With her series, the British photographer is searching for clues in two respects: on the one hand, she is taking a new look at her home country, and on the other hand, she is following the paths taken by her late father. Her pictures of the South West Coast of England are warm and poetic testimonies of her travels.
As the writer Hans Christian Andersen put it: travelling is living. What does travel mean to you?
Just being somewhere else is very powerful for me — it’s almost like my eyes are wide open in new places. I see differently.
You catch these new impressions, images with your camera. Why?
I think photographing is my way of making sense of the world, creating order, defining patterns. When it comes to photography, I like to hope my work is imbued with a strong sense of story, and my photographs feel transportive and capture the essence of the destinations I visit. I want my work to shed light on the soul of a place, and the people who live within it.
How do you manage to capture the great moments?
I think to capture a moment you need to be in balance — emotionally, physically. When I’m in flow, in balance, I find it easy to capture moments. When my energy is off, not so much.
Summer in Cornwall is about a journey to one of the coasts of England – what did you consider important to express with your images?
The beauty of this land and the generous spirits who live there. I’ve lived away from England for nearly 14 years; I returned for good this past March. I love rediscovering my country, seeing it through new eyes.
What kind of experience did you bring back with you?
This series is part of an ongoing personal project to capture the coastlines of England. Each trip is different: I discover new places, new people, new experiences. That’s the beauty of photography, the places it takes you to.
The series is also about your father, and a search for traces of his footsteps…
My dad had a special reverence for the British coastline and walking part of it feels like retracing his footsteps. Nothing but endless ocean to the right and the rolling green hills of England to the left. My dad was a photographer when I was growing up. One summer, before our annual camping trip to France, he gave us those little plastic film cameras. I carried mine around for a long time after the film was spent, framing scenes that caught my eye and practising.
So your father inspired you to follow a photographic career?
I studied Photography at college, but was ultimately discouraged by my tutor, who told me I had no eye for a good photograph, and that photography would be a useless pursuit for me. That really stuck and, sadly, I didn’t pick up a camera again until 2010, when my brother passed away. I inherited his old DSLR. He took such amazing photographs—and with his camera it was as if I could see the world through his eyes. I believe you are where you put your focus.
How would you describe your photographic approach?
To slow down and to observe, that’s the most important thing. My approach to photography is about a feeling, an energy. I ask myself, what’s the story you want to tell? Think beyond capturing just one image, understand and find that connection. Learn your editing style, because it can bring a picture to life. I am always inspired by the work of Slim Aarons and Arthur Elgort, and contemporary photographers like Steve McCurry and Lachlan Bailey.
You used a Leica M10R for the series. How was your experience with it?
I love everything about the M10R, especially the high resolution, which means I can print my images at large scale. I have always loved how cinematic and timeless images shot on the M series feel.
What kind of other techniques do you use during your photographic process?
I like to shoot wide open apertures and also add a little grain to my images in post — I love the timeless feel of film emulation.
You sell your travel images also in a web-based shop. Why do you believe people love images of places they’ve never been themselves?
I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to my photographs — I’m still surprised people want to hang my work on their walls!! But I am very grateful. In this moment of collective stillness, I think we are all looking to memories of travel. Photographs have the ability to transport us to another time, another place.
Lucy Laucht is a travel, fashion and lifestyle photographer who lives in the UK. Her work is imbued with a strong sense of story, and her transportive photographs capture the essence of the destinations she visits. A Leica ambassador, Lucy’s work appears regularly in Elle France, Conde Nast Traveller, Grazia, Vogue Australia and Goop. Her select clients include Topshop, Apiece Apart, Madewell, American Airlines, QANTAS, Desmond & Dempsey, and Relais & Chateaux. Please find out more about her photography on her website and Instagram channel.