How we see ourselves involves more than just looking the mirror. Acclaimed photographer Lotta van Droom brings out the best in her portrait subjects, playing with light, expression and objects to create a spiritual and creative dimension.
I was born in Saxony, Germany and I now live in Galway, Ireland. I discovered my love for photography at around the age of 14, when my grandfather gave me his old analogue SLR, which I replaced with a digital SLR about eight years ago. Over the years I experimented and explored the specifics of different areas. I photographed landscapes, flowers and still life, and eventually became hooked on portrait and people photography, which represents the majority of my work.
I usually prefer soft, artificial light and a studio environment where I can adjust the light according to my priorities and don’t have to prepare for contingencies. However, I sometimes venture outside to take photographs of nature.
Post-processing often accounts for the lion’s share of the work in creating new images.
I’m always willing to reinvent myself and my pictures. I’m continually seeking extraordinary people and materials. The models I choose must be expressive. The ideas for my works come to me a long time before I actually click the camera. I draw inspiration from many things around me, including music, books and conversations. I also find inspiration from daydreams in which my perceptions take on a life of their own and feed my imagination. This inner world is built on my moods, thoughts and feelings, which are all reflected in my photographs.My images can be everything and anything, except “normal”. It’s not my intention to show reality – I prefer to show the realm of fantasy and wishes. That’s why a lot of my work is surreal and fantastical. I’m always attracted to the extraordinary in my subjects. I put people on pedestals, transform them and they become performers in my dream world.
All images courtesy Lotta van Droom. This gallery first appeared in the December 2015 issue of Sawubona magazine. Download here (for free).