Write On!’s Lynda Shepherd interviews photographer Lucy Lawson.
Lucy is a family and lifestyle photographer based in Essex. Her work has been published in online and hardback magazines in the UK and Australia.
LS: What field of photography do you specialise in?
LL: I am a family and lifestyle photographer. I mainly specialise in family portraiture, but I also capture headshots and documentative branding shoots.
I love capturing newborn families, breastfeeding portraiture, and seasonal sessions.
LS: Can you tell us a bit about what you are working on at the moment?
LL: Well, I’ve just finished a busy summer after coming out of lockdown. I had my Sunflower mini-sessions, where I met 25 new and returning clients. Alongside my beach and golden hour family shoots I also held engagement and pet shoots. I’m now working on headshot season and then gearing up for autumnal shoots and Christmas minis.
LS: What inspired you to become a photographer, and what inspires you now?
LL: My parents were both professional models in the ‘60s & ’70s. They modelled for well-known brands such as Dior, Topman, Coca Cola, and Jaeger. I was fascinated with their Z cards and portfolios growing up. It wasn’t just nostalgia, in that they were my parents; I just loved the magic of it all. The lighting, the clothes, the posing, all of it. And it was a one-take moment back then!
Photography actually came to me later in life. I was a professional actor for 13 years before becoming pregnant and finding work had dried up. I took this opportunity to go into photography properly. I took courses and, most importantly, picked up my camera a lot and learned, learned, learned!
My daughter has always been my inspiration. Since becoming a mummy, I’ve wanted to offer magical photos of my clients with their families; ones I hope they will cherish for many years to come. Photographs are memories that last a lifetime.
LS: The last issue of Write On! explored the theme of ‘A Kaleidoscope Of Colours’. The idea is that life at the moment is like looking through a kaleidoscope: ever-changing, ever-swirling patterns we must interpret and adapt to. Can you tell us a bit about how you have been adapting to the shifting landscape of this fairly challenging present?
LL: The outbreak of COVID-19 has been a massive shock and devastation to everyone across the world. Speaking as a self-employed person, it has obviously had a big financial impact on what would normally have been a busy spring. I’ve tried to accept what has happened, embracing the pause button and spending time in the present with my young family. Although I couldn’t work how I wanted or was used to, it didn’t stop me from picking up my camera. I took inspiration from my family and our daily walks, and just took photos of whatever I wanted. No agendas. It’s been great! I’ve flexed a few new muscles, as it were, and it has helped me gain more focus on the direction in which I want to take my work.
I was approached by a friend who asked if I could take a few photos of her son, who was celebrating a birthday while in lockdown. At first, I was unsure but we worked at a safe distance, outside their home. From there, I started offering ‘Doorstep Sessions’. I met wonderful families who wanted to document their lives in lockdown. There were still birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate, the weddings that should have taken place, and the newborn arrivals, of course! It was wonderful to be able to work again, safely, from a distance, and for a little bit of normality during a very difficult and unnerving time.
LS: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring photographer?
LL: Practise makes perfect! Click away, click away, click away! Photography is a constant learning curve, which styles and tastes always changing. Cameras are always evolving, and we are constantly learning alongside. However, the fundamental practicalities of using a camera stay the same. Once you have grasped that, you’re rolling!
LS: What are the biggest issues (if any) you have to navigate as a photographer?
LL: I would say light. I am primarily an outdoor photographer, so I have to constantly adapt to the changes of light. Depending on different times of the year, the light can be super harsh, or fade very quickly. There are some fantastic apps and websites to help with golden hour times, for example, but working outside all year round, you do get wise to the best times of the day to shoot.
LS: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
LL: I’m about to launch my own line of dresses. Designs I have created to offer my clients to wear for my shoots. These are boho-inspired, reclaimed lace dresses, and look fantastic on pregnant mamas! But anyone can wear them. They are size adjustable and very comfortable and flattering to wear. I have even designed some mini-me dresses for little girls to wear too. I’m very excited to be organising the launch shoot, happening soon!
You can find out more about Lucy and how to submit to her here: www.lucylawsonphotography.com and connect with her: @lucylawsonphotography on Instagram and Facebook.
All photos (C) Lucy Lawson Photography
I took this opportunity to go into photography properly. I took courses and, most importantly, picked up my camera a lot and learned, learned, learned!