Born and raised in California, 21 year old Lizzie Strupat has been living in London for two years now, studying fashion photography at London College of Fashion. Here Photogenie finds out how Lizzie first became taken by photography and how her work back home in CA differs from her work in London.
I got a camera around when I was 16 so then I started taking pointless photos. I guess when I really started trying was a year later when I got onto my high school’s rather prestigious yearbook staff. Hah! I got on as a senior which is pretty intense since they rarely choose people that will only be on staff for a year. So that gave me quite a bit of confidence. In that year, I learned a lot of what I’m being taught now again in school. I wasn’t the best photographer on staff but it was amazing to be surrounded by these amazing people and friends who allowed me to grow and figure out who I was and what I wanted as a photographer.
I guess the next big thing that happened was when I didn’t get into any of the colleges I applied to as a film major. To get away from that sadness I focused on my photography and my dad gave me his canon ae-1. That’s what I use now really. Ironically when I first got it, I was so opposed to film and thought it was old and defunct.
But now, that camera is my best friend and it comes everywhere with me. Using a film camera changed everything because it was a way to take the seriousness out of things. I could just take photos of my friends. Not to mention after I saw the first roll of film, I was sold. The colors, the nostaligic feel. I loved it.
Now I use mostly film unless it’s something super professional which film wouldn’t make sense for. Film just feels right. It’s all about spirit, not technicalities. I suppose I specialize in portraiture. While I’m studying Fashion Photography at LCF, fashion photography isn’t necessarily my love. I love art and stuff that’s a bit weird.
I would say I take inspiration from Alex prager, Tim walker, Mike Bailey-Gates, Lauren Poor, Gregory Crewdson and Ryan mcginley. They’re an assorted bunch but they really just know how to create a mood and a feeling and they can make one photo into a whole world of mystery.
There is such a difference between how I shoot at home in California and how I shoot here. Literally polar opposites. When I first took up photography, I did shoots with my friends. My best friend wanted to be a makeup artist so that’s all we did when we hung out and it just became this fun way to meet people at our school and be free and young and everything.
Here in London that’s so different. Sure I shoot my photos of my friends but my contact book was reduced from about 300 to 15. So it sort of quelled my freedom. With no helpers and no super willing, always available models, it’s definitely a quest to do a shoot not a carefree activity. That coupled with complete change in weather and light has been a tough one. But having the opportunity to experience both ends of the scale is still something I value and the difference has definitely influenced my photography positively.
Click here to view more of Lizzie’s work