Lara is a fashion photographer in the making.  She has built her career as a photographer since the tender age of seventeen.  Now at age of twenty, she has made a name for herself. 

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me how your career as a photographer began?

Lara Jade: My first experience with photography came at the age of fifteen. I remember being introduced to deviant ART. An online art website during my school GCSE and at the moment of seeing how creative photographers could be, I immediately was drawn in and began experimenting on my dad's camcorder taking stills.

EFM: How long have you been a fashion photographer?

LJ: Fashion photography is something I discovered a little later on.  I have been shooting primarily fashion/editorial for around two years now.  Fashion photography is very open to explore new ideas.  I use this to create unique concepts.  My fashion shoots are usually 'out there' in terms of theme.  The themes allow me to explore on location and in studio.  There are no limits!

EFM: Who are your favorite fashion photographers?

LJ: I have many favourite photographers, all for different reasons.  Tim Walker, for his natural way of blending the impossible dream in a frame. Sølve Sundsbø and Miles Aldridge for their magical fashion shots.  Annie Liebovitz' fearless approach to her subjects, and Eugenio Recuenco, who needs no words at all.  I am also inspired by other media, including illustrations and paintings. There's no end to influence in an artist's world.

EFM: Can you tell me who gave you your big break into the world of ‘photography’?

LJ: Although I am classed as a young photographer, I have been working with photography for years. Constantly shooting and showcasing my work - for the past five years I've solidly been working on my portfolio and personal work, this combined with featuring my work through social media (Flickr, Deviant ART etc.) has gotten my work out to the world, thus giving me an opportunity to work with a world renown agency (www.sudest57.com) and many advertising and commercial clients, as well as editorials and fashion stories.

EFM: What type of camera do you use?

LJ: I am currently using the Canon 5D. I love the ease and quality from using Canon products.  I have used them since I was sixteen.

EFM: Do you prefer studio or location?

LJ: Both environments are challenging, but I prefer location simply because of the freedom you get from working within it. Again, it has no limits. Locations are endless. A fashion story/editorial can be created purely around the location.

EFM: How important is it to have a variety in your portfolio when presenting it to future work?

LJ: This depends on the client or who you are showing your portfolio to.  However, I will point out that it is good to showcase PERSONAL and COMMERICAL work in a portfolio.  Personal work shows how dedicated you are to work in your spare time.

A photographer should always test. I am constantly improving and learning new things by doing test work, you're always gaining contacts and you don't know where that will lead. The beauty of doing test shoots is that it can lead to strong contacts in the industry and potential paid work. Surely that's a benefit when it's a job you enjoy!

EFM: What is your personal style as a photographer?

LJ: I would say my style is fantasy/fashion. I love shooting fashion but I don't like static images - I like combining conceptual themes within fashion.

EFM: Do you find it hard to break into the fashion industry as a female photographer? If yes, or no, please explain?

LJ: Yes, it's harder because I am young and female. People tend to see the young photographer as a risk. It's understandable, but I have been shooting for at least five years now. I started my business at seventeen. I always give great results on photo shoots and I haven't had any problems so far (let's hope it keeps that way!).

EFM: What skills do you think that one has to have in order to become a fashion photographer?

LJ: Testing is the most important thing a photographer can do, especially with fashion. Your book needs to be improved constantly, keeping with the new trends. Get yourself a good team (stylists, MUAs, hair stylists etc). Contacts are VERY important and play the vital role in getting work and getting yourself known. You can be the best photographer, but if you don't have contacts you won't get the work!
Remember that nothing ever happens overnight. You need to keep consistent and fresh - always update your work on online profiles and keep your personal website updated.

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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