Similar styles, the same affinity with film, and a common love for film: Lauren Ruth Ward and Angela Izzo have a lot in common beyond their romantic and psychedelic aesthetics. Lauren has been taking photographs since she was 14 and recently decided to dedicate her life to music in Los Angeles. She crossed Angela's path, a photographer and filmmaker with whom she instantly connected, in 2017. Although both from the East Coast, it's on the West Coast they met and started working together. This past summer they shot a series together, with the La Sardina, Diana, and Lomo'Instant Wide.
Hey girls! It's great to have you both together at Lomography! First off can you tell us how you both met?
Lauren: Angela and I met at the old Tower Records store in Hollywood. I was there performing for a photographer’s 30-year anniversary show. Angela introduced herself after I played, she was sweet! We shot shortly after and the rest is history.
Angela: I remember briefly meeting Lauren in 2017 at a photography show at Tower Records in Hollywood. As a music photographer, I went to a lot of shows, I'm always searching for a voice and performer that strikes me. When I heard her voice I was in awe, I got goosebumps. I was like “who is that girl?” We arranged a photoshoot shortly after, her a Scorpio, me a Pisces, both from the East Coast, an instant bond was formed.
How would you define each other’s style?
Lauren: I would define Angela‘s photography style as imaginative and rule-breaking. She was the first photographer I met who purposefully did not advance their film all the way, creating a continuous double exposure. This was on her Lomo Diana. She gets lovingly attached to her subjects, they, I, become her muses. She’s always down to shoot whenever and whatever comes to mind.
Angela: Lauren is amazing to work with, she really knows how to interact with the camera and our flow together is magical. I love hearing her ideas and new ways she wants to experiment together with photography. Painting on the glass, incorporating different objects in front of the lens. We are both very structured and spontaneous fast working go-getting powerhouse women. She is a master of many trades and so talented in many forms.
Do you often collaborate together?
Lauren: We collaborated a good bit! Even my busier tour years when I’m not home long enough to play dress up, Angela has come to many of my shows to shoot. She’s great with behind the scenes as well as the conceptual stuff. We usually go with the flow. Sometimes the only thing we have planned is a prop or a location. We also both love experimenting with treated film.
Angela: Ever since Lauren and I met we’ve been collaborating together. She had me do a cameo with a group of friends in one of her music videos, I’ve done single album art with her, plus she’s been in art show installations as one of my main muses and even performed. In the beginning of the year I co-curated a photography show in Downtown, Los Angeles where I invited her to show a piece, her first time showing a photography print. Every time I come up with an idea or vice versa we show up for one another.
Can you tell us about this series of pictures you took together?
Lauren: Angela came over to hang out and take some photos of me. We were playing it by ear, she ended up having a good bit of exposures left so I asked if I could take some of her. This shoot is actually my first time shooting Angela.
Angela: For this series, I loaded up my cameras and I had a few shots left in each one. Since our schedules get so busy we try to catch up whenever we can. I went to her place and started to take pics, then she was like “can I take some of you?” A spontaneous flow. We went for the “Don’t think just shoot” mentality. Finding the magic and working with that.
The pictures look both psychedelic and romantic at the same time. Is it a mixture of both your styles?
Lauren: I love that! I would say for sure. I really love creating an imaginary world with my photos. I would say psychedelic and romantic is spot on so thank you for writing my bio hahah :)
Angela: I love that! I believe Lauren and mine’s style are both romantic and psychedelic, that’s probably why we get along so well. We both appreciate music from the 60’s, have a retro vibe, almost like we were born in the wrong era. The Lomo cameras work perfectly for this aesthetic.
How does it feel posing/shooting for your friend? Did you feel more comfortable than if it was a stranger?
Lauren: I was a teen when I first started modeling and definitely felt more comfortable with photographers I knew. I’m from Maryland so artists in general were further and fewer (the year was also 2006). However that didn’t stop me from finding new photographers to shoot with online - which foreshadowed the now norm. Nowadays I feel equally as comfortable shooting with a lifelong pal as I do a photog I only know through Instagram. I love that about my generation, our willingness to collaborate with artists we’ve never “met”. I have made some lifelong friends this way.
Angela: For me, I am always behind the camera, so it's a treat when someone asks to photograph me. It was fun handing Lauren the camera and just playing around, I loved having her direct me. It felt so easy and playful, and she was able to use the cameras and create very quickly.
From the pictures you sent, do you have a favorite one? Can you tell us the story behind it?
Lauren: I love playing with shadows. I also love incorporating whatever objects are around me. My favorite photo of Angela is the one with shadows across her face and body. We used this beautiful hot pink, vintage, crocheted shawl that I had lying on my porch. She held it to the sun and presto!
Angela: I really love the multiple layered image of Lauren in the white dancing around. It’s almost like a short film.
Will you guys be collaborating more in the future?
Angela: Yes absolutely!