When I was a teenager, living in a dilapidated, half forgotten seaside town (most people only think of Margate when the episode of Only Fools and Horses filmed there is repeated on T.V.), Canterbury seemed like a huge metropolitan place, with shops like Topshop and Office, Universities and art schools. Now, my horizons have broadened a little, and I’ve lived in places whose biggest attribute isn’t Primark, my one-time haven of teenage freedom sometimes feels like a little pond, cut off from the rest of the civilised world.
But sometimes, just sometimes, something happens to remind me that even the biggest cities can feel isolated if you don’t go looking for what you want. One person who definitely doesn’t need reminding of this is the very lovely Miss Lauren. She knows what she loves: photography. She will find subjects and opportunities wherever she finds herself.
I first met Lauren whilst we were at school, although we we only really socialised at a terrible clifftop bar (anyone who’s grown up in that area, will know where I mean. Getting hideously drunk there is almost a right of passage). I always thought of her as a kindred spirit, she was sweet, happy and bubbly, and whilst I was dying my hair black and becoming too well acquainted with kohl eyeliner, trying and fit in with the ‘Goth’ crowd, she had already matured to the point of being happy to be herself.
A few years later when we reconnected on Facebook, she started to post her beautiful pictures of her adventures, and I was immediately taken aback by how talented she is. It is more than clear that she is on the path to become a very successful professional photographer. Not only is she more than accomplished behind the camera, she is single-minded in her career goals and one of the most tenacious people I have ever met.
Her photographs are full of colour and light, and walking round town with her, it was amazing to see how much inspiration she takes from her surroundings (incidently she’s holding a competition on her blog to win a photo session with her). I was a little intimidated next to her, but Lauren exudes an excitement for anyone who tries to be creative, and I am really looking forward to our next photo meet up.
The original aim for our meet up was to have an experiment making macarons, and photograph the process. I really should have put two and two together, and realised that, chances are someone who specialises in portrait photography might take some photos which included me. Which of course I took as my cue to wear no makeup and try a notoriously tricky recipe.
Baking macarons took a lot more time than I had anticipated, and we didn’t really get to spend too long playing with our cameras – these photos were snapped horrifically early on a Sunday morning before going to an anniversary party. Watch this space later this week for the macaron recipe, and some tips I’ve picked up along the way.
Whilst I’m on the topic of talented artists, I had a really lovely blog affirming twitter conversation with two of my old uni mates, the extremely talented Rebecca Molloy and Louise Morgan. With the vast scope of the Internet, it’s really easy to feel like you’re throwing your contribution into a black hole, so I’m always happily surprised when people say they read my blog, particularly when it falls outside the remit of their interests. So, thank you very much girls, you really brightened up my day with your kind words!
To find out more about Becca and Louise’s art, visit their art collective ‘Repre’s’ website and page on facebook, as their brilliant work speaks louder and more articulately than my poor frazzled brain could! And if you’re in London in May, you should stop by St Martin’s in the Field to see Repre’s exhibition there, it’s set to be absolutely fantastic.