Lasse Dearman

The Danish photographer sees beauty in the austere and talks about moving from portraiture into photojournalism

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For Lasse Dearman, a photographer currently studying in Denmark, youthful angst and urban decay seems to serve as a particular fascination. His lens communicates the beauty of bleakness, enveloping the austerity of dried blood and concrete landscapes in a mist of aesthetic magnetism. His talent lies in framing the shot; perfectly isolating a section of the body from its surroundings, whilst creating an impression of raw human instability as defiance and vulnerability merge into his uneasy figures.

Dazed Digital: In terms of subject matter, what inspires you the most?
Lasse Dearman:
It’s hard to point out exactly what I find most inspiring, I usually get inspiration from a lot of different places and things. I spend hours looking at photographs on photo-blogs trying to find new or old photographers to get inspiration from. Not just their photos, but also the way the photographer works with his or her subject, whether it's Jacob Aue Sobol, hunting for intimacy, or Alec Soth doing quiet, poetic, large format portraits in sleeping by the Mississippi. Other times it’s very impulsive, I’ll meet someone interesting and instinctively feel like photographing him or her.

My camera is no longer just something I use to take photographs with, it is at the same time just as much a key to adventure, and to all these new interesting environments I’d normally never belong in

DD: You’re currently studying photojournalism in Denmark, why are you interested in this particular strand of photography?
Lasse Dearman:
When I started photographing I almost exclusively did portraits, which were set up, but while living in London I met photographer David Richardson, with whom I became really good friends. He introduced me to his lifestyle/diary photography. I was impressed by how he could always tell a crazy story behind the photos he showed me, while I could only say that the person on my photos was either in a band or a model.

At this point I felt I wanted my photos to contain an extra layer, so I decided to apply for the Danish School of Journalism to start a new direction for my photography. Within the past year while I’ve been studying, I’ve found myself in some of the most extreme situations in my life, and I guess that’s what I like about this kind of photography. My camera is no longer just something I use to take photographs with, it is at the same time just as much a key to adventure, and to all these new interesting environments I’d normally never belong in.

DD: What are you working on at the moment?
Lasse Dearman:
I just got back from Glasgow where I spent 10 days doing a small school project in the east end, trying to photograph some of the more deprived areas of the city. All the projects I’ve done so far, has been quite short, two weeks the most. The projects I’ve done have been really great, but rather than leaving me with satisfaction, it has left me eager to do something bigger and more accomplished. So right now, I’m trying to think of a new project I could work on for maybe a year or so.

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