A captivating photograph often tells a story. That story is – more often than not –the story of the one taking the picture. Sometimes the story is obvious, and sometimes not so much. It’s in that delayed gratification that we are able to explore the nuances –when we have to reach into the subtleties for meaning behind a photo. Lara Jade is a classic example of this and her images are a vivid interpretation of her life.
“I started at 14 taking self-portraits. I was that kid at school that was kind of withdrawn from everyone else and couldn’t filter my expressions into an art form. I had art in school, but nothing seemed to fit – in any medium… until photography. I was the first person at my school to submit a photography piece for a final exam… I was really shy as a kid as well. I used myself as a model at first to hone my skills…to push myself forward and to experience new things.”
“After I honed my skills, I got more confident to work with other people…and I’d never seen [photography] before in that kind of light. Especially being from such a small town, no one shows you these things. This new art community was growing online, so I used that as a way to get [feedback]. But I really developed in a bubble.”
Although she defined herself much earlier than most twentysomethings are able to do, the road still wasn’t easy. “I did a year of college which taught me the conversation of art. I knew I wanted to get into fashion, but I didn't know how. College is not very helpful with that - they give you the tools and the background, but you have to make the journey yourself. My teacher at college told me a way "in" is to be a photo assistant, but I could never imagine myself as that studio assistant pulling around equipment twice as heavy as me and running around for others! I knew that female photo assistants were not that common."
Some people go though life like a stone skipping over a pond. Some people have to begrudgingly trod though the bottom of that pond with weights around their ankles. For having success at such an early age, one might think Lara’s path is the former of the two. But like many successful people before her, she has failed. Repeatedly. But perseverance prevails when luck does not.
If one were to believe in fate, Lara Jade would be a textbook case of it. In retrospect, everything seemed to happen the way it was supposed to. The ‘weirdness’ manifested into the need for a creative outlet. Even the evolution of her own work from conceptual to fashion seemed entirely organic. “I think I just fell upon it - moving to London, starting to work with more collaborators, it kind of just happened. Now I‘m that obsessed with the clothes. I almost want to be a stylist, because I love the part of the stylist pulling and seeing what they turn up with on the day. That’s the most exciting part of the day for me.”
“I don’t like to capture reality when I shoot. I want something just a little different - that kind of fairy tale, unreal world. I want to give my girls characters. I just want to tell a story.“