Lara Jade's Background
Large a day is a fashion photographer originally from london, she now lives in new york. She started her business at age fifteen, and she has quickly become a very, very well known photographer. She is one of the hardest working women that I know that she has gone into the editorial commercial world, and she is going to teach us how to do that, and she is a beautiful human being. Please come on out large a field, but I'm really happy to be here again every time I come in, you know, really honored to be chosen to come back each time and teach to you guys and you guys in the audience as well, so I'm ready to go, but we are honored to have you here, so we're gonna let you just take it away right away. Thank you. All right, so I want to give you a little introduction, teo, where I came from my end story, how I started in the industry as a fourteen year old photographer. Now, following from that, I'm going to do my presentation basically on the ten steps to success within the industry, and ...
these are steps, which I take on a daily basis, you know, every week, every year in a business plan on what I've gathered from things like getting published to getting models do you know I'm kind of having that kind of confidence to reach out there, to not feel entitled to take your time? Tina, what to expect from the fashion industry, but hopefully take that on board in your own careers as well, whether you shoot weddings portrayed. So anything I'm going to say today, hopefully is a little piece that you can take on board. So I started a fourteen year old photographer in the west midlands and those of you that don't know that's, a small town in england, about two hours from london. Andi, I grew up being very shy teenager I would say on while I was studying for my gcs is my exams at school. I came across photography because I was researching was actually doing like a painting project at the time, and I couldn't find my medium. I knew I had a creative I, but I was frustrated that I couldn't put it down on paper. So while I was doing my gc sees always doing all this research, and I came across photography on a website called, I'm sure many of, you know, deviant art dot com, and I said to myself, wow, I didn't know that photography could be so creative I just assumed photography was landscapes, portrait dc, it like the local studios, weddings and so being me fourteen year old shy little girl I was like, what can I do? So I asked for a little camera for christmas from my parents I think it was my fourteenth birthday they gave it to me I was really happy but I don't have any models I knew that I liked created photography, but I have myself and that was it. So what I did is I started to use myself in images, but inside of you know, just being me and the identity you see today it was me taken if step further and using wigs using things from charity stores, thrift shops, anything I could get my hands on, I'd actually at this time my studio with my mom's bedroom and that was simply a really big window in her room and I used to lie on the bed take different angle is a shots and that's how it started and I'd rely on photo shop to take it to the next level because I wasn't interested at the time and getting everything real in camera. What I was interested in was that fantasy world that I could take it to you within photo shop so here's a few examples of the self portrait, so this was actually some old hands I found it like a prop store again super cheap like they were like five dollars or something like that so again, I would take it to that next level plain with makeup on myself and at this time and I kind of hit on it a little yesterday but I was bullied at school and I kind of in a way like self portrait didn't just help me technically, but they help my confidence and maybe understand who I wass even though was disguising myself it was some time you know, we were talking about validation yes that's how everyone wants to be validated and feel beautiful in front of the camera will that for me was my validation of okay like I fit in, I'm not there spread person people were telling ma'am so it going gave me the confidence to move forward. So at this point I was posting my work on dvr flicka many other websites that are out there that have that kind of community and I got a lot of constructive criticism and it also was great for inspiration and to understand how to get out there so again using photo shop using textures so from the ages of around I would say fourteen to sixteen probably early seventeen this is my thing I'd use myself but then I started to think how can I push this further? What do I want to be is the photographer I don't want to be a self portrait artist this is it means to go into something else I kind of learned lighting fruit, you know, natural light in my mom's window are outside. I had no idea about life, I had my first tungsten studio kit, that I had no clue how to use it, so I decided to take on board this kind of stalled toe freak, conceptual photography, so I was my first model was actually came from model mayhem. Some of you will know that it does take a while to kind of look through wingate the right mind. We'll be talking to a little bit about that later about how to get models, but I had a few muses, and if you starting in photography and you go through this, having a muse is so important, and it doesn't have to be a model could be friend, I I would have friends like painting with a clown face I'd like put tears down their face, you know, fairy wings on them, and even though it wasn't technically great, I was learning with everything I was doing so I would take concepts. I would take the last bit of money in my bank account and I would take the train to whales in the uk and I would take models to the lake, over the road from where I live, I come from a very working class family, my mom and dad were very supportive, you know, you hear that all rich kids kind of making it in the industry that hasn't been may I've come from nothing, and I've kind of every bit of money I got within my business, I put back and invested, and I still do that today, and I'm going to be talking a little bit about the investment side later on, but what happened here is it was simply you can create beautiful images with no money. I'm a fashion photographer, and it may seem like I have huge budgets for things, but sometimes there's no budgets with editorial, sometimes there's no budget for conceptual work or your commercial jobs, because the clients expect that if it's an all in budget, you're going to pay for all of the equipment out of that. And if you want to make a really good shoes for your portfolio, often you'll invest all of that money because, you know, it's gonna pay off further down the line so I would have friends dip their heads and cold fish tanks. I had really, really nice friends, the friends like grew up way. Then again, you know, I haven't spoken to her in a while she was going to be best friends, but you think these people will open to my ideas no matter how crazy they were, if it was freezing cold in winter when the lake was like, who flooded over the road from where my mom lived, I would take friends out or even clients because I started my business. Seventeen puri free, myspace and all those online community is always on about. People were starting to see that I was getting work, and I was producing this conceptual work, so it attracted dances, active bands and what people wanted is a conceptual portrait of themselves, so by putting it out there immediately, I started to get the attention of those kind of people, but I was still working on these personal projects and ideas cia I had clients going the lake with hardly any clothes on, and they were up for that, so I was targeting that audience of quirky people that I just wanted a beautiful image and they didn't care what it took to get that and that's what you need in the beginning, you don't always need models. I would love to go back and not use models and just have the whole just mean they the person who I'm shooting the subject take him out into the forest to have a good day, take some lunch, take some candy, you know, come back, have a have a drink together and have a laugh about it because that's, what personal work is about you shouldn't always get tied up in the commercial side of money side of things having fun and created is actually the best thing is a photographer. So with these port, its again a client, these air to clients of mine now what they don't want if they don't want an image that shows their faces, I would take those alongside just so they would have something, but these clients would come up to me and they'd be like I've brought this wardrobe. Would you be able to shoot me and have something I can hang on a wall? So if you like conceptual photography and I know there's been a lot of great conceptual photographers on creative lives, brooke shade in, they have a really great way of attracting this kind of audience, but also to make money from this kind of thing. A lot of people always ask, how can I market this and it's a hard one to answer? Because really the fashion industry doesn't like the creative side of this, they don't like pushing it, they want to be relevant, they want their status in the clothes, the status of the models. So to earn money from these kind of things, it's all about book covers it's all about those personal client she target. So whilst I was posting my work on deviant art for constructive criticism, getting inspiration and also abusing my friends in the process of trying to get get them in lakes and fish tanks and out in snow in the cold, I started to get and this was simply by keyword, in my images say, like girl near lake like fantasy and even putting book cover in harpercollins and random house and all those big names in the industry contacted me free deviant art, and this is when I felt I really had my first break because I felt like, oh, my work is good enough to be published. It was that validation I'm printing on a book cover and it's the same I never like I always remember the feeling I got when I got there, I get when I get a cover of a magazine today and it's so exciting to get that kind of tears. She and again, I'm going to be talking about those tear sheets and why it's important to have those kind of editorial and published work in the book as well. So here's a few more examples, so when I'm doing but covers and I still do today, but I don't always put them in the portfolio because it is far from what the rest of my portfolio is in a lot of my clients I don't like to see me to spread out and doing too many different things so these were two that one on the left is a commission but cover so I gained the trust of random house and harper collins early on by working with them and they would license images from me they see online and then this one yes this one is a licence than they would commission me to say the star cross book because they understand you know trust me to go out and do these kind of shoots so they would give me a big budget to go out to say noel these places that I would invest in in the early part of my career and what was great about that is it was about I say eighteen nineteen years old I started to take an interest in fashion I found photographers that eugene you're accusing cone or tim walker and it was like they do conceptual but they all city fashion and something about I'd always been interested in the fashion industry no everyone tells the story of something about it just kind of clicked and I thought how can I make these two things combine now at first I was like why doesn't this happen for me straightaway like what have I got to do so I actually packed my bags decided to move to london I kind of with yeah I kind of went toa london expecting again oh, I'm here you know things can happen really quickly I've just got to meet a few editors are going to meet a few fashion editors I'm going to email them everything kind of workout and it didn't because I went that feeling like everything was mine and everything was supposed to come straight away I didn't understand the industry now if I'd have gone to a workshop if I'd have gone tio you assisted for a while I would have understood that in and out of the industry now eighteen I'm coming to london no, sorry nineteen I'm coming to london, I'm trying to like make all this happen I'm paying far too much rent when I can afford in a small basement apartment in north london and I'm trying to build my portfolio but I have no money to invest because all of its being taken on I'm sure that resonates with a lot of you here you constantly fighting where's the money coming from you know I went back to my mom's house tail between my legs and I was broke I had a really bad time to go live in my little sister's bedroom with all my stuff packed in our house like all over the place and I'm sure she still has that in her house today but what was great about that is it kind of made something click and that was it doesn't matter sometimes it's about you've gotto understand it takes a few years to build that portfolio tio educate your eye and understand what it is in your work the clients want to see because you're not going to know straight away what you want to shoot again you've seen the evolution of my eye and the evolution of how my personality and how means that person has grown within my work you can see it takes a few years to get that and while you're doing that a lot of people say to me should I quit my jobs and I say no because as long as you're investing into your career every time every month taking that time and not feeling like things she just come your way then you're going to get them where people are going to start noticing you okay so I just wanted to show you like how the fashion photography side of things is kind of evolved in my work and how I've gone from that so the work I do today is I would say not too far from like my conceptual I I don't just like shooting fashion fashion I like having an idea behind it whether it's the emotion whether it's selling a product but making it quite surreal it's in the girls I used its in the teams I use is with the stylists I use every person that is involved in the shoot bring something to the team so it's not just me carrying a bag of clothes into the forest with a friend even though that was fun or getting them you know toe lie in the snow while I take photos of them for an hour it's a really panned shoot well I get a model in a team together and this is a portfolio piece that clients will see a commercially viable because there's a brand which is the clothing but there's also something that sells it to someone so my work today exists both in the commercial industry which is fashion designers it's campaigns it's advertorial is which is simply advertising products within the big magazines like ellen vote that you say but it's also the editorial spreads like smaller independent magazines but also the larger magazines as well and I still do a lot of personal work I still test and I'm gonna be going over the definition of testing and all that as well to give you a bit of an insight but what I started to notice over the evolution of being nineteen to worry I'm a twenty for today I say that like I've been doing that for ten years but really I got always round myself not thirty twenty for further what I like about it is I started to notice and I always have to look back and remind myself when I get frustrated on like you know like for a long time in I go back and I'm like oh I see a progression and that's never going to stop coming together like that's never going to stop happening I'm always going to be progressive and that's why I like to shoot if I invest two thousand dollars a month into my business into you portfolio work into projects it's making me look busy and making yourself look busy online and in person automatically tracks clients to you and it's the same with tear sheets you never know who's looking in that magazine tear sheets of the gateway to get commercial work so things like this a cover it's an instant status in a magazine so it's like that's a validation for clients that want to book you they say oh well her work has been good enough to be on the observer magazine she's oversea to knows what she's doing you'll be surprised how many clients I go to and I'm twenty four and they never realize who I am when I'm in the meeting room and I get into the meeting room and talked for my work and the like oh you know the stylist I'm like no I'm the photographer and you just go you go back to my portfolio and bucket it again please like so that always happens I always know it's gonna happen some always prepared but this kind of work on what I notice is I didn't just like shooting one model anymore I started to have the interest of composition with two models with three models I started to know it notice I was interested in pastel colors so when spring summer clothing would come around and it was a colorful and it was bright it matched me in the summer in the in the winter I'm dark and gothic and light leather and where big boots in the summer I'm like bohemian and pastore's in color and it's like again if you see yourself in your work and clients see yourself in your work you will instantly get bookings for jobs and the editorial is because it has to go hand in hand clients want to know about you and not just the product you put out there so as well as shooting just fashion photography and just for the product I liked to shoot stories so it's not just ok there's a model they're sitting on a window stillness and caps this story wass okay so what I try and do in the fashion industry is I have to keep in with the trend's not only am I a photographer I also am researcher for go install dotcom model satcom who's going to be the next model what's the next clothing what was just on the catwalk for chanel? What was on adachi? What was taguchi I'm looking and I'm thinking ok fifties fifties is coming back how can I make that something to work with and it's almost like a playground of inspiration for me. It gives me that. Ok, next year that's coming around again when I get excited and I'm starting going from my head in new york, where can I shoot? Where can I take this? And all? The team comes together and I get cast my model based on the theme, and then we produce stories that are kind of like narrative it's not kind of like girl walking down the hallway and she needs it's kind of that hint of a story into, like how things go and not all stories in fashion going to be that way we shoot on backdrop, so I'm gonna be doing a demo later where we're shooting a beautiful backdrop. How do we make that interested? How do we make that a story? So this is a really interesting thing to do when you're shooting fashion stories. It isn't just about the model in the clothing, and if you can look deeper into that you khun engage the viewer by the emotion casting has to be correct, the clothing has to look great. The team needs to be working together to create beautiful images, and it'll be in the same place. You're the one you're the creative controller of the shoot unless it's for a client a lot of times the fashion editor can be that person who's, creative control or the attitude when you're in a magazine shoot but that's why I like to shoot my own work sometimes because that is essentially what I want to put in my portfolio and that's the product that I want clients to book me for in the next job so it's important to think how does it come to play? So was talking about trends, so this is the daughter a collection I was obsessed with and I'm obsessed with their clothing every year I always like china favor away of how can I get it's really hard to get their clothing and that she got a great pool letter, which is basically a magazine sends a stylist a letter saying it's going to be published but it's all about the status of that magazine, whether it worked for audience so there's all these technicalities that kind of get in the way, but when you finally get to shoot it and you're excited about it it's like a dream like when I got to shoot this and I got the studio for the location for a really great fee, I got the models I wanted my team, we're really excited I saw the clothing I die I was like, I love this's what I want to shoot forever so I'm always bugging my size and they're like really going to try and make me get don't I can't get that I can't get that for you know that and I'm just like please but it all has to come together and as long as you're inspired by what's in front of the camera and you inspired by the theme I think everything just fits in it clicks now you don't see those mistakes in my portfolio you don't see those areas where I badly cast it model I badly casted a stylist spice hadn't delivered on there and the makeup just looks really bad be honest sometimes it just doesn't like the model could be really tired or hung over from the night before she just not into the clothing you've got I think that's when that happened so that's why I do a lot of shoots test so deep personal work because those successful shoots will be the gold in your portfolio the more you shoot and it has to be carefully planned you can't just shoot anything you have to always keep moving forwards this was um a shoot I did in l a for the observer and they've gained their trust over the last few years by shooting a couple of shoot through them early on and now they take me to travel stories and what's great about that is we have fun in london, we do not have a son half of the time in new york, we have the two extremes right now. I'm terribly disappointed that there's no sun because spring summer is out in new york and went new york and london when it's cold and then pull models like when it's hot there in fur and jackets so it's like and let there's not a lot of budgets in editorial anymore, to fly you to these luxurious places. So when I get the opportunity, I'm trying to think of how I could put that into play. So when we were on location in l a for the shoot again and you'll be surprised all these big magazine companies do this the biggest magazines you're thinking of right now get you in a car, they book a cheap hotel, get you all in a cairo cramped tight starbucks like spilling out across your lap. You get to the location, which is pretty much something they've scouted the day before. It's hot pull model sweat in she's tired, he flew many about two hours sleep from coming in from new york and you just drive around and you just get out the car you going? Run and get to that car and it's like that could be someone's house but we right in front of it take the shot and sometimes it's that like moment that you capture so sometimes it isn't that plan because it's just not viable for the magazine it's just not you know that there is the budget there, but no matter what the budget is, you've got to make it work. You'd be surprised at how many big photographers make it work and pretty much no budget because they know how to capture the moment and they know howto handle the team. This was a shoot I did in peyton may in he was last film and again I had a really great opportunity sheet for a really big magazine I was a producer, of course, because they're in europe and I was also the model castor and I was also the photographer and I was also so I got there, I managed to get a life got in the day before got the model is in everyone to come in the night before it's like a military operation is like if this doesn't work, this is like a huge budget, this is an opportunity I'm going to ruin so I put everything into this I went and got all the props the day before, I didn't get a lot out of it in terms of budget but what I got out of it is a status in a magazine and a beautiful shoot that was put together because it was carefully planned. So it's important, even though people opinion peanuts for something, what is the benefit to you? And how can that work in your portfolio?