Louise Parker (The Society) has booked some great jobs since she got her big break two years ago (an exclusive for Hedi Slimane's debut Louis Vuitton show). But just prior to that, she graduated with a photography degree from Bard College. Using her bizarre industry as subject matter, she's relentlessly documented the past two years through photography.
She spoke to NYMag's The Cut about her job and her craft. Here are our highlights:
Yeah, I think so — I think when I ask to take a picture of one of my friends or even a girl that I don’t know as well, they’re not trying to pose or look sexy or super-beautiful — they just end up being more themselves. I really hope they feel comfortable. I never try and take a photo that would put them in a bad light — I’m not trying to exploit them or use them to my advantage or portray them negatively. It’s definitely not about that.
I think honestly the biggest difference between me and the other backstage photographers is that I’m taking these photos for myself. I’m not worried about taking X amount of beauty shots; I’m just focused on telling my story. I guess more so than being a woman — I’m one of the girls, I’m one of the models, I’m really telling our story. I can relate to the models; I can understand where they’re coming from.
No one wants a camera shoved in their face when they’re changing or trying to eat a quick lunch. Backstage photographers can be pretty aggressive. It can be pretty overwhelming and exhausting to constantly be photographed. You’re trying to look good and make the clothes look good.
When I was studying at Bard, fashion photography was kind of the last thing that I was interested in. But I’ve grown to have a lot more respect for it now. The more I work with fashion photographers, the more I see that art and fashion can be blended in a really beautiful and natural way. It’s really difficult to make a fashion story that feels really original and fresh. There are so many aspects that you have to get right: the lighting; the hair and makeup. I don’t know, I guess that’s gotten me thinking about all of those things. I don’t know how my background in photography has made me a better model, but it’s definitely made me a more curious model.
Read the full interview here.
See Louise's photography portfolio here.