A CONVERSATION WITH LOUISE DAMGAARD

Interview Filep Motwary

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Lanvin

 

  Louise divides her time between London & Copenhagen. Her fashion trajectory started in Copenhagen where she as a stylist worked closely with some of Denmark’s most influential fashion figures. When she moved to London in 2003 to work for Jens Laugesen, Louise picked up a camera for the first time and saw the world anew. Styling now seemed one-dimensional compared to the riches of photography. Commuting between Copenhagen and London, Louise drew on both cities in developing her signature style of cool urban poetics and free-flowing teen spirit.

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Mary Katrantzou

In 2008 Louise completed a BA Honours in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion. The same year the prestigious Wallpaper magazine pointed out Louise as a photographer to watch! During her college years she assisted Rankin and was one of the first to shoot the now-famous model Chloe Norgaard. Louise now works editorially with publications and clients where she prefers original and patina’ed beauty – always capturing a poetic mood of curious melancholy. She collaborates with AnOther, Aritzia, Contributor magazine, Dazed Digital, Diesel, Frame, Grazia, Interview, Metal magazine, NY Times / T magazine, Pig, Rolling Stone magazine, Sophia Webster, Vice, Visionaire, Women’s Wear Daily, Wonderland amongst others.

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Iris Van Herpen

Louise, I know you for several seasons now. We always bumb onto each other during fashion weeks in Paris and Milan. How did you get involved in fashion documentation?

I got into fashion at a young age, I assisting and working as a stylist. I found myself in London, where I studied a BA in Fashion Photography. After many years in London, I went back to Copenhagen and thought I wanted to contribute with something from Scandinavian – and suggested to cover fashion week from here. I liked the idea of being backstage and document what I saw. I documented a few seasons from Copenhagen for Dazed Digital and that led me to Paris Haute Couture in 2012 – and since then, I have been documenting backstage from fashion weeks in London and Paris.

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V & R

What triggers you while backstage? What it is you are looking for in a collection?

Most of all I am looking for moments backstage. I love working with contrasts. Young models vs. established big design houses, hanging out moments vs. the serious moments just before show starts etc
But I am also into the clothes of course. I love the details in a collection and focus as much on the moments as on the details and shapes in design.

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Rick Owens

 

How do you make your pictures stand out from those of the other photographers backstage? What are the main characteristics of your work you think?

I like to capture the moments where I see the models being very much themselves. This can be models sitting reading a book, making fun with the other models – also I like to shoot portraits of them as individuals. I try to be very quiet and keep my eyes open for non-staged moments to happen.

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Peter Pilotto and above, Alexander McQueen

What are the main difficulties of shooting backstage?

Getting from show to show on time. Fashion weeks are so busy and I am often stressing getting from A to B. Locations and lighting of backstage venue also plays a role of how the images turns out.
Also the time you have backstage for shooting your story can be tricky.
We both witnessed the final show of Ann Demeulemeester before the new team took over. How was that moment for you?
At that moment shooting the show, I did not know it was her last.
However, I felt it was very special because of the location, collection, casting and mood. I felt I got a lot given because it looked amazing and worked so well as a show and as an image. Now I feel honored to have witnessed and shot the show that was Ann Demeulemeester’s last one.

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Giles

What new project are you working on?

I am now setting up courses in Fashion Photography in Denmark. I’m creating a three-week intensive summer course in end July/August since there is no such course specializing within this field.

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Rick Owens

Is there any age restriction? Who can register?

The course is for anyone from 18+ loving fashion, photography, styling, magazines, creating visual stories. I focus on idea generation, and how to build and work with moodboards to create coherent, remarkable fashion stories. Different tasks within fashion photography, identity, subculture, street style, behind-the-scenes and editorials will be presented. I focus a lot on the creative process and on each student to be individual and express their personality and energy though their work…

It runs as a summer course for the first time July 28 – August 15 2014 in Copenhagen. It will be 3 weeks intensive course with following themes:

- Fashion Photography
- Fashion and magazines
- References, style and aesthetic
- Find your signature style as a fashion photographer
- Idea development, sketch books, mood boards and presentation techniques
- Editorials – creating, dynamic and flow
- Subcultures – originality, style and identity
- Street style
- Guest Teacher
- The fashion industry insights, fashion week, behind the scenes.
all info can be found on http://www.fashionphotographycourse.com
Since there is no such courses in Scandinavia I thought this would be ideal for all the fashion and photography talents out there.

For more on Louise www.louisedamgaard.com
The course info  www.fashionphotographycourse.com
Instagram: damgaard_louise

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Sacai

 

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