10 Questions with… A Little White Space
I love photography, having had a very brief introduction to it on a foundation course at university, it is something, to this day, I wish I had pursued. I am lucky enough to know some incredibly talented photographers and this afternoon I thought I would share the work of ‘A Little White Space’.
I must confess, I have never met Lulu, although I feel that I have. We have huge amounts in common and I have struck up a lovely ‘Insta Friendship’ with her and have been thrilled to see her launch her new website and officially kick start her business with her stunning studio space.
I am going to hand over to the lovely Lulu, who has taken some time out from taking photos and running around after her two gorgeous girls to answer 10 questions I threw at her.
Over to you Lulu…
How would you describe your photography style?
I would say my style is clean and simple with a touch of romanticism. I have a love for fine art portraiture and I think this influences my style. I love bold and truthful images with a timeless feel to them.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s a physical, tangible tool that enables me to immortalise moments, people and rituals. I can press the pause button and re-play the tape over and over again in my mind with the help of beautiful imagery.
I’m a Cancerian you see, and this makes me an extremely nostalgic as a person. In fact, all photographers, Cancerian or not suffer from the ‘nostalgia’ gene I think. Photography satisfies that appetite for the beauty in reminiscing; I live for it!
What first drew you to photography?
Without a doubt, studying Art History at University was the initial catalyst. My interest grew from a Scottish Photography module I took in second year. We learnt about many of the early pioneers, William Henry Fox Talbot, Daguerre, Lewis Carroll.
However, the true love came from a chance encounter during my summer break with an exhibition of Julia Margaret Cameron’s work at The National Portrait Gallery. I was utterly mesmerised! Her work was both beautiful and unapologetic. I felt I was looking at faces of people who could have easily been from my own time. I felt like a time-traveller; it was the way she captured their gaze, which really touched me. Despite the elaborate staging in her photography (often re-enacting the text of Tennyson’s ‘Idylls of the King’) there was that honesty in the gaze that really drew me in.
It wasn’t for another 10 years however, before I would properly pick up a camera and capture the beauty in the everyday myself. I spent most of my twenties just appreciating the art of others.
How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to setting up ‘A Little White Space’?
Well, I’ve been a very slow-burner with my photography. I haven’t at any point wanted to rush the process. I planted the seed six years ago and have let it slowly germinate and grow from there.
I’ve taken my time developing my style and ethos, while practicing on many family and friends and doing the odd job through referrals. My photography has grown and matured alongside myself; in that time I have become a mother to two wonderful little girls. I have been taken apart as a person and put back together, as a stronger more fulfilled human being and I believe I can see that growth in my photography too.
Like myself, my photography has become more self-assured, less complicated and fussy and appreciative of all the beautifully simple things in life. Like a good cup of coffee, a winter’s walk or a cuddle with my girls after a long and tiring day.
During that time, I have been very divided between the two (my work and my children), with more focus on the raising of my daughters. However, now that my eldest little girl is at school and my baby is nearly two, I feel ready to devote myself more to my photography.
So, before Christmas my husband and I sat down and discussed how I could expand my business while still being a ‘stay at home’ mum. The simplest answer was to bring people to me and for me to essentially create a space for them to have their loves immortalised. The toy room was stripped and the contents moved to the living room and charity shop. A white paint bucket was pried open and a new lease of life brought back into a stuffy little room, which thankfully was already gifted with a generous amount of natural light.
What are your sessions like?
The first word that springs to mind is ‘relaxed’. I open my door and invite you in (with a smile). I make a cup of coffee, get some cake out and I talk to you. I ask questions and I play with your little one if they’re here for a shoot. I spend time getting an initial essence of who you are, what you want from me and the session and make you feel as comfortable as possible with me and my rather large black camera ‘Betsy’; she can be a little intimidating at times!
“I take my time with my sessions and I don’t like to rush.”
We will then decide to take some photos and if, for example, we’re working with a small child or baby and they are a little unsettled, tired, hungry, suddenly overwhelmed, we’ll take a break, have another cuppa and then try again in a bit.
I love the idea that your indoor shoots have touches of nature; how do you feel nature influences your style of photography?
I feel nature and my photography are one and the same. I look at people and plants in much the same manner and wonderment. I feel we are intrinsically linked and find beauty in incorporating touches of that symbolism through simple, yet effective nature props in the studio.
“Light and nature are very important tools for me.”
I use a lot of natural light, as I believe this is where the magic really happens. That is where you can see the season’s change, even in the way a shadow falls on the floor or the light catches your hair.
Do you have a particular favourite season to photograph in during your outdoor shoots?
Not really, I find different beauty in all the seasons. Each one has something magically different to offer and get excited about as a photographer.
However, if I was really hard pushed to pick one in relation to my outdoor shoots ‘Down the Lane’, then it would most likely favour Spring, as that is when all the wild flowers are out; it really is quite a splendid backdrop.
What are the things you enjoy most about being a photographer?
Having an outlet to channel my whimsical fancies and visions, as well as meeting lots of interesting faces, with wonderful stories to tell whether 5 or 50 years of age. I find faces fascinating; all the layers that they carry, I enjoy unraveling with my lens.
Do you have a favourite photograph that you have taken?
Yes, of my little girl Imogen at 3 years of age walking down the lane by our house, it’s utterly timeless.
In it I am transported back to long carefree summer days and wellie boots (because she refused to wear anything else) and a bright-eyed little girl with an appetite for life and adventure.
What do you hope your clients will take from you work and sessions?
I hope firstly, that they make a friend in me, that is really important to me. I hope that they have fun whether they are comfortable in front of the lens or not. I also hope that they leave with the reassurance that I ‘see’ them.
I always hope to portray them and their children in an authentic way, to who they really are, while also expanding their own perceptions of how they see themselves, whilst still feeling comfortable within the process.
I absolutely adore Lulu’s work, there is nothing forced, no backdrops or cheesy poses. Her style of portrait and lifestyle photography is clean and simple, capturing the most cherished moments in an absolutely timeless quality.
A Little White Space offer bump, newborn, toddler, family, couple, ‘any occasion’ photography, both in her studio in Farnham, Surrey or ‘on location’ in the surrounding area of her home.
I know, later this Spring, I will be booking in with Lulu for some time with her and ‘Betsy’ for a coffee, a chat and some cake!
Please Note: I have not been paid or received any goods in exchange for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.