lasse dearman: “I wanted to capture a feeling that I could feel, but could not describe”

Take an exclusive look inside photographer Lasse Dearman’s new independent publication, ‘Across the Flower Field’, as he discusses the story behind its portraits.

by Ryan White
08 May 2019, 6:00am

29-year-old Danish photographer Lasse Dearman was looking for fresh inspiration when he embarked on his year-long photo project, Across the Flower Field, published this week. It’s Lasse’s first independent publication, having worked on a number of different editorial and commercial jobs throughout his twenties and picking up a reputation as one of Copenhagen’s most exciting emerging photographers. With no brand involvement and no styling, this project is simply a personal exploration of his own craft, without the interference of brands or clients.

“The work began during a struggle to create photos at home,” Lasse explains, a few days after the zine went to print. “It quickly became a natural decision for me to go abroad. I was drawn to the subtle ways characteristics of different nationalities can slowly be revealed in people. When taking photographs, I'm interested in the elusive changes that can be detected in mood and emotion.”

Throughout its 32 pages, Across the Flower Field documents faces he met in India, the USA and Europe. “I love how everyone’s different signals and feelings all interact together on the page, to create a bigger picture. I hold a fascination for the simplicity, depth and complexity within portraits: this is something I wanted to explore and was the main drive behind the work.” Though not looking explicitly for a narrative to form, the cultural differences that presented themselves in tiny detail when taking simple portraiture became the story of this project. “I really enjoyed how that narrative was forming and changing with each travelling step, giving the geographical perspective a significance. The subjects I chose to shoot for this all share a common ground. An uncertain feeling of something unsolved that was present in each person. I wanted to capture a feeling that I could feel, but could not describe.”

lasse dearman across the flower field

“Last autumn I went to the US for a month, on tour with Wyatt and Fletcher Shears from The Garden. I photographed them for the first time back in 2014, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. On this tour we drove about six or seven hours every day, crossing the entire country, back and forth, and passing through some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen in my life. In this photo, we see Wyatt in a hotel room somewhere outside New Orleans at the end of the tour.”

 lasse dearman across the flower field

“In an attempt to escape winter and western civilisation, my friend Joe and I went to India for a month in January. In all its beauty, India is perhaps one of the most confusing places I have ever visited. We would spend most of our time there enjoying the sun and speculating what was going on around us but never getting any wiser to it. One morning I saw Joe kneeling in front of the mirror, bathed in a holy light, and I thought it was worth a shot.”

lasse dearman across the flower field

“What first got my attention with Virgile was a tattoo of the iconic Scream mask on his arm. I was charmed by his character and felt compelled to photograph him. I spent a spring day in Paris with him and his girlfriend walking around the blossoming city taking pictures: the ideal way of shooting, if you ask me.”

lasse dearman

Rosa Lucy
“The way I like to take pictures right now is partly inspired by one of the opening scenes in Gus Van Sant’s Elephant. A student, Eli, is walking through a park and meets this punk-looking couple, who he then photographs before walking on. This relaxed approach to taking photos is something I felt was missing, and something I felt I needed to focus on in my own work. Here is Rosa Lucy, photographed in Copenhagen’s afternoon light.”

lasse-dearman across the flower field

“When shooting for a personal project, with no money involved, you have to realise that anyone who is letting you take their photo is doing you a big favour. Having respect for people’s time is important as a photographer, I believe. I appreciate everyone who gave me a chance to capture them for a brief moment. In this case Yasmina, photographed in London earlier this year.”

lasse dearman

“I’ve never really been good at scouting strangers in public. I’ve seen many, many people over time who I would have loved to shoot, but didn’t have the courage to approach. Gustav and his friend Elliot immediately caught my eye one Saturday morning on the bus, and I didn’t feel like I could pass up the opportunity this time. In this picture is Gustav, the day after I approached him in Copenhagen. It was the last shot for the book, and a fitting end to this collection of journeys.”

200 copies of 'Across the Flower' field will be available to purchase via selected stockists and Lasse's website.


Photography Lasse Dearman

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

across the flower field