NYC Fashion Photographer Lara Jade Shares How To Take The Perfect Photo
May 10, 2018 | BY Justine Lee
She regularly shoots for the pages of Hong Kong Tatler, and her work has also graced numerous international fashion titles. We caught up with British-born, New York-based photographer Lara Jade to get her insight on everything from what makes a photo great to her favourite hotspots in NYC
Tell us a bit about you and what you do.
I’m a fashion and beauty photographer from England, and I currently Iive in Brooklyn with my husband James and our two cats—GQ and Elle.
What’s one rule you follow when it comes to taking photos?
Always take time to produce a shoot. A well-produced shoot means great photos.
Best piece of advice that was given to you?
To pay attention to the details—it’s something I’ve learnt from my many years of working with wardrobe stylists. Even though I am the photographer, I pay close attention to details when it comes to styling, hair and make-up. This also comes in handy when working with retouchers in post-production as well.
Can you tell us about one of your most memorable shoots you’ve been on?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places for work and often the most memorable are the ones with the best stories. Fashion shoots are sometimes the exact opposite of glamorous—waking up at the crack of dawn to get to a location that's hours away, working with the elements (trying to make a shoot look summery when it’s snowing) and working in difficult locations.
One of my most memorable shoots for Hong Kong Tatler was "Field of Dreams" (pictured above and below), which ran in the July 2017 issue. The team travelled almost 3 hours outside of New York to get to a remote farm in Pennsylvania, which was supposed to be a very picturesque setting for our shoot.
When we turned up we were told we couldn’t shoot or use the space inside the house to prep, which made for a very difficult morning outside in the cold. We also found out the field was riddled with tics, so we had to constantly spray and check everyone. Despite the challenges, it turned out to be one of my favourite shoots. Sometimes the unexpected makes for great results!
Can you tell us your top 3 tips or what are the 3 most important factors for capturing a great photo?
Lighting—I always say a photo is created by light, so make sure your lighting is good. Lighting gives great connection in the eyes and gives beautiful skin tone. Be sure that you’re always shooting in complementary soft light, like in shade or by a window. Harsh sunlight is a photographer’s worst enemy.
Have an eye for detail—pay attention to the way the clothing fits, the make-up, the hair. Get it right on camera and don’t rely on Photoshop or retouching.
Composition—What’s your background? How does your subject fit into the frame? What’s the crop? Paying attention to the basic rules of composition helps you understand your framing.
You also teach a fashion photography 101 course. What's something you always encourage your students to do?
To always be aware of the trends in the industry. Trends are the defining factor in what we shoot as photographers and ultimately what inspires our next photoshoot. I always tell them to keep one finger on the pulse of the industry, even if they are portrait or wedding photographers.
Lastly, can you share with us your favourite NYC haunts?
The Wing—A members' women-only workspace in Soho that calls itself “a coven not a sorority”. I’m a creative that loves to get out of the house to work and the change of pace inspires me.
Public Hotel—A beautifully designed hotel in the Lower East Side. It has great views of the New York City skyline as well as open bars and working areas.
Brooklyn Winery—My favourite wine bar in the city as it’s close to my home in Clinton Hill. It’s a perfect fall haunt. I love curling up in the warm bar with a glass of Old Vine Zinfandel.
Cafe Mogador—My go-to Mediterranean brunch/dinner spot. There are two locations in Williamsburg and the East Village, and I always love the ambience and their food is great. If you’re a vegetarian like me (and love cheese) get the halloumi eggs for brunch.
Cha Cha Matcha—My daily ritual is drinking matcha lattes. They give me just enough energy to get through a busy day. Cha Cha Matcha is always a fun little pit-stop and its Insta-worthy interior is always worth a visit.
Follow Lara Jade on Instagram or visit her website, larajade.com
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