Laura Dark has worked with Acid PopTart to capture some of the beautiful images that we showed you in Acid PopTart's interview last week. Some of the images had me so excited that I just had to get in touch with the photographer and get her side of the story, so to speak!
Photography has always been a passion of mine; I had Cecil Beaton, Man Ray and David la Chapelle plastered to my walls as a student, so I was excited to speak to Model Mayhem's No.1 Photographer of the Year 2009 and get her take on the alternative scene, her passion for photography and her views on Illamasqua...
"First of all let me say, I LOVE your brand!" Says Laura, "I was so excited to see that Sephora picked it up so I could purchase it in the store. I think it's wonderful how this brand crosses the line from dark into fashion. I shoot dark glamour and this makeup is PERFECT for what I do, so I am excited to be working with Illamasqua makeup!!!"
Alex: Why did you decide to become a photographer? What was it about capturing images for a living that interested you so much?
"I had started my art career as a portrait sketch artist, but decided that field was so very limited that I couldn't make a living from it. I had picked up some photography skills in high school when I was the yearbook staff photographer. After high school, I apprenticed under a local photographer for two years before breaking off on my own. I started taking images of families and wedding and then in late 1999 I started shooting bands. In 2000 I started shooting alternative models for their portfolio updates and alternative websites and fashion designers. Since then, I have been making a living from my photography in the alternative scene with bands, models, magazines, and websites."
Alex: Your work strongly references alternative cultures. Could you explain to me more about your interest in this?
"I knew I saw things differently than other people when I was in high school. I came from a very small community of people and I guess if we would have known what "goth" was back then, my friends and I would have been the "goth" kids. We dyed our hair black, we wore black clothes, black eyeliner and the boys wore makeup too. I think I was the first girl in my school with a nose ring and a tattoo. It wasn't just a phase for me, it became a way of life, the music, the fashion, the alternative culture. I was highly influenced by music, specifically industrial and metal. I found a lot of girls my age were dressing in alt fashions and makeup but were making themselves look harsh instead of pretty and I thought, "why can't we be dark AND beautiful creatures?". So I started striving for that look in my images. Beauty in Darkness."
Alex: I see that many of the images incorporate strong, graphic make-up. At Illamasqua, we are all about celebrating individuality by providing our customers with an intense highly pigmented palette or unsual colours and textures. What is it about the Illamasqua product line-up that encouraged you to use so many of our products in your work?
"I became friends with makeup artist, "Mascaraid", who brought your line to me because she saw the types of images I was shooting and thought Illamasqua would be a perfect match for my work. We did a couple of test shoots with your line and I fell in love instantly. Illamasqua makeup is amazing for graphic fashion or alternative photos we shoot. The Rich Liquid Foundation, blushes, and eyeshadows gave us colors and coverage we couldn't get with other pro brands. I will admit, I have a love of fake eyelashes and the ones you carry are delicious and beautiful! We have since done many shoots with this line and it works for us, not only for the alternative photos but for the fashion and glamour we shoot as well."
Alex: Who are your main influences throughout the worlds of photography, film, music etc?
"My number one influence is Tim Burton. His films and art have driven me to find beauty in the decay of things. His heroes and heroines are tragic beauties and there is a sadness captured by him that so few other artists can reveal in a story. Lydia Deets from Beetlejuice was one of the first true "goth" girls I remember seeing when I was young and I instantly fell in love with her. Even now I find his leading ladies in his new creations to be fabulous dark beauties that inspire me; The Corpse Bride, Sally, and Mrs. Lovett.
In photography I have been influenced by so many artists, but I would say if I had to pick one it would be Michael Rosen. His images are a mix of photography and digital artistry that is just amazing! Mr. Rosen creates a world of fantasy sometimes glamourous and sometimes scary. He takes you to this magical place and holds you there. I hope one day to reach that point in my art, to hold a viewer completely captive in my image."
I think you are already there, Laura!
Click here to view Laura Dark's website.