There were many inspiring and revealing talks during the 4-day Photography Show 2017 over the weekend, not least of which was Lara Jade’s ’The Stories Behind The Camera’ on the Canon stand.
During her 40 minute talk, Lara took the audience through her journey from a shy 14-year-old school girl from Tamworth, to the internationally renowned New York based fashion photographer today.
‘Through my failure I learnt a lot of successes’ says Lara, which was a key theme throughout her talk.
Lara attended college for 2 years and then one year of university, but dropped out. She describes how her learning came from doing one personal project a week, practicing her use of natural light and composition.
Lara’s first DSLR was the Canon EOS 350D with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens – a lens she used so much, to the point of breaking the AF motor.
After starting her photography business aged 17, it didn’t take long for Lara to receive international interest, for clients like Harper Collins. She says, ‘If you want to be a fashion photographer, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. A lot clients were finding me purely through Flickr and key wording.
‘Do not ever underestimate the power of someone finding you on social media, because a lot of my opportunities have come through that.’ Lara Jade
With a penchant for shooting on location in abandoned buildings, hippy communes, farms and graveyards, Lara’s low budget shoots make the most of soft, natural light.
New York soon followed, a time when Lara says, ‘I was starting to realise why I was shooting what I do – I found this through early failures and experimentation. I like soft lighting, use of colour, more than one model together’.
Through showcasing a selection of her images during the talk – including behind the scenes pictures and the reality behind the pictures taken on location where the public often gets in the way – Lara provided plenty of candid tips and advice, especially about poses for fashion shoots and creating engaging images.
‘When starting out, shoot what you love and are personally connected to, and the rest will follow’ – Lara Jade
One thing is clear from her talk – it isn’t easy being a fashion photographer. The shoots themselves are hard work, while even for a big name such as herself, Lara has to relentlessly push her brand and commits herself to research the fashion industry trends, in order to get the jobs she wants.
‘Every fashion photographer has to make it work. To figure it out. We don’t produce magic. We rely on great teams – stylists, editors.’
‘With my editorial work, I show what I want to do. My vision as a photographer needs to be clear – I only show what I want people to see, and the jobs I want to be booked for as a photographer. You can’t do everything, but need to be a master of one thing.’
You can see more of Lara’s work on her website.