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05 September 2017

Louisa St Aubyn - Street Photographer

When you visit the Mount Haven Restaurant, you will come across a wonderful collection of black and white street photography, entitled 'The LA Puzzle', taken by Louisa St Aubyn, daughter of Lord and Lady St Levan.  

What got you started in photography?

I loved looking through albums and boxes of family photographs as a child. I remember one summer, I must have been nine or so, I embarked on an album project, sprawled on the floor with hundreds of photographs around me, happily consumed amongst the images for a few days on end.

The technical aspect developed when I moved to California ten years ago and wanted to photograph the surf, trading off the camera with friends on the beach to capture each other riding waves.

My stylistic approach grew once I came upon a rangefinder, the Fuji x100s. This camera opened up a new world in composition, playing with the environment and portraying a narrative in the photograph. It is still one of my favourite cameras.


Who are your greatest influences or inspirations?

My family.

Artistic friends that have put themselves out there, in particular, Michael Aurel Fowler, a beautiful artist, painter and poet.

My husband, Tim Noble the Barrel Master and wave artist!


Do you have any favourite photographers?

Hubert Cecil, an expressive photographer and a great influence. Definitely someone who encouraged me to continue exploring and who I have learned a lot from.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, a favourite for many with good reason. His composition and knack of drawing in the viewer were instrumental learning blocks.

Diance Arbus for her commitment to building relationships and living the life of her subjects.

Martin Parr for his humourous angles on life.


What was it that attracted you to street photography in particular?

To simply roam around, misconstruing the environment to make up one's own narrative. To wander with a purpose and none at all. To spontaneously hunt.


Most of your photographs on show at the Mount Haven restaurant are black and white – is this your preferred style, or do you also work in colour?

For street photography I tend to shoot predominantly black and white. The series at the Mount Haven is called “The LA Puzzle”. It pieces Los Angeles together through the eyes of an Alien (me!) I find that black and white not only gives a neutrality to all viewers but can also expose layers that interact in a noisy harmony.


How would you characterise your work in three words?

Raw magnified moments.


Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Mix up your work using film. Even if it’s a disposable camera. You do not have unlimited clicks at your will so it can produce a more considered result.

There is also the anticipation of seeing the image once it has been developed, which is a nice change of pace in the instantaneous cycle we live in.


If you are interested in learning more about Louisa's work visit www.louisastaubyn.com