Everyone can relate to loss of love. It’s inevitable that everyone will lose someone they care about at some point in their life, whether it’s through a breakup, a long-distance move or a death. With this loss comes the need to cope. While some people curl up with Ben & Jerry and watch bad romantic movies from the ’80s, others express their hurt and sorrow in more artistic ways. One such person is Laura Stevens, a Paris-based commercial photographer, who took a break from her commercial style to immerse herself in a personal project that deals with the loss of a significant relationship in her life. She calls the project Another November.
When she took portraits of her friends, Laura recognized that she was creating reflections of herself and her feelings through them.
It became a kind of therapy. As I noticed the images slowly changing, towards something more active, resolute and progressive, I could see that I had myself changed, that the pain was transforming and life was moving on.
I enjoy creating intimate, narrative dramas centered around the domestic landscape, concentrating on themes around love, loss and desire. I am inspired by the aesthetics of beauty and the language of painting, carefully constructing images to have an air of timelessness tinged with cinematic tension. My personal work is often semi-autobiographical, directing other women to portray aspects of myself. The dramatic style is visible in the majority of my work but with my commercial photography the mood and concepts are lighter.
Because the project was very closely linked to my own circumstances, it meant that I over-analyzed my feelings and situation in order to make the images and understand each particular nuance of the different stages. I became rather obsessed with the project, using it as a means to understand my emotions, but at the same time I felt that I couldn’t psychologically move on until the project had ended, that it was keeping me stuck. For this reason I wanted to progress through the project as quickly as I could. I have never worked quite that intensely before. It was a great time eater – a perfect distraction!
Laura explained that expressing her private thoughts and feelings through photography acts as a huge emotional release but also allows her to experiment with ideas, methods of lighting, directing and post processing.
I have developed a certain style which working just commercially wouldn’t have brought so easily. Working both personally and commercially feeds the other, and acts as a positive counterbalance. I love the diversity each offers.
Laura was recently named as one of the top five winners in the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2014 after submitting the series. She is delighted to have the work recognized and hopes to see it through to an exhibition.
To see more of Laura’s work visit her website.