Fashion photographer Lara Jade is twenty and just a little peeved.
There's no question that she's an exciting emergent talent (she was recently interviewed by Annie Leibovitz for a part-time interning position in New York) but this striking, tattoo-loving shooter is concerned about 'unlevel playing fields' in the photo-industry.
She believes that her male peers with less professional time under their belts, seem to get offered more work than she does. And she sees that as unfair.
She tells Litebook: "I have found out the hard way that being a young woman in this business can be a real hindrance.
I have some close male friends in the industry, who admittedly are really talented, but haven't been shooting professionally as long as I have. And yet, somehow they seem to get more work, even though I know we share the same shooting standards.
"I can only put that down to my gender. People say sexism and ageism are dead, but I don't agree. It's out there as much as ever."
She adds: "Because I am young, it seems a lot of the enquiries I get are based on clients believing I'll be cheap. It can be tempting to take a job purely because it's work. But I have a fee structure and I stick to it. I have discovered that you can't be too nice in this world, or you'll get walked all over."
Lara was bullied at school. "I dyed my hair dark from a young age, wore dark make-up and oversized clothes. I really didn't want to fit in so I just rebelled against everything. My photography became my escape from reality."
She first started experimenting with a camera at fifteen, and two years later, while still at college, started her own business.
"Initially I was just shooting local bands and headshots that I could tie in with my college projects. But after doing a bit of research on other photographers in my native west Midlands, I found that they all offered the same dull, vanilla photography, at a 'rip off' price. I believed I could offer something more interesting. Something different."
She admits: "I've always been a dreamer. Photography enables me to capture the world how, as a child, I dreamed it would be. I realised that through that viewfinder I could capture anything - photography was going to be my gateway to many things."
There are 314 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 16th March 2022