Howard Nowlan, photographer, interviewes Laurie Jeffery.
It's been my great delight to both work with and get to know Laurie Jeffery in recent months.
We were actually born in the same part of the country ! So here is an opening insight into his amazing work...
Laurie Jeffery was born in 1963 and spent the first four years of his life in a council flat in Greenwich England.
The family moved a few miles away to Blackheath where they stayed until his fathers death.
His passion for photography surfaced early in his life. He was just twelve years old when he began shooting still images. Determined to forge his own path, Laurie headed to college at the age of 17.
"An apartment in Paris" Series
Several years later, having gained a first in his degree at university, Laurie left the U.K. and headed for New York. There his work as a freelance fashion and beauty photographer quickly earned him an enviable reputation amongst his peers winning commissions from clients including American Avon and Vogue.
Upon returning to England, he set up a large and successful studio in Chelsea, London. His work earned numerous national awards including three Clio's, a Show Gold, an Art Directors Gold, a Fuji Film Award, and numerous CA Annuals.
After spending many years a the top of his profession, Laurie began to find commercial image creation less and less of a challenge.
He embarked on journey to discover a new source of inspiration. The journey ended with the most challenging of subjects, photographing the nude form.
"An apartment in Poland" Series
Laurie has gathered an impressive inventory of qualifications and awards over his twenty-year career as a top professional lens man. If, as the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then his often copied work has received high praise indeed. Thousands of people view and clearly love the beautiful images Laurie creates ; many consider him a true artist.
Today Laurie lives and works in Lancashire in the north of England. While he still specializes in advertising, beauty, and TV commercials and film production, he also travels and shoots all over the world with what he calls his "bag of Apples and Nikons."
Art Model Lisa B - Unison Model
Laurie Jeffery is still most passionate about fine art photography.
His work has earned him a reputation as an innovative and creative genius, a true master of all styles of photography.
Dear Laurie, do you remember when and how did your passion for photography begin ?
I think the first time I used a camera must have been on holiday with my parents when I was still very young.
I have dim memories of using a Polaroid camera and being the only one in the family who could take pictures without cutting the heads off the subjects. It wasn’t until secondary school that I really got seriously into photography. I decided I needed a hobby, and it was just blind luck the I picked photography. I remember being thunderstruck seeing an image in the developing tray for the first time. It was a real turning point for me.
What Photographers inspire you ?
Bailey. He was and is a genius.
Where did you learn your art ?
The formal eduction came from going to get a degree. Having said that, when I went to get some hard nosed experience, working with a few pros in London and New York, I learned more in a few weeks than I did in my entire time getting a degree. The really cool thing is that I’m still learning. Every time I pick up a camera or work with someone new I learn something. I love the idea of never stopping the education process.
"Who turned off the lights ?"
I read carefully your bio and it seems you're an obsessive photographer, totally devoted to your art. Tell us sincerely how long do you think you could be without your camera ?
I’ve always got a camera with me !
I was sure ! A difficult question : how long did it take to find your style ?
Interesting question. I try not to have one.
So, how would you define your approach to your images ?
A lot of the time it just happens. I’ve been shooting all my life and every time I pick up a camera, the images just seem to flow.
I see pictures everywhere I look.
Art Model Magenta
Where does your work focus, and, given the choice, what kind of work would you like to be doing ?
In the commercial field I’m a hired gun. I shoot what I’m paid to. My personal work is where my heart is.
The focus of that is the nude. I live, sleep and breathe nudes. It’s an incredible challenge and I simply love shooting them.
Art Model Janine May
Art Model Janine May
What does photography mean to you ?
A means to create, to express, to celebrate and to communicate.
Art Model JeannetteYou love to shoot outdoors, and mainly in BW. But do you have a favorite location, a favorite subject, and perhaps a favorite model ?
I love the quality of light in the south of France. I love the drama of the mountains in Spain. The far east is magical. I could go on and on.
The world is a wonderful place to work in !
Favorite models... Impossible to say. Everybody I’ve ever worked with has brought something personal to my work and my world.
What do you plan to do in the next twelve months ?
Work, work, work. I never stop shooting.
Where can people find your work ?
The easiest way is here and my web sites, ljp.co or web.me.com/ljeffery/. The second one has a blog. If you visit please leave a comment and tell me “Howard” sent you !
Other than that, my commercial work can be seen anywhere from broadcast TV, to posters, to fashion magazines, to airports.
I hear you're off to the sun this week ?...
Yes, for a short break - and to find some new figure work locations (the passion is still there, even on vacation !).
Thanks, Laurie. I hope you'll enjoy the sun, and I'm sure we'll benefit from your discoveries in the future.