Lara Jade is a British fashion photographer who describes herself as a creative, an escapist, and a daydreamer. Having always been supported in artistic endeavours by her creative parents, she developed an interest for photography at an early age and quickly turned that into a successful career. Her work, which has appeared in Elle, Vogue, and Nylon amongst many others, is largely influenced by cinematic narratives, color and elegance, as well as elements of old masters in painting and romantiscm. We caught up with Lara at The Cabanas at The Hollywood Roosevelt during her recent trip to Los Angeles and found out how she got her start and why laugher is so important to her.
My name is…
For work, I:
Am a fashion photographer
When I’m not working, I like to:
Research, storyboard and plan shoots, watch movies, have good conversation with friends and my boyfriend over dinner. Down time is important and like every artist I am always reaching for that 50/50 work/life balance. It’s not easy in New York!
Top three essentials to pack when travelling?
Large Chloé sunglasses, a black fedora, an assortment of day-to-night jumpsuits and way too many shoes.
First thing you pick from the mini-bar?
Kettlecorn. Although I have to say, I always miss a good old kettle and strong British tea.
What’s your favorite thing to indulge in on vacation?
I love dining out and trying new restaurants. I also get excited about finding unique clothing pieces in boutiques. I recently found a beautiful beach bag in Tulum. I always like to take something memorable home from a trip.
Most Instagram-worthy spot you’ve found at The Hollywood Roosevelt?
The poolside. If you wait for golden hour you can get a really cinematic image. The Garden provided a secluded area to get creative shots. Although this time I am in front of the camera, I am always thinking of locations I would choose for my own editorial fashion shoots.
What’s your poolside style?
An embroidered or lace beach cover up, kimono or colorful dress. Something effortless and bohemian.
What music is playing as the soundtrack to your stay?
A playlist of easy listening music with a sultry vibe that pairs well with the California landscape. Like Lana Del Rey, Say Lou Lou, Lykke Li and lots of upbeat indie remixes of old classics. I love Say Lou Lou’s ‘Stayin’ Alive’ cover.
What did growing up in the UK teach you, and what inspires you in NYC?
I still have a business in the UK and travel back regularly for work, so I never miss it for too long. For me, the UK will always be home. I had a very memorable and fun childhood and was encouraged to be creative from a young age. My mom was a make up artist for Mary Quant and my dad was always very creative–painting, drawing and encouraging creative outlets for us kids. I decided to move to NY for a change of scenery when I was 21. I visited friends for a few years and decided to try something new and never looked back. The city is so inspiring–brimming with amazing creatives from all over the world. It’s such an international city. You can easily fit into NY if you find a community. The people that I surround myself with are like family and I have a great support network.
How did you get into fashion photography?
I found photography at a very young age. I was 14 when I picked up my first camera and my first discovery and inspiration was self portraiture. I developed my style quickly as I was both in front and behind the camera. Online communities such as DeviantART and Flickr were a huge inspiration and encouraged me to later try out fine art photography. After a few years working with publishing houses for book covers and working in Milan with my first fine art agent I decided that fashion photography was more for me. Collaboration for me is everything when it comes to producing work. I love seeing an idea come alive. I get excited about new trends and the process of going from what I see on the catwalk become a mood-board, a conversation between a team and model and later a final product.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t take life for granted. I had appendicitis at 16 and was very ill. After two weeks in hospital and the doctors telling me I was very lucky to live I decided to turn my passion of photography into a business and only a year later I turned my business into a hobby. Since then, I have always reminded myself that living, laughing and creating is important. The importance of creating work for you is important. Family is important. Friendships and community are important. Value everyone around you.
Lastly, what is your favorite thing to do in bed?
After a long day of shooting or working it’s important to laugh and keep things light, I like to go to bed in a positive state of mind so I usually like to switch on Netflix or YouTube and and watch ridiculous things. I can never get enough of Karl Pilkington in An Idiot Abroad because the comedy is close to home.
- Story by Ariel Katz
- Photos by Che Stipanovich