Fashion and Stills Photographer
Ever since her childhood days in Brescia, Italy, Selene Lazzarini is rarely seen without her camera in hand, capturing life as it unfolds before her. As adulthood arrived and her skills in the world of still image blossomed, Selene turned her passion into a career, working with some of the largest fashion houses in the world.
Now based in London, Selene is a regular collaborator here at Crew à la Mode, bringing her natural creativity, calming Mediterranean manner and ‘less is more’ style to shoots both in the studio and beyond. As such a familiar face these days, we sat down with Selene to find out her story, what inspires her and what this vivacious Italian makes of our fair city.
How did you get into Photography?
I started to develop an interest in photography when I was about 10-11 years old. I used to steal my dad’s camera (an Olympus OM10 he used to take pics of our family), because he didn’t want me to borrow it and destroy it! I remember going to the supermarket to buy disposable ones with the film inside. I loved to take random pics and then go to the only photographer’s shop in my little town, where I received lots of advice from the local photographer.
I also remember my dad saying to me: “Don’t waste the film just shooting landscapes! Put your brother or sister in front of it!” So I have always been fascinated with images in general, and the interest developed with high school and university later on in Venice, where I completed a degree in Painting and Photography.
How would you describe your personal photography aesthetic?
I would describe my aesthetic as ‘less is more’. The most important thing in a picture for me is always the light, be it natural or artificial. I prefer simple, clean, uncluttered settings which don’t take away too much from the subjects.
You’ve worked with various fashion brands. Who’s been your favourite?
I enjoyed working for Vivienne Westwood as I had the opportunity to work with all their range of products, from accessories to their various collections, producing the content for the website and some creative shoots for social media. It was very rewarding to be able to experience the full story behind the brand.
Do you prefer shooting digitally or on film?
I use both: generally my ‘commercial’ work is always digital, but my love with photography started with film and that is still what I prefer to use for my personal projects.
You’ve worked across Crew à la Mode and our Calm by Crew shoots. Do you have a favourite?
No, I don’t – it has been really interesting working across the brand. For Crew à la Mode I enjoyed the still life shoots we did and the editorial for the 10th anniversary of the company.
I also enjoyed the location shoot we did in Palma de Mallorca for the Crew Ready collection. I had never conducted a shoot on a boat so it was both challenging and fun at the same time! We had a perfect day with glorious weather, so no seasickness at all! Another shoot I enjoyed very much was going to Portugal to visit the factory and to photograph the process behind Calm by Crew collections. I was very keen to witness and understand what’s behind and inside the realisation of a quality garment.
The shoots with Crew a la Mode are often quite a collaborative process. Do you enjoy this way of working?
Yes, very much so. Every CĀLM and Crew photoshoot is different and so there’s always something new to learn and adapt to. From the initial ideas, it is usually a team effort to achieve the final result.
Which photographer inspires you the most?
Luigi Ghirri has always been my biggest inspiration. He was an Italian photographer who was active from the late ’70 to the ’90. I’ve always admired his work; his images explore the concept between reality and fiction in a very intelligent way. Every time I look at his work I find it very refreshing, and it brings me home to my roots.
How would you describe your own personal fashion style?
I think it needs to be practical, as when I’m working I need to feel comfortable, so normally I would describe it as quite “neutral”, with jeans/trousers and a t-shirt, clean lines and shapes… plus sneakers or Doc Martens. However, I also love patterns mixing up different styles and colours, and I’ve got a passion for vintage.
Does sustainability impact your choices when clothes shopping?
As I said before, I love vintage clothes in general, so I usually shop in second-hand stores. I think is really important to try to avoid accumulating stuff we don’ t need, or that we will wear only once or twice. The fast fashion industry creates a lot of pollution in terms of waste, so generally, I try to buy less and think more about quality and try to style clothes I already have in a different way.
Who would your ultimate muse be to shoot for a fashion campaign?
If you had a yacht, what would you call it?
I would probably call it “Babino”. It’s a silly nickname for my husband, and I started to use it when we first begin to date. It comes from “Bab”, but with the Italian suffix “-ino” that means something like “Baby boy”. On a yacht, it would be so silly it makes me laugh just to think about it!
If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you not want to be without?
A book, a pencil and a sketchpad. (It would be difficult to develop a film on a stranded island, wouldn’t it!?)
What is your favourite photography gallery in London?
The Photographer’s Gallery in Soho is the place to go if you love photography. There are always very good curated photography exhibitions. Also, the bookshop offers a vast selection of photography books. Every time I go there it is almost impossible not to buy a photography or art book – books are one of my weakest points.
As a relatively new Londoner, what would your top places to visit be?
Ever since my first visit to London my favourite place has always been The Tate Modern, and even now, it is definitely in my top ten. The Tate Modern building is itself a truly interesting piece of architecture, and with the permanent art collection that changes every so on you can always discover something new. Plus it’s free to visit.
I also love all the parks in London. One that I really like is the Kyoto Garden in West London – a small but authentic Japanese garden. The beauty of London is that is such a melting pot, and in each corner of the city you can find something that is extraordinary.
As a proud Italian, what are your best tips for visiting Italy?
Very tricky question! I would suggest taking a bit of extra time to explore the less beaten tourist tracks, especially if you are visiting a city like Venice or Rome. There are so many places that are worth visiting, and for all tastes: seaside, stunning mountains, city, culture, art, and food!
Don’t be afraid to ask the locals for recommendations for restaurants or sightseeing: people are in general very happy to help – we are proud to show off the best places!