Fanny Latour-Lambert is twenty years old. Her eye seems to be dedicated to fashion, and she is one of the young French photographers to follow right now. Her images first came from her candor; now she has her way trough the fashion world. But plunging in her deep blue look, we can still see her freshness, her dreams and her bright future. Fanny is a beautifully grown-up kid.
How did you grow up?
I live in Paris in an area that has become very lively over the years but used to be deserted when I was a child. I had to find a way to keep busy in some way that was different to shopping. My parents weren't artists at all, but we had some hobbyist artists in our family, so I've always been surrounded by art, without even noticing it at first! My father took me to museums on the weekends and I used to draw (I went to some intensive courses for that). But I suddenly had my teenage meltdown and stopped it. When I decided to take it over, two years later, it was too late, I had lost a lot of my skills. That's why I decided to start photography. I needed something to take charge of, to focus on, in order to feel busy amongst other reasons… I wanted to make a balance within everyday life and the things in my head, that were so personal. All this I managed to do so with photography.
Did you have a photographic sensibility, even before that?
Yes, in a way. I've always been interested in people. I remember me choosing my best friend at school because she had such an interesting and special face… I've always loved strange faces. That's why I started photographing people, first from my family, then from my friends.
Your work also shows an interest in cinema, is that right?
Absolutely. I love people and I love cinema. Since the beginning I have always been wondering which characters my models could play, as if they were in some kind of imaginary movie. I love to dramatize them beyond their interesting faces. I want to create meaningful stories with them.
When did you start to think about photography in a professional way?
I first used to do everything by myself, even styling - shopping at flea markets - and beauty. The more I did it my way, the more accidents occurred and sometimes there were good accidents! It was very modest, a kind of hobby, and I never thought that it could become so important, and so quickly! But I met this girl called Marcela who was willing to be a model. We made some pictures together and she sent them to an agency. They liked my work. That was my first step into the fashion photography world: a coincidence. When I first heard I would be able to do what I liked: photographing beautiful girls and getting paid for it, I thought I was in a dream. I was in High School at the time and I had to play hooky to make my photography sessions! After my graduation I went to an art school but I felt photography was drawing me too much, so I decided to do it as a full time job. My mother was crazy about that, she was so scared!
But it worked out very quickly then!
I was lucky enough to meet a booker from an important model agency, who wanted to show me all about fashion photography. I understood that by letting other people be in charge of getting the model beautiful, I could make a living out of it. My first editorial though, was supposed to be a test. I was working with a stylist called Matthieu Pabiot and we sent our story to L'Officiel Homme. It was accepted right away! It was sudden, not at all planned, and that was for the best. I still work the same way today, I meet anyone who wants to meet me and I have that philosophy that if people are not contacting me, this must not be the right time… So I let it go. It's gone pretty well for the moment.
Do you feel part of an effervescent new generation of creative young people?
I think the number of young creators will continue to increase in the years to come. There are many of us wanting to create something and make our way out of it, even if we are self-taught people. So yes, I'm part of that phenomena.
Do you think you are into fashion for good?
Well, it depends. I'm very happy with fashion, but cinema stays in my mind too. I sometimes say I would only be a complete person once I have made movies. Nothing is final, I'm a young woman and there is so much to do yet!
Are there some images that haunt you over the years?
I like special characters. I always think about Hanneke's Funny Games. I also love all about "strange celebrations", like those we can see in Diane Arbus' pictures, for example. I remember the first photographer to hit me was Cristina Garcia Rodero. My father came home one night with her book España Oculta. It was about religious celebrations, photographed in distant Spanish countries; it was so strange and beautiful, I have always kept it in mind. But that was just a first step. I have grown very much in six years of photography. At first it was very instinctive and I wasn't thinking about my influences at all. It's only now that I have done quite a few things that I can realize where and why all this actually began.