Meet the team: Lucie Rox
Issue Three's French photographer moved to London nearly three years ago and has worked freelance since
In each of our print issues we commission a range of photography. Often, the clearest pitches come from fashion photographers as was the case with Issue Three’s Lucie Rox. Lucie had been on our radar for some time. Every few months, we’d get a simple and beautifully designed email newsletter updating us on what she had been working on. Having just missed the cut-off date for the second issue, with each email I was further convinced that we had to include her in the third.
What I love about her work is the framing. She gets in close to her subject, ensuring in the process that all of their quirks are faithfully captured and represented. The crisp styling that Lucie favours lends her images a fresh, youthful feel that works perfectly for editorial assignments.
I caught up with Lucie earlier this week to find out a little more about her practice, inspiration and background.
Let’s start at the beginning. When did you first take an interest in photography?
I can’t remember very precisely, but I think I had my first digital camera when I was about 13 or 14. At the time I was just taking pictures of my friends and stupid everyday life things to post on my blog and it was nothing more pretentious than that. Not long after that, my stepdad got a Magnum book for Christmas and my interest into photography, starting with war and documentary photography, grew from there. It’s only later on that I got into fashion photography, when researching works from surrealist photographers and people like Man Ray or William Klein who had an amazing body of fashion work outside of their art/street photography.
Did you study the subject at university? Was it there that you decided that fashion was what you wanted to focus on?
I didn’t study photography at uni. To be honest, I didn’t even finish uni. I did a year of Literature & Theatre and then Literature & Arts in Paris, but quit before finishing my degree because I wanted to focus on photography and even though I learned a lot there, I didn’t feel like university was really for me. I don’t really know what made me decide to focus on fashion. I did a lot a music and gig photography during my Paris years, but got a bit bored of it and I needed to do something where I could create something of my own. Fashion seems to be the best way to do it I guess.
It’s a couple of years since you moved to London from Paris, was that decision fuelled by your career aspirations and has it worked out?
Yay, almost three years now! In answer to your question, yes and no. I came in London on holiday for a month and half just after I quit university and just decided to stay. I had no real plans in Paris except from trying to find my way into photography, and figured that I could probably do the same here, so why not try and live in an other country? I think I just needed a change to focus on my work and moving to London was just a good opportunity to do so. I don’t if I can say it has worked yet, but it’s getting there, and I’m pretty convinced I wouldn’t be where I am now if I had stayed in France. London is much more open to new talents and people are – in my opinion – more inclined to just try things out all the time which is very motivating and inspiring.
How long have you been freelancing now? Do you still work assisting jobs as well?
Pretty much since I moved to London, so almost three years. I still do assisting jobs, for me it’s a good way to learn and meet people in the industry. Freelancing also allows me a lot of freedom regarding my schedule (even if it gets sometimes crazy busy) and to be honest, I’d rather have that as a money job to sustain my own photography than working in a pub.
Did you do any internships, if so when and what did you learn from them?
I did one internship for a month in a studio in Paris where I learned a lot about lighting. They had their own kit in house and as a studio assistant there you were always on set and a lot of times you were acting as a photography assistant. Then I did a few days interning with different photographers here and there when I first moved to London to gain a bit more experience but not much more straight internship outside of assisting.
For Issue Three you shot both womenswear and menswear, do you have a preference in that respect?
Not really. I go through phases where I prefer shooting menswear, and then for an other period of time all I want to do is womenswear. Sometimes I want to do both together, sometimes I don’t really care. I’m enjoying doing both, it just all depends on the story I have in my head really.
What’s your process for coming up with new ideas for shoots? Do you still shoot much personal work and if so, how does this differ to when you’re working on commission?
I’d say it’s not a very fixed process. I kind of keep record of things I’ve seen and like a bit everywhere (on my laptop, notebook, my phone, tumblr, etc). Once in a while I have a look through all of that and try to extract one or two ideas or ‘patterns’ that seems to get repeated in all those things I’ve liked and then I start working from there. I do more research around that one idea, trying to expand it or narrow it until I feel like I’ve managed to grasp an interesting and tangible base for a shoot. Sometimes I just want to experiment one thing – lighting for example, or a different way to shoot – or I’m obsessed with one tiny thing for a while and then I start the process of researching around that again and see what I can do to make it come to life in my own way. I also write notes and put mood boards together to make the general idea a bit more clear and share it with people I’d potentially be working with.
I’d say I mainly shoot personal work at the moment, I’m still working on getting an interesting body of work – and with which I’m remotely happy – which takes a lot of time. When I do have commissioned work it’s still very different. It’s not about really about me and my ideas anymore, or about testing myself really but about pleasing the client and meet his expectations. Sometimes you have fun commission work where you have a bit more freedom, but anyway I still find it quite interesting to see how you can try fit a bit your vision in there.
Your work has been featured in a number of digital and print magazines, what is it about editorial assignments that you love?
I love working with a team where everyone try and push their own skills and ideas a bit more forward. Editorial work is where you can be really creative, you can be a bit crazy and a lot less polished. It’s just a lot of fun to do really.
What are you working on right now that we’ll be able to see soon?
I shot a bit of backstage at London Fashion Week for Dazed and Confused and I shot an other online editorial last week which should be out very soon hopefully ! On the non-fashion side of thing, I’m working on a collaborative project, which mixes music and photography, with producer Specimens and composer Daniel Weismayr The first part of the project should have a cassette release in the next few months. I’m also working on a zine/small book of stuff I shot while travelling through America in March and hoping to have this out by the end of the year/beginning of next. I’m really excited about all of those things, and have more coming up as well!
What would your one piece of advice be to photography students who want to work in fashion?
I guess work a lot. Assisting is a good way to get into it I think, but you have to be really careful to not stop doing your own work too, it’s all about finding your own thing I think.
For more from Lucie, head over to her tumblr site via the link below.