We had a chat with the Australian fashion photographer Jess LaFrankie about how she discovered her passion for photography as a coincidence and that she is most in love with the photos she hasn’t taken yet.
First, tell me a bit about your background.
I’m a fashion photographer from Melbourne Australia. I moved out of home when I was 18 from a beach town in Queensland. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was going to do but I knew photography was the plan. For the first few years I shot alongside my sister Bekha LaFrankie which was the best experience because we were able to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other, and I found that this was really essential to my growth as a young artist.
When did you develop your interest in photography?
I’m a photographer by accident really. In high school, I was supposed to be put into the business class but due to an admin error, I ended up in the photography class. Rather unwilling to leave this new world I’d found I decided to stay. At that time, I didn’t think I would be a photographer, but after I graduated and found the world of fashion photography, I knew this was for me.
What is your greatest achievement as a photographer?
I think my greatest achievement overall is how I’ve turned my passion for photography into a sustainable business. The warmth of winning a scholarship or award can fade over time but being able to wake up every day and work as a photographer is the most wonderful reality.
What is your favourite photography among your own? And why?
The American photographer Imogen Cunningham once said ‘Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow’. By nature, I’m always looking forward and most in love with the photos I haven’t taken yet.
What makes a great photographer?
Drive. If you have something inside you pushing you to better your skills and push your limits you’re probably going to do great things.
What makes a great photograph?
Attention to detail. I believe that’s what separates a good image from a great photograph.
Can you predict a great photo or does it sometimes just happen to be a good one?
The longer you’ve been shooting the better you start to know yourself as a photographer. I used to take zillions of shots and then sit back and figure out what I liked. Now, I’m able to tell whether I think they will work before I take them. In the end, it’s kind of a mixture of lining up the right shot and then adding the magic through the lighting and talent.
Interviewed by: Synne Krogstad
Images: Jess LaFrankie’s archive