new genuary: introducing lily bertrand-webb
Another year, another fresh batch of exciting young talent. Throughout the month of January we will be introducing the photographers set to define 2017. Capturing the world around them and interpreting it through the prism of their own experiences...
Lily Bertrand-Webb, 28
Tell us about yourself and where you grew up.
I'm a 28 year old photographer, born and raised in West London. I'm deaf, and wear a cochlear implant. I'm half Dominican and half English. Proud owner of 25+ film cameras. Surfer and skater.
How did you get into photography?
My godfather, Andrew Forrest, first got me interested in photography. I have fond memories holding his camera growing up.
What is it about the medium that appeals most to you?
I've always loved the power of capturing and freezing time just by the shutter of my camera. Nothing beats the feeling of taking the photo then looking at that same image a second time, only to rediscover things that you hadn't noticed before.
How and where did you learn your craft?
Through my godfather, my GCSE art teacher Mr. Jordan, my Bournemouth University darkroom technician, and the Labyrinth Photographic guys.
Is a degree necessary to pursue a career in photography?
I've battled with this question since I graduated from Bournemouth Arts University in 2011. In some ways, I wished I hadn't gone into university and worked for a photographer instead, learning the craft on set. But then I would have missed out that inspiring Wolfgang Tillmans lecture, the student exhibitions, and most importantly, the priceless hours I spent in the darkroom. And the infamous house parties!
Who or what inspires you?
Friends, family, and strangers I meet along the way.
How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
I chase the light and I'm drawn to color. I strive to capture the moment in the mundane by giving the same attention to an orange peel as I would to a portrait.
What's been your career highlight so far?
Shooting Damien Hirst in his studio in Devon when I was 20. Although he's a family friend, something clicked when Damien said I could take his portrait. With only a few shots left on my Mamiya 645, limited time, and low light, looking through the camera lens I suddenly realized I was shooting THE Damien Hirst and I couldn't fuck up this up. I anxiously hurried back to London to see if I got the shot. Thankfully, I did and it remains one of my favorite portraits to this day.
What are you working on?
An ongoing personal project that I'm hoping to show in an exciting new space in 2017!
Which photographer's work do you most admire?
Vivian Mayer for her self-portraits. Lee Miller for her classic style. Eve Arnold for her film stills of Misfits. Nan Goldin for her beautiful, brutally honest snaps. William Eggleston for his genius and respect for color.
Where in the world would you most like to photograph?
Dominica — my grandparents birth place.
Who would you most like to shoot?
Zadie Smith. On the day of my parents wedding, my mom was getting her hair done next to Zadie. I really regretted not taking my camera out that day. I hope to see her at the salon again!
Where do you go to feel creatively inspired?
Outside, the real world.
What do you stand for?
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
To be content.
Photography Lily Bertrand-Webb