Filled with neon lights, pastel colours and flower beds, the 20-year-old photographer channels her insecurities through a camera lens to create a place she’d rather be
Photographer Chloe Sheppard is a girl’s girl. Her dreamy portraiture is often an ode to those who inspire her, and the women she surrounds herself with.
Speaking with us late last year, Sheppard opened up about her insecurities, explaining she uses photography to channel a lack of self-confidence. “Throughout all of my teenage years I never had much self-confidence, so I rarely take or post pictures of myself. I use my photography and models to help create some kind of ideal self, so using females in my photos has always just made sense to me. I can make them look the way I'd love myself to look.”
On a recent trip to America, Sheppard set about creating an ideal world for herself and her girls to inhabit. Shooting neon-lit diners and girls backdropped by flower beds, she says, "Whenever I'm shooting, it's all about creating an ideal world, so the photos of the diner and the picket fences... are just another way of showing that. It probably looks like these are locations I always find myself in and girls I'm just hanging out with – that everything is pastel coloured and rose embracing – but that's not the case at all, so that's why I'm creating my own narrative.”
Pairing the images alongside her favourite lyrics, Sheppard recently published a zine, titled Lover, Loser, Loner – “because they’re all the things I feel I am; a lover of many things, a loser in all aspects of the word, and a loner, because I constantly feel like one of those too.”
She continues, “A lot of the time I feel myself dwelling on why I’m by myself so much and if I’ll ever find ‘my people’.” The 20-year-old’s concerns parallel those that we can all relate to, at some point in our lives, reminding us of that bittersweet excitement/fear that manifests between the ages of adolescence and adult.
Lover, Loser, Loner is available here