Sunday, 16 January 2011

Lydia Greenaway

Lydia Greenaway
Bristol, England

Portraiture takes up a large part of your photographic work. What is your interest herein?

Expression, thought. You can read things in a persons face when it's stop still.

Who are your models?

Family and friends; it's easiest to work with those I'm closest to. And that personal aspect of portraiture is important.

Would you say that a portrait can deceive the viewer about the person shown? Or is there always a "quantum of truth" to be found?

I think a photograph captures a moment where what is outside of the frame can't really be imagined, but I don't think you can properly stage emotions that aren't there. It's usually somewhere in the photo if you look close enough.

It seems to me, that the representation of individual beauty plays an important role within your portraiture. Is this something you strive for and if so, why?

You can create beauty just by limiting it to a single confined composition. I guess I like trying to capture youth and freedom, almost trying to forget time. So the attempt to depict youthful beauty comes naturally alongside. However, I try to use the composition or backdrop to create something a bit different, rather than the expected. Unforeseen beauty can be stronger.

Have you ever worked with music during photoshoots, and if not, would you like to try?

Sometimes, not in a planned situation, it would be nice to experiment more with music, but my photographs are often outside... and I enjoy the silence of wide open space, there's something about capturing silence.

Also it is striking, that, like you just mentioned, most of your pictures are taken outside and in connection with nature in some way or the other. What do you cherish about these settings?

I love that they give an unpredictable and uncontrolled backdrop to the photograph. And it's just less confined, if you want to show freedom you need freedom.

Often, you seem to use natural light to emphasize "an atmosphere" around the pictures. What other elements and factors are most important for you, despite light?

Colour. I like colour photography. Certain colours juxtaposed together give a new beauty to the image. And expression, that vacant expression, it emphasises the eyes. And sometimes loneliness. I find that, when looking at the photo, it encourages you to experience something you're unsure of, so that there is a kind of personal input to every photo.

What is your current goal within photography?

I'd like to experiment with some different portraiture. Particularly taking pictures of strangers, I tend to stick with friends because they're easier to work with. But then you don't get the spontaneity, it becomes quite predictable.

Reading through the questions here, it all appears to be a very serious endeavor artists are doing. But what are the fun parts for you?

Finding a composition that changes the way you look at something, just for a second. Capturing grace and beauty, but at the same time something fresh, unexpected. Developing the film.

In the eye of the photographer. Take a look at her work!

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