In this brief interview our student Zoë Law shares her past and her projects for the future, which involve finishing a series of 30 portraits and a book with her daughter.
Student Feature – Zoë Law
Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into photography?
I was a Makeup Artist for 12 years in Fashion & Music. I had a fantastic career but it wasn’t practical with family life, I no longer relished the freedom of no routine(!) I always had a passion for photography, and loved the iconic images of Richard Avedon, David Bailey and more recently Rankin. Having had a 4 year break from makeup I decided that I would love to focus all my energy on Photography, concentrating mainly on Studio Portraiture.
What is your preferred photographic genre and why?
I love portraiture, particularly black & white, purely based on my own fascination with human kind; why we are here and what is it really all about? I love the idea of becoming immortal when photographed. That for years to come those same images will have stories to tell. Living way beyond our years.
What is your current series about?
I am working on a series of studio portraits for Maggie’s Centre’s The images are of the amazing people that use the Centres. They may have cancer, in recovery or in remission. They all have an incredible story to tell. The images capture them with their loved ones and friends ( each sitter is welcome to bring along up to 2 guests). They are intimate, positive, happy portraits of people that are dealing with the more difficult aspects of LIFE. The shoot days have become so popular (big production with hair/ makeup etc) that we now have a waiting list. I intend to shoot up to 30 different people and their guests this year, shooting 3 sets of people a day. Each person also receives a framed print of their chosen image.
I studied Lightroom and Photoshop, which has helped me enormously with this current project. Not only with my own personal workflow but with subtle retouching techniques that I feel proud to say are pretty undetectable, to most! I now have complete control over my images which is hugely empowering.
Do you have plans for future projects?
I am working on a book with my daughter, she’s the photographer and I’m her assistant(!), she’s 9. It is a book of portraits of Dogs & Cats, which is in aid of the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
I have lots of other ideas but just need to find the time to shoot them! This year is pretty tied up with these 2 larger projects and various other mini iconic shoots I have planned.
I feel like I’ve spent my working life building toward photography and feel blessed to be able to express myself finally in a way I can control.