everything, and everyone is looking for the next big thing. However, if you have a great style and no networking, you’re never going to be noticed. Fashion photographers have to have a great body of work in their portfolio, as well as great social networking skills to be able to market themselves, so this is why it’s vital to understand the photography AND fashion industry as a whole.
You also have to be prepared for it to take time, this is normal – I invest a lot (of my time and money) back into my work, I’m constantly shooting new projects for my portfolio, traveling, and funding money back into equipment and studio time. You won’t necessarily see a return straight away, but as long as you understand this and you’re passionate about wha