The London-based photographer is capturing tender portraits of the queer community.
With a client list that includes Nike, Louis Vuitton and British Fashion Council, Vic Lentaigne has come a long way from teen years spent furrowing away in the school dark room. While her commercial work has been seen by the masses, it’s still her more intimate projects that Vic holds dearest — chiefly her portraits of the queer community. Photographing lesbian couples in celebration of Pride and turning her camera on poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal, these images are charged with empathy and joy and informed by Vic’s own identity. Challenging heteronormative beauty ideals, Vic is amplifying the LGBTQIA+ community’s own unique shine.
Below, we catch up with the London-based photographer to learn about her creative influences and what makes a great portrait.
When did you first fall in love with photography?
I got into photography when I was about fourteen, I was lucky enough to have access to a black and white darkroom and started learning and falling in love with the process of developing my own film and hand printing. I did a foundation course at LCC and then went to do a photography degree at Brighton University before moving back to London which is where I live and work now.
What is it about photography that makes it so special?
I have always loved working with people and capturing how they express themselves; their character and identity can really come through in a portrait. Photography is a medium that can preserve moments, humanity, expression in a way that is creative, with the photographer holding power over the direction and results. I love working with analogue cameras and shooting film as I find the process much more rewarding then working with digital.
Who are your influences?
There are so many great photographers working at the moment. Those that had a particular influence on me particularly when I was younger were photographers such as Corrine Day, Nan Goldin, David Armstrong and Collier Schorr. I am also a huge fan of Peter Lindbergh’s work, the way he captured women in such a raw, honest and powerful way was incredible.
What’s some recent work of yours that you’re particularly proud of?
During lockdown like many, I had plenty of time to reflect on and appreciate what was close to me. This led to me developing the idea of a project to document the lesbian community of my friends in London. The queer community is something I am proud to be a part of, it not only brings me comfort but I can see the ways in which this community has become a support network for many. To be able to work with and celebrate this group honestly and intimately and give those within it a platform to be seen is something that I found incredibly rewarding.
Is there a secret to taking a good portrait?
I don’t think there is necessarily a secret to taking a good portrait but I do believe that if you have a relationship with your subject and both subject and photographer feel comfortable around each other the results can be incredible.
What do you hope to communicate with your work?
Empathy, acceptance and awareness are all things that I would love for people to feel or understand if they are looking at my work. I generally photograph people that resonate with my interests and that I feel connected to in some way; so if the viewer picked up on these feelings that would be amazing!
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
My future plans involve some new moving image projects documenting and celebrating the queer scene in London. I am also working with a London-based football league called Super5 League on some charity projects bringing football to womxn around the world where we believe we can make a positive difference to their lives.
Follow Vic on Instagram and check out her work via the gallery below.
10 September 2020