The Irish-born LCF student talks us through her obsession with Snoop Dogg, what Dublin was like growing up in and what her No.1 inspiration is
London College of Fashion student Leonn Ward does what she loves. Photography is her way of getting thoughts out, and she enjoys unraveling the mysteries of the image. The 20-year-old London photographer's natural style and curiousity has served her well, landing her a gig shooting for American Apparel. She dedicates her blog "For Her" to her Mum, and her work is personal but still very accessible. Her inspiration comes from the world around her and Dazed Digital is her favorite website. She goes to the London College of Fashion.
Dazed Digital: How old are you? Where are you from?
Leonn Ward: 20, Dublin, Ireland.
DD: How long have you been shooting?
Leonn Ward: Always been interested in photography, started getting serious about it in the past three years.
DD: What kind of cameras do you like to use?
Leonn Ward: At the moment Im mixing between a pentax battery film camera, a pentax 35mm, and my poloroid. When i have the money I like dashing out on some throw away cams too! Im not a fan of digital...
DD: What's the best way to promote your photos?
Leonn Ward: I never know whether to put up all of my work. I have personal photos I keep to myself, but its best to be truthful to myself and put up what I think is my best work. Im never insulted if someone does not like my blog, because people have different tastes.
DD: What was it like working for American Apparel?
Leonn Ward: Working for AA was interesting to say the least. I started there before there were rules about what you could and couldnt wear so it was fun then. Then you got told off for having a fringe and it got a bit silly. The free clothes were great though! One night back in Dublin myself being the only girl and a bunch of my guy friends from AA left a club because we werent having fun, we bought a huge tub of talcolm powder and had a huge talcolm powder fight in the sitting room. This was as you can imagine incredible.
DD: Are you interested in doing any gallery shows?
Leonn Ward: I would really love to do a gallery show. It would a great opportunity.
DD: How do you like London? What are some of the best parties you've been to?
Leonn Ward: HEALTH were playing in an unuderground warehouse in east London a few months ago. It was aboslutely insane and the speakers nearly fell on us the floor was moving so much. We hung out with them afterwards and it was definetly one of the best nights out.
DD: Whats it like growing up in Dublin?
Leonn Ward: Growing up in Dublin was pretty standard. It was clicky, and myself and my friends had our phase of thinking we were Regina George in Mean Girls when we were 15. I soon grew out of it, and here I am. I love Dublin though, its such a beautiful city.
DD: Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Leonn Ward: Lina Scheynius, Sophie Van der Perre, Sally Mann, Aaron Feaver to name a few. I love photographers who are able to create intimacy through images.
DD: Where have your travels taken you? Where would you like to go?
Leonn Ward: I want to go all over the world and take wonderful photos. Thailand, Amsterdam, Denmark, China.
DD: What's some of the best feedback you've gotten from your work?
Leonn Ward: A friend back home tell me that through all of my photos, even if im not in them, that it's so obvious I took it, and that they're really 'me'. This was a great compliment because this is exactly what I want to show.
DD: What was your latest project and what are you working on next?
Leonn Ward: A project Im doing at the moment is about intimacy. No matter how much I have it, or lack it in my life, it's always on my mind. Future project: self-image and the mirror.
DD: If you could photograph any person/place/thing in the world, what would you choose?
Leonn Ward: Snoop Dogg in a forest. Theme: Adam and Eve
DD: Why Snoop Dogg?
Leonn Ward: Snoop Dogg... Because its Snoop Dogg! 'From the depths of the sea, back to the block Snoop Doggy Dogg, Funky, yes but of the Doc' Who can say 'funky' these days and get away with it?
DD: What music do you listen to?
Leonn Ward: Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Beach Fossils, Local Natives, Bombay Bicycle Club new album Flaws. Just back from a Matt and Kim gig, theyre awesome. I also love hip hop, you can't not like it.
DD: What was the first photo you ever took?/Earliest memory of one?
Leonn Ward: When I went to LA when i was six, there was a man really high on Baywatch beach with one arm and a cute dog, busking with a guitar. Although my mum didn't want me to, I ran up to him and got a photo of him. I still have it.
DD: What inspires your work?
Leonn Ward: Gigs, animals, dogs, music, modernism, parents, kisses, countryside, the beach and the never ending sea, but definitely no. 1 inspiration are my friends and family.
DD: What are your favorite websites?
Leonn Ward: I love Dazed Digital, purely for the fact they introduce new young photographers, and its so lovely to see other people doing the same thing getting noticed, and therefore getting more determined to get my work out there.
DD: Great answer! How do you choose your subjects?
Leonn Ward: It all starts with one image i get in my mind. I quickly draw this image down really rough because I suck at drawing. I then think about what the subject is that I just thought of. When I think of it, that's when I research about it, and what it means to me and how I can relate to it.
DD: Do you have any words of advice for fellow photographers?
Leonn Ward: If you snooze, you lose.