By Jaclyn Bethany
Jaclyn Bethany: Hi, Katy! Where are you from, and where are you currently based?
Katy Lawrence: I grew up in Bristol and moved to London when I was 22. I’m currently living in Brixton in London.
JB: What was your childhood like? Were you surrounded by creativity?
KL: I had a very happy childhood. My brother and I grew up near the Bristol Docks in a basement flat of a big Georgian house, which had brick arches in the kitchen and an original Georgian fireplace. My mum is a doctor with a good eye for design and style, and my father is a carpenter who plays the drums. We spent every holiday in Cornwall, so we were always exploring, building dens, and causing mischief.
JB: When did you first pick up a camera? What is the first subject you remember photographing?
KL: I think my first camera was a disposable that I used to photograph my friends at school. One of my favorite photos is of my gang at school—walking out of English class, and they all look so sassy. They are still my best friends; I'll treasure that photograph forever.
JB: How do you choose your subjects?
KL: I love photographing a woman who has a good sense of humor. I spend a lot of one-on-one time with my subjects. I really love to laugh and to not take it too seriously. I believe that a viewer is drawn to a picture when the subject has a good energy. Somehow, that can be captured.
JB: How do you capture the female body through your lens? Why do you think there is such divisiveness around the way women’s bodies are portrayed in the media?
KL: As a female photographer, I really want to portray all types of bodies and faces. There is something magical about photographing the imperfections. You can make a choice to embrace the media’s perception of women or ignore it.
JB: Who are some London-based creatives that are currently inspiring you?
KL: A few women: my friend, Charlotte Green, who runs a floral company called Verity & Thyme. She is my rock and inspiration and is always lifting me up and supporting me when I’m feeling creatively drained. Then there’s Jean Labuschagne, a young conservationist living in Africa. I am obsessed with her photography of Africa and its people and landscapes. She is seriously talented. Ally Nutting & Jessica Lister also come to mind: two sisters who run a floral company called AESME Flowers. They have a really good eye for floral styling. They are funny, open, warm, and super stylish.
JB: What do you find beautiful about your home country, England, and how do you think this is reflected through your work?
KL: I love our weather and how the light and land changes so dramatically from season to season. Nothing beats that feeling of making it through another damp, miserable winter and seeing spring take over. Days get longer and everything feels fresh and new. I think there is an inherent British spirit in my photographs. Cornwall is my absolute favorite place in the world, and I often use it as a backdrop for my photographs and films.
JB: Your work is romantic, and full of beautiful colors. When you look through the lens, what do you want your viewer to see?
KL: Ultimately, I want to transport the viewer to a place they long to be, away from the chaos of real life. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to climb into a photograph and hang out in that world for a little while? Nostalgia is a key theme throughout all my photographs. I always want to be somewhere else. ★
All photos courtesy of Katy Lawrence.