LINDSAY ADLER INTERVIEW
Lindsay Adler is a professional fashion and portrait photographer based in New York. She is also an educator who teaches at the most prestigious events and the industry’s largest platforms on topics ranging from retouching to fashion techniques to studio lighting. Her unique work was published in Marie Claire, InStyle, Noise Magazine, Zink Magazine, Rangefinder, Professional Photographer, and lots more. Her biography is so impressive that you can get a feeling that it’s almost impossible for one person to manage it all. But when you get to know her you will know that her enormous enthusiasm and energy-driven creativity to make it all happen. Lindsey regularly contributes to a wide range of major photo publications, like “Professional Photographer,“ “Rangefinder Magazine,“ “Popular Photography,“ and more. Her exquisitely brave, bold, and graphic style become her trademark and an innovator in fashion and portrait photography. This young lady has the world on her palm and we will be standing by her side watching her moving borders.
Photography is storytelling. To which extent do you agree and why?
Every powerful, memorable image is telling a story. That doesn’t mean that a photo must be a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, I mean that each frame is an opportunity to communicate a message, or build a character, or evoke an emotion. A pretty photo is ‘nice’… but when it has a story it is really using our craft to reach our viewers.
Did you choose photography or the photography choose you and can you remember how it happen?
I was meant to be a photographer, and I’m one of the lucky people that discovered their passion early in life. By the time that I was 15 I had already started my first photography business and started attending classes to learn more about my craft.
More than half of my life I have focused on pursuing this incredible art form and have been blessed to have encouraging people in my life.
How did you manage to avoid cliché in fashion photography because these days we can see many copycats and your approach is so unique?
To some extend, everything has been done before. No idea is completely unique, but in this same breath it is also pointless to copy exactly what someone else has done before.
I think one of the thing that helps originality is to have your own style, your own creative voice. When you have a style then each image will have your unique stamp on it… you won’t be compelled to copy someone else because you will always have your own lens through which you see the world.
How much do you research your subjects before photographing them and how important do you think it is?
When I shoot a portrait I have a series of interview questions for my subjects. Why are they getting their portrait taken? What are they passionate about? Do they have any favorite movies or books? If they could live in any time period in history, when would that be? I use these elements to help build a concept and a story for my subject.
When I shoot for a magazine I am not research the subject, but instead creating mood boards and a visual story based on a theme for fashion and beauty. I research a lot of visuals and trends to help my imagery be fresh and relevant.
How did you light the picture?
With every image I begin with the idea of purpose… WHY am I creating this image. That helps me then figure out the proper styling, poses, colors, lighting and more. Every photo is treated differently, but all seen through the lens of my style.
How important is background in photography and what kind of backdrops do you prefer to use? Also can you tell us why using custom made backgrounds like Gravity Backdrop is different than others?
The background is as important as any other element in the frame. All of them must work in harmony to communicate the purpose of the image. If the image is meant to be light, dreamy and ethereal— well, that requires one type of background, lighting, pose and styling. If the photograph is meant to be dramatic and painterly— that requires different styles, poses, background and lighting. The background doesn’t necessary MAKE the photo… but it is an essential piece of the entire visual that cannot be overlooked.
One thing that is nice about hand-painted canvas backdrops is that they give a bit more depth to a photograph— there is more texture and visual interest. Furthermore, we now associate these types of backgrounds with timeless, ‘expensive’ imagery and therefore including them in our images is visual shorthand for how we want someone to view our scene or set (aka timeless and expensive!).
Why do you like using Gravity Backdrops background?
Working with custom hand painted canvas backgrounds like Gravity can be a great way to ad depth to your image, a feeling of timelessness, or to help reinforce the concept of your image. Personally I think shooting on canvas is particularly powerful when I’m crafting an image that needs a rich look with depth and visual interest in every pixel with a nod to classic images of the past, yet with my modern twist!
Can you tell us more about why using low angle for shooting female portraits and is it related in trying to present them more powerful?
I don’t like to photograph women in a way that is soft, subdued, or demure. I love to convey the strength and innate power of women through my imagery. To do so I employ a lot of different techniques, including regularly shooting at a low angle.
This is the ‘hero’ angle— shooting low to communicate their power over the scene.
Where do you see future of fashion photography?
I think fashion and beauty are growing to have a strong divergence within them. On one hand things move toward perfection and fantasy. On the other hand, there is a movement toward natural and authentic interpretations of fashion/beauty. I think the two will continue to diverge as two ways to approach what fashion or beauty “should” and “can” be in our lives, culture and art.
Your personality and energy are contagious, do you think it helps you relate to the subject, relax them and reveal a candid side of them through your lense?
I think its just important to realize that your model or your subject IS a person. They have insecurities and passions, and trying to get to know them just a little bit can go a long way! I always try to stay upbeat and excited on set because I know that energy spread throughout the team and amplifies! As soon as I lose any of my spark during the day, you see it start to fizzle with others as well!
What gives wind in your wings and what’s your poison?
My poison is ‘bad’ people— people who are self-centered, greedy, wavering, or disloyal. My life has thrived the last 3 years because I’ve slowly cut these people out of my life— I’m as happy and successful as I’ve ever been and its because I’ve learned to eliminate these terrible stresses in my life.
I am inspired and energized by working with creatives that are excited to exchange ideas and create beautiful images together. I love being around people who are passionate about their craft and understand how lucky we are to have the lives and careers that we do!
Can you tell us more about your future projects please?
My commercial photography career has been blossoming recently. I’ve been shooting more big jobs than ever before, and I’m just loving and embracing this new growth in my business! Of course I am always still creating for myself and to share educationally— and these creative days mixed with commercial shoot days keeps me inspired!