We are extremely excited to feature our Q&A with Candice Lake. She is a London-based photographer, blogger and former model, and regularly contributes to VOGUE.COM’s Street Chic pages.
SDC: Where are you from?
Candice: Sydney Australia although I live in London.
SDC: What type of camera do you use (specific model)?
Candice: I shoot on a canon 5D mark ii and oscillate between a 50mm fixed lens and a 24 – 70mm lens. I use the zoom when I am out during fashion week and need to get a mixture of images. I love my 50 mm fixed as it is GREAT for portraits, although if you get your light right, you can shoot an amazing picture on a disposable camera.
SDC: What time of day is best for shooting? Is there a lighting that you prefer?
Candice: I love shooting in the afternoon as the sun sets because back light is dreamy. I also love shooting in the middle of the day when the light is harsh as everything pops off the page.
SDC: Where is your favorite place to take photographs?
Candice: I love shooting in so many different places. I love Paris as it has the best light in the world, NY has the best streets and backdrops, London has some of the most interesting girls, Sydney has the beach culture… every place is amazing for unique reasons.
SDC: How do you approach subjects and ask if you can photograph them? Do you always ask permission?
Candice: I always stop people, explain what I am doing and then politely ask them if they are interested and ask them if they would allow me to photograph them. Always be respectful if someone does not want their photo taken.
SDC: What program do you use to edit images?
Candice: Photoshop CS5 and camera raw/ bridge
SDC: What advice do you have for aspiring street style photographers?
Candice: Learn how to use your camera. Understand light. Respect your sitter. Although above all, learn to see the image beofre you take it and be clear on what you are trying to say.
SDC: Is it necessary to take a class to learn photography?
Candice: I went to art school and studied photography, although a lot of my friends who are great photographers didn’t. I think it all comes down to how you see a photograph before you take it. If you have a good eye, and you practice a lot, then that is all you need!
SDC: What do you look for in the subjects you photograph?
Candice: I love shooting girls with confidence and a really strong sense of style. I love it when I see someone making a trend their own, or when I see girls reinvent their own style season after season and students who aren’t yet aware that they have a great style. If I had to chose one defining thing I love to shoot, I would have to say colour – in hair, bags, jewels, prints, shoes, if there is colour, I will most likely love it!
SDC: Please tell us more about your background and what made you become an photographer? How did you start photography?
Sophie Calle did a piece where she hired a private detective to follow and photograph her actions for a day which she then compared to her actual actions, thoughts and feelings that day to show the breakdown between truth and perception through imagery. This premise, the relationship between truth and perception, is the basis behind all of my art.
It is interesting the way society still accepts most imagery as truth. I think what is so fascinating about fashion and photography, is the fantasy that we still believe and buy into, despite really knowing that it cannot be real. Fashion and art are so intrinsically entwined and this is what is so exciting.
SDC: Which photographer do you admire the most and why?
Candice: I don’t think you can iscolate just one photographer as your primary inspiration, I love so many different photographers for different reasons. I love rineke dijkstra, katy grannan, katy graham, Alex Soth and Philip Lorca Dicorcia who are so clever at taking the banal and everyday and making it thought provoking and beautiful. martin Parr is also another huge inspiration. I love Thomas Ruff’s portraits from the 80′s
SDC: What makes a great street style shot?
Candice: Street Style is like any type of portraiture. If you have a relationship with your sitter you will get a better photo. That being said, sometime the fact you don’t have a relationship with a new model or girl on the street allows a certain amount of beautiful awkwardness to the image.
SDC:How would you describe your aesthetic—or what is it that compels you to want to take someone’s picture?
Candice: I like the anthropological aspect of street style. I don’t really have a specific formula of who I want to shoot, it is generally as simple as I photograph people that look interesting to me. I have always been interested in faces, my friends are often telling me I should carry dark glasses at all times, because I am constantly staring at people. I love shooting girls with confidence and a really strong sense of style. I love it when I see someone making a trend their own, or when I see girls reinvent their own style season after season and students who aren’t yet aware that they have great style and have a sense of awkwardness to them.
SDC: Which countries have you traveled to? Which one was your favorite?
Candice: I have travelled a lot from being a model and to now as a photographer. I always seem to end up in countrysides of cities shooting… so I suppose I love this the most. I have unfortunately never been to Africa although it is next on my list and hope to get there next year.
SDC: What has been the defining points of your career so far?
Candice: Having my first exhibition in NYC,
Being featured in US Vogue’s best dressed list 2011 issue,
Shooting editorials for various Vogue magazines,
making a successful shift from in front to behind the camera,
Recently shooting campaigns for incredible brands.
SDC: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Candice: I have been shooting quite a lot of advertising, editorials and collaborating with various brands in different capacities, as well as shooting some campaigns, which has been incredible. I would love to continue doing this as well as begin integrating more studio work. I would also love to hold another exhibition this year, although possibly in London this time.