Beirut-based experimental and conceptual photographer Lara Zankoul aims to create images that invite the viewers to come up with their own interpretation of the stories. Her work has been featured in local and international exhibitions. Today, we talk to Lara about how she brings an idea to life and how to move forward when you have a creative block.
What’s the one quote that always fires you up?
LZ: “If you don’t help yourself, no one will.”
Do you have any particular habits that are a part of how you begin your creative process?
LZ: Once I decide on the concept I want to convey, I start looking for a location. The location helps me visualise the final photo, so I start looking for the main constraint. After that, I work on gathering props if needed, searching for models, deciding on their wardrobe and planning the lighting (natural or artificial).
What do you do when you hit a wall during your creative process?
LZ: When I’m not feeling inspired, I respect it and stop producing. But, if it lasts too long, I push myself to create by forcing myself to shoot. As I put myself out there, the creativity starts flowing on its own. Other times, I initiate a collaboration with other creatives so I force myself to deliver. When you are working with someone else, you become very accountable of your words.
What’s your favorite photo you’ve ever captured and why?
LZ: The Zoo – due to the unexpected positive response it received.
Dane Johnson was the former Editor of PHLEARN Magazine, where he helped creatives share their stories. Dane currently is the co-founder of Clementine Coffee Roasters and he accepts most assertions of his hipster-ness and millennialism without flinching.