About three years back I was obsessed with the work of the young successful photographer Lara Jade. Although she works primarily as a fashion photographer nowadays, she started off as a fine art self portrait artist back in 2006. when the creative site deviantArt was the place to be. I watched her classes online and bought her book Fashion Photography 101, being very curious about the way she thinks about photography and life.
These are the top five things she taught me:
When posing models, she loves using triangles as compositional elements since they’re most pleasing to the eye. We can find triangular shapes all throughout art history and she uses them to her advantage. Limbs posed in such a way create interest because we leave negative space between them.
2. SOFT FINGERS
Ah, fingers! Who would’ve thought they’re sometimes such a pain to pose? We don’t really think about them until the moment we view a seemingly beautiful photo on the back of our camera screen, only to realize they look more like claws than fingers. Ever since watching Lara’s tutorials I’ve started paying more attention to fingers and if they look too strained, I’ll think twice whether I’ll keep the photo or not. Soft fingers are delicate and evoke the elegance and grace of ballerinas.
3. SHOOTING TWO MODELS
When shooting two models, their mutual interaction is what matters most. The way they lean against each other, walk together down the street or share a glance is what will make a shot work. I personally love seeing two similar-looking models on a photo and that’s why Lara’s casting really speaks to me.
4. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Lara’s setups are quite minimal. When shooting outdoors, she uses a scrim to diffuse light, while in a studio she works mostly with a softobox to imitate natural light which is her favourite. She mentioned that a lot of famous photographers used the simplest lighting setups and yet produced stunning high-quality work. So let’s keep it simple!
5. WE ALL START SOMEWHERE
As mentioned before, her teenage days were spent creating fine art pieces and her mum acted as a ‘tripod’ to help her make self portraits.
We all start somewhere; it’s the path ahead that challenges us to keep going.
Just look at how far Lara’s gone! And she’s striving for more every single day because it’s so important to keep learning and growing.