Canadian photographer Laurence Philomene goes by the principle of portraying people in their best and most authentic selves. Like her rainbow palette, humans, no matter the gender, race, sexual orientation, or walk of life, are of all painted in different, multiple shades.
Read our exclusive interview with Laurence here in Lomography Magazine.
Hi Laurence! Welcome to Lomography Magazine! Firstly, we commend you for beautiful and thematic oeuvre. The first thing we notice is you use pastel colors a lot, especially pink and blue. What does this say about yourself as an artist, or a person?
I went through a really big pastel phase a few years ago, I think because at the time I wasn’t seeing a lot of those colours being used, I was in school and trying to do everything my teachers were telling me not to do, basically…. What this says about me is I still listen to sum 41 a lot. Honestly though I’ve always loved colour, it’s what attracts me to any image. These days I focus a lot on orange, pink, purple, blue, yellow. I just want to brighten everyone’s day a little bit if I can.
Your series "Non-Binary Portraits" strikes us the most, no surprise there for the gender-breaking preconceptions, that nothing in this world is black and white. May you tell us more about the project?
My non-binary portrait series is an ongoing project I’ve been working on over the last year-ish, where I photograph my friends who are non-binary. The concept behind the series was to collaborate with the models and ask them what their ideal self is/how they would like to represent themselves and then plan a shoot around that. The photos aren’t meant to define gender per say but more so give a space to non-binary identities in the photo world.
Labeling people has been part of our culture, ever since the olden times, now our world becomes more diversified. What do you think we people can all learn from diversity?
I think that’s a really big question! I don’t think our world is becoming more diverse per say, maybe just becoming more aware of white, hetero, cis supremacy, but "diversity" is nothing new, it’s been here all along, people with marginalized identities have been here all along. I think for a lot of people it’s uncomfortable to pop that bubble but sometimes discomfort is necessary to confront our biases.
As a person away from the camera, how do you see yourself (if you're not on the job as a photographer)? May you share us a brief self-portrait using words?
I see myself as a small human, growing, learning! Trying to let go of my fears. Sleeping a lot. I’m by myself a lot these days, it’s kind of forced me to learn to love my own company. I’m a triple Gemini, there’s a lot of duality in there, I’ll often be working on a million things at once. It’s hard to see myself away from the camera because photography, directing, curating, is in everything I do. When I’m not working, I’m with my friends, loving a lot.
Where did you get the inspiration for your photography?
It’s always evolving - right now the inspiration is definitely my friends, fellow young queer artists, introspection.
Moving on to the technicalities of photography, what element do you usually search for in a 'good shot’?
Visually, I like simple images, generally most of my photos have a pretty straight forward, centered subject, obviously bright colours. Colour tends to be the most important element of a photograph for me, if I don’t like the colours then I probably won’t like the photo.
What's next for you? Any upcoming project or work-in-progress?
Right now I’m working on my first solo show which will take place in Berlin in May in collaboration with Curated by Girls and will feature my entire non-binary portrait series :)
Read our first feature of Laurence here. If you can't get enough of her stunning portraits, visit her website, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram for more of her works. Images are with permission from Laurence Philomene.
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