21-year old Laurence Philomene is not only a young, talented girl from Candada, Montreal, but a freelance photographer, triple gemini, bag of Cheetos, pink fluffy thing like person in a continuously exchanging state of anxiety, sleepiness and learning. Most of the time, however, she’s a photographer documenting relationships, exploring gender identity, taking still-life shots in bright, saturated colors that immediately catches one’s eye. Her early experience with photography started back when she received her first camera at the age of five, getting into more serious work when she was around 13 to 14, taking pictures of Blythe dolls.
Drawing inspiration from her own intuition, her photo series “boys” focuses on the contrast between femininity and masculinity, emphasizing stereotypical gender-specific differentiations accentuated with one of her favorite colors pink. We’ve had a little chat with her, so check out the interview below and visit her website www.laurencephilomene.com.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m a lot of things, a photographer, a girl, a triple gemini, a bag of cheetos, a pink fluffy thing, anxiety, sleepiness, learning.
Whom do you look up to?
Anyone who is determined in pursuing what they are passionate about and carving their own path! I find that I sometimes get scared, I’m impressed by people who can keep doing without letting their doubts get the best of them. I went to see Marina and the Diamonds last night and it gave me such an inspiration boost. Nicki Minaj. My friend (montreal-based artist) Stardchild Stela. Hobbes Ginsberg – female pop stars and all my friends really.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve had any true mentors other than perhaps my close friends inspiring me to keep going.
How did your photographic career start? What made you want to become a photographer?
My “career” (in a commercial sense) pretty much started with people asking me to take pictures from them after seeing my work online, and it has just grown from that point. I never consciously chose to do this as a career, it’s more something that gradually happened. One day I’d love to run a collabroative art/gallery space as well, I’d like to do something that’s less about myself and more about helping others.
What was your favourite project and why?
Mostly projects I’ve done by myself and for myself! I was working on a series of color studies last year which were a ton of fun, I haven’t finished editing those yet but eventually I’d love to put together an exhbiit of all the images. This year I’ve been working on self-portraits through others using an orange wig and it’s always so much fun to shoot, it’s very cathartic, I’d say that’s probably my favorite project so far
How do you define creativity?
Any form of expression? I’m not too good with words, I don’t spend a lot of time trying to explain what I do generally, I just got with my own intuition. So maybe in that sense in terms of my personal experience I’d definte creativity as following my intuitions!
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Don’t expect stability – be ok with chaos sometimes.
What`s your personal motto?
Everything is temporary – the good and the bad.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
I think one of the biggest challenges for me has less to do with photography itself and more with working as a freelancer, I’m in the process of learning how to separate my personal life from my work life, sometimes as an artist I find that the two tend to get very intertwined.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
I was 21 just a few months ago. To echo my previous answer, I wish I’d known to separate my work life and my personal life more.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
I have a lot of things I’m passionate about so if I were to give up photography I’m sure I’d find other ways to express myself. I don’t really see myself ever “giving up” photography but sometimes other passions of mine take over for a while, like curating, history, cooking etc. So I wouldn’t say that I’d be ready to give up any of these passions but rather that I’m trying to balance them all out