New York and London-based fashion photographer Lara Jade counts Vogue Taiwan, Harper’s Bazaar and Alice & Olivia among her long list of clients. She chats to us about facing imposter syndrome, being a woman in a male-dominated industry and the best advice she’s ever been given.
Fashion photographer Lara Jade first picked up a camera at the tender age of 14 and never put it back down.
Born and raised in the Staffordshire countryside, she now splits her time between her two favourite cities: London and The Big Apple. She fell in love with the busyness and creativity of New York, “and with the fact it never sleeps, just like me!”
It’s also the location of her favourite photoshoot – on the Brooklyn Bridge, to be exact. It was here, while on set for Tatler Hong Kong, that she captured her most difficult shot to date, “because of the light and the people.” It’s an image that inspires her when she’s facing a creative block, and reminds her exactly why she loves photography.
The road to success wasn’t always a smooth ride for Lara. Faced with premature judgement as a young woman in an industry dominated by men, she had her fair share of scrutiny. From struggling to get her voice heard to battling for respect, she explains, “I had to fight for my place in the industry, but it made me stronger.”
Strong women are an endless source of inspiration for Lara, who consciously shoots to show both their femininity and their power. From production to casting, she’s enthusiastic about every part of the shoot process, particularly the casting of her subjects, who she likens to “actresses”.
She became passionate about inclusivity and diversity among her subjects after shooting 70-year-old Canadian-South African model Maye Musk: “it showed me that every woman can be beautiful in front of the camera, no matter her age, ethnicity or shape.”
Despite her many achievements, like many women, Lara’s no stranger to bouts of imposter syndrome, admitting “sometimes I wonder ‘why me?’ when there are loads of other amazing creatives out there”. Confessing to questioning herself and her abilities, she counts her early work and close friends as invaluable sources of confidence and reminders of exactly why she’s deserving of her place in the industry.
What was the best advice Lara was ever given, and the pearls of wisdom she’d pass on to other creatives looking to break into the industry? “Have confidence in your work, and pay attention to every little detail, from the business side to the creative side.”