In the competitive world of fashion photography, London-based fashion and portrait photographer, Zoe Lower is a cut above the rest. Recognised for her signature in-camera double exposure photography, Zoe reflects on her background of fine art and use of organic and artistic elements of photography, to create a distinctive vision for brands and publications alike. Developing an impressive portfolio of portraits, Zoe has had the pleasure to shoot with international DJs such as Erol Alkan, Cassy Britton and Jackmaster. Her artful works appearing on Vogue.com, Avenir Magazine and Hunger TV to name a few.
Read the interview to find out what goes on behind the camera lens…
What is your day to day like?
I’m very lucky to be able to build my own hours, so I often work pretty varied days and no two are the same with me in charge. I split my time between photography, my fashion brand ZOLÀ and my festival pop up ‘The Mermaid Cave’. It’s a bit of a jumble of photoshoots & retouching to fashion/print design & making headdresses
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
Someone described my photography to me as being “full of warmth”, which I loved. I like to think it captures the more artistic elements of photography; soft, natural grain and shallow focus. You’re much more likely to find me exploring a location than in a studio, and I almost exclusively shoot with natural light. I play around with in-camera double exposures a lot, so that’s probably become my signature style, as well as shooting on both 35mm and purple film for my travel projects.
What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?
Helmut Newton, for the world’s most iconic black & white fashion photographs, and Paolo Roversi for inspiring me to ‘paint with light’. His portraits can be reminiscent of old masters paintings with the magical way he uses light, shade and texture. Tim Walker is hugely inspiring as well for the theatrical art direction and storytelling elements to his work.
What are the biggest challenges of working in London
The lack of nature gets to me sometimes, especially after having spent long periods in much more exotic locations, which inspire my work hugely. My mind generally works in an ‘other worldly’ colour palette, which is pretty limited when in London, so that’s how I justify running around the world so much!
What projects are you working on now?
I’m currently in Australia for 6 weeks with my clothing brand ZOLÀ (www.zola-london.co.uk), launching the new collection and indulging in the incredible locations with photoshoots and collaborations with local creatives. I’m hoping to head to India at the start of the New Year as well to work on a project there, one trip at a time though!
Let’s move on to your THREE FLOOR handbag, what are your everyday essentials?
My Frends headphones, one of my most prized possessions. Everyone seems to fall in love with their mermaid holographicness. I’m often running late so usually my make up bag (also mermaid). I could do my liquid eyeliner in a high speed car chase if needed. I tend to carry my treasure bag of jewellery around with me as well as I change up my jewels a lot depending on my mood
What’s the one thing we would be surprised to find in your bag?
Another backpack! I sometimes play Russian dolls with my bags if I’m going somewhere where I need a smaller bag. I’ll take my Three Floor for the day and hide a little one inside just in case, it’s perfect for a stowaway.
As a photographer and other than your camera equipment, what else do you always have in your bag?
A perfume bottle I use to shoot through and my location log book, for scribbling down places I pass by that I think could be interesting for a shoot one day.
Shop the featured ZOLÀ jumpsuit at www.zola-london.co.uk.
Images courtesy of Eva K Salvi.