Lauren Tugwell is a digital and analog photographer residing in London and Manchester. Her images focus on various subjects and her distinct vision. While studying at UCA Lauren started to use analog and her work changed dramatically. Her original style is tangible; her images are strong, beautiful and cinematic. Lauren does a lot of her own styling and creative direction which has allowed her to have full control over the end outcome.
How did you begin photographing? Was there a moment when you knew you would be a photographer? Or did it come gradually?
I started photography when I was in college, it was funny because I never really had any intention to like photography. I decided to take the subject because my friend was doing it but then probably 10 minutes into my first lesson I was hooked, everything about it excited me. There was a moment after doing a couple shoots with friends and family I realised I was pretty good at it and my teacher and classmates started to notice and said to me ‘you should do this at university’ and ‘you could pursue photography as a career’. When hearing these comments I realised it was something I would want to do. Usually, when I was younger I took up a lot of hobbies and within 3 months of doing them I stopped and didn’t like it anymore but after a year of doing photography at college I was even more in love with it. I think when you are really in love or interested in something you can be really good at it because you put all your heart and emotions into the work.
Do you prefer shooting analog or digital?
I actually shoot both, I started off with digital and then when I went to university I was introduced to this whole new world of analog photography and of course I love analog more than digital because you are limited to a certain amount of images on the roll of film, which means you have to be very precise with what you use each roll on therefore you have a different connection with the images. I shoot both as clients and people I work with want to see instantly what the outcome of the shoot looks like but when you see the analog pictures you realise how much better they are.
There is often a cinematic feel to your photographs. Which movies would you say have influenced your aesthetics the most?
I love movies, and I think because I watch them all the time I have memorised certain ways the cinematographers shoot therefore you may be able to see this within my photography. I don’t take inspiration from movies specifically but if there is one scene that really catches my eye I may use it as a reference but I rarely do this. Shooting on film may also give that cinematic feel due to the depth of field and tones that come from the film. 2 movies that I really love the cinematic feel of are Call me by your name and Carol. Also, I recently watched Dune and I can for a fact say I will use this as an influence on visuals for future shoots haha.
How do you feel your personal works differs from your fashion shoots? Or how is it similar?
Actually, a lot of my fashion shoots are all personal to me, I did all the creative direction. So a lot of my work has aspects of how I am feeling in my personal day to day life. I haven’t been able to do extra personal work lately but I really want to start creating long term projects that I could one day put into a photo book.
How would you define beauty? What is beautiful to you?
I don’t think I would define beauty because so much is beautiful to me. If I see something beautiful it’s usually something little that I focus on that makes that thing beautiful to me. If I see a person it’s usually their aura that is beautiful to me. When casting models I like to look at their social accounts more than their modelling accounts because I get to see how they will act on the shoot and if their personality will show within the images. The model does not have to be specifically beautiful by standards, if they have a great personality that is beautiful to me. I actually did a shoot a couple months ago and these models were very beautiful on the outside but their aura was not beautiful and you can actually see this in the images.
What would be your dream project/concept to work on?
My dream project and concept to work on isn’t anything specific, I just wish to work with amazing creatives and create really powerful images. I also really want to work on loads of little projects that will grow within years and then I can put this into a photobook and things like that.