Liz Rose van Bokhoven, is a fashion and portrait photographer from London. When we first checked out Liz’s portfolio of work a few months ago we were really keen to have an opportunity to share it with you. Liz Rose has recently returned from a work placement in New York and we were delighted when she agreed to complete an interview upon her return. Read the full in-depth interview below to discover which modern day fashion icons Liz Rose is inspired by, how she would define her personal style and what her current career highlights have been.
Q: Who are you called?
My name is Liz Rose van Bokhoven, originally born in Holland I moved to the UK when I was 11 years old. I speak both languages fluently, although many wouldn’t be able to tell from my strong English accent.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I’d always been interested in Art from an early age and through school. Then in my first year of college I took Graphic Design. Whilst I loved the subject and did really well in it, I realized that I preferred taking the photos I was working with, so for my second year of college I took up Photography, and haven’t looked back since.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing
Well, I guess going by my work it would be people. I love the challenge of working with different people, working to convey a particular emotion through someones gaze or expression.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was one of those years where everything changed, I left University and graduated. Then I went onto my next venture, trying to find an internship in the industry. Once I left, all I remember hearing was how hard it would be to find an internship straight out of University. I remember applying for something interesting I saw online relatively soon after (ignoring all the negativity) and within a day I’d heard back and an interview was set up. The interview lead to a great internship at Green Lens Studios, a photographic studio in North London. I was so happy! I was there for quite a long time -- going into 2011 and learned so much. Its a relatively small company but it allowed me to work hands on with many various tasks that other interns may not get to do in a bigger company. Either way, this was a good year for me which led into the beginning of 2011.
Q: Who inspires you?
Many people inspire me. Of course most young photographers will have their favorite photographers who inspire them, my top three would have to be David Lachapelle, Miles Aldridge and Irving Penn. However, the people around me inspire me too, my friends, my boyfriend, my family… I think if you allow it, many different people, even strangers can inspire you!
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Soooo many names spring to mind. But I will try and keep it short! As for modern day fashion designer I would have to say Hannah Marshall, I love her work. I love the way she predominantly uses black in her collections, the way she creates such great shapes with her pieces. Her clothing is really eye catching, I would love to own some of her pieces, one day! Someone else I MUST mention is of-course Lee Alexander McQueen, someone that almost anyone would mention when asked something like this. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’ve always been a huge fan ‘since I can remember’, I only came across him and his work a couple of years ago and must say that ever since I’ve been hooked. So hooked in-fact that once I heard I would be going to New York for 2 months over the summer, the first thing on my list was to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art where his exhibition ‘Savage Beauty’ was showing, I managed to go more than once and loved every second. I honestly could go on about why I love him and his work, the day he took his own life was such a blow to the Fashion world. Saying that however, I still very much love the McQueen brand and LOVE what Sarah Burton is doing with it. She is another fashion designer I very much admire. One day I WILL own a piece of McQueen Fashion!
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
This one is tricky to answer, I don’t think there are set ‘rules’ that make a good photographer. But one thing I think they should have is passion. Passion to actually BE a photographer, to KNOW the industry and to have people in the same industry who inspire them. So many simply pick up a half decent camera and call themselves photographers nowadays, however, when you talk to them about Photography they know practically nothing. That makes me sad, I guess a ‘good’ photographer should at least know a bit about their field.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
Digital… It’s the way photography has evolved, it’s instant, allows for complete control and allows you to easily upload and edit your work in a short space of time. I have tried film, I even own a Mamiya RB67. I do like using film once in a while I guess when its medium format, however, I will always be a digital girl through and through.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
This always changes. If I shoot too much in a studio, I miss on location. If I shoot to much on location, I miss the studio! Right now I miss the studio as I shot quite a bit on location in New York.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
This changes ALL the time!
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
As I mentioned before my top three would have to be David Lachapelle, Miles Aldridge and Irving Penn. But then I also love work by Annie Leibovitz, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Mario Testino… I could go on!
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
Probably the people I mentioned just above, if I ever worked with David Lachapelle or Miles Aldridge, I’d probably have a heart attack!
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Another tricky question, I don’t really know how to define my personal style. I guess other people might do but me, I don’t think I have a definitive way to describe my personal style yet! One day maybe!
Q: Where are you based?
I am currently based in Hampshire, however I can easily travel anywhere in London and have done often in the past. One day soon, I hope to live there!
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Well, where I’m from is Holland, and I love it. If anyone ever asks me where I can see myself ‘growing old’ it would be Holland. I have such great family and memories there… One day! Saying that however, I’m currently living in the UK, which over the last few years I have come to love. Holland will always be my home but I still want to spend some chunk of my life living in London.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
It would have to be my internship with Niche Media over the summer in New York City. This year, I spent two months interning at Niche whilst staying at the heart of New York City at NYU. I managed to have my work published in their great magazines which was fantastic. I love how a huge company like Niche allow for interns to do that- actually TAKE photographs and have them published. I was also enrolled with NYU for the two months and achieved course credits (useless to me as I’ve already finished University but still!). That entire trip hasn’t just been the highlight of my career but also my life. I have to thank my Mum completely for that, because without her support, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
Well, it’s almost the end of 2011! So when I look back at what I have already achieved: finishing my first photographic internship in London, going to New York City for two months to live and work at a huge publishing company, having my work published in magazines, organizing my own shoots in NYC, working on my portfolio, finishing and updating my website etc I am pretty happy!
So I guess ill just keep doing what i’m doing… Achieving as many different things as I can!
Q: What do you do to relax?
Well, to relax I guess I do what most people do, listen to music, go out etc. However these days, I much prefer staying in with either my boyfriend or friends watching a film with a cup of tea! Im a bit of a tea-a-holic!
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Oh god, so…. Much! I have a very varied music taste so I won’t sit here boring you with a huge list. I don’t really have any specific songs but a band I always seem to go back to is Hollywood Undead, and I do love A Day To Remember’s latest album… Although saying that I do love me some pop too!
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
Interesting hobbies… Hmm… I guess I would say Photography? Bit obvious… Hmm…. Collecting little smurf figures… Is that a hobby?
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
I guess it would be, set yourself apart. There are SO many ‘photographers’ in the world. Be more than that, the world of photography is vast and interesting, take some time out to look through a few books, research online, visit exhibitions etc. I like to think that having the knowledge to back up your talent will speak a lot about yourself to other people, and hopefully put you above the other people calling themselves ‘photographers’.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
To become better, with each shoot, I want to become better at what I do.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
That I’m approachable I guess, I find it hard to convey that anywhere without sounding like I’m pretentious. I think sometimes that Photographers have a rep for being unapproachable. I want to show that’s not always true, I love it when I get e-mails and messages asking about me or my work, so I encourage it. I love meeting new people, especially Photographers who have something to say and can hold a conversation. So if you want to know anything please, don’t be shy!
Editor’s Note: Liz Rose’s portfolio is equally profound, creative and original. Liz’s photography definitely makes her one of Urbanity Chic’s “One’s to Watch”.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Liz Rose just follow the links below:
facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/LizRosePhotographer
web page link: http://www.lizrosephotography.com/
tumblr link: http://lizrosevb.tumblr.com/
flickr link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarnishedrose/
modelmayhem link: http://www.modelmayhem.com/691487
deviantart link: http://tarnishedrose.deviantart.com/