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Through The Lens

Lindsey Drennan

November 24th, 2010, by Dan Grant

Lindsey Drennan is very much in control of her image, and her images.

She was the first person Modelresource ever asked to shoot for the site (2006), and the retouching took longer than I expected because she wasn't going to let me have the files until they were exactly the way she wanted them to look. I respect that.

When she tires of seeing the same pictures, she pulls the plug on her website until it's populated with photos that reflect where she sees herself at that point.

I wanted to feature her on Modelresource quite a while ago, but she insisted on waiting until her pages came out in November's issue of Flare, and her website updated. She's very careful about what you're going to see which is a quality I find refreshing in an industry that more than ever demands photographers set aside their privacy and constantly self-promote.

I've been a fan of Lindsey's work since MySpace was useful for more than just bands (that's where I "met" her, in fact), and when the organizers of Women X Women asked for suggestions last season I recommended her despite the fact she had been on hiatus for more than a year. That's how confident I was about her ability to deliver.

Whether she's mingling at an event or retouching in her studio, she's very aware of the image you're allowed to see and that's precisely why I'm convinced she's destined for bigger things.

Location
Toronto

Website
www.lindseydrennan.com

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Katrina Latawiec (Next) by Lindsey Drennan for DirrtyGlam
styling: Diana Onu; makeup and hair: GianLuca Orienti (Plutino)


You were the first non-American to intern at American Vogue. How did that come about?
When I was in college, we were assigned to do a work-week as part of one of our courses. My instructor had told us about a few past students interning for such magazines as W, and photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark. I knew that this was an opportunity to do something great, and an opportunity to work for the best. So I decided to go for it. To me, at that time, nothing beat American Vogue. It took weeks to get a hold of the magazine, while a lot of people, including my instructor, were telling me that I should look elsewhere because my chances were slim to none. But I never gave up, and proved them all wrong. It was one of the best and most surreal experiences of my life.

This last year has seen a lot of growth in your career (Women X Women, published in Flare, a lot more people knowing your name). That's pretty incredible considering you took a year off before that. Did the time away change the way you see things?
No, visions of my development and my entry into the industry remained the same. The time away was taken as an opportunity for me to better achieve my goals. Ultimately, I sacrificed a year away from my career as a means to better my career when I returned.

What went through your mind when you found out you were going to shoot for Flare?
Flare taking an interest in my work and hiring me to shoot a six-page fashion editorial was an indication to me that my dedication to my passion for taking pictures was starting to pay off. It felt amazing knowing that they weren't choosing to work with me based on a high profile resume or an established career history in the industry, but rather, because they believed in my photographs.

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Jenna Judd (Ford) and Nicole Sandalis (Next) by Lindsey Drennan
Women X Women (2010) - styling: Diana Onu; makeup: Julie Iynas; hair: Lynzee Corbett


During your time in Calgary you took whatever money you could save and spent it on gear. How much of a difference has that made in what you do? Does having your own equipment change your mindset / comfort level?
It made a huge difference. Getting out of school, I had nothing but a camera. I did whatever I could with the little means I had to advance myself as a photographer, but eventually realized I needed to put my dreams on hold for a year so that I could save money for a studio and professional equipment. No matter how skilled you are, you still need the tools to make it happen.

You love retouching. You run to your computer after a shoot and start working on the images. What kind of freak are you, anyway?
I'm a freak who believes in my work. And I love to see it in it's finished form. Raw images are beautiful, but there's something about a polished image that can't be beat. Retouching is part of the excitement I take in my job.

You mentioned to me recently that people continue to make your gender an issue. Do you think some in the industry make too much of you being a young, attractive, female photographer? Does it affect how seriously people take you?
Well firstly, I believe my gender does not define me in this industry, my work defines me. And second, I have no issues with being a young, attractive female. Haha!

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Curtis (Next) by Lindsey Drennan
styling: Diana Onu; grooming: Natalie Blouin (Plutino)


Most of your photos are brighter, more colorful shots. Do you ever get the desire to do anything really dark or messed-up?
Is that a challenge?!! I'm open to exploring new creative methods and aesthetics, however I feel really good about the balance I have found between high fashion and a commercially acceptable style for now.

I've been on set with you for a couple shoots, and you're very conscious and in control of all that's happening around you. Is that your nature, or just something that comes out when you're shooting?
I'm just starting out, and I know how important it is when I'm on set that I'm aware of everything that is going on around me, and in control of my actions and the shoot. This is partly my nature, yes, but also just a reflection of how serious I take my work.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Life is constantly in a state of flux. I enjoy the excitement of not knowing where I will be, or what I will feel one day to the next.

What's the best / worst thing about living with a professional chef?
Obviously, the best thing is that I eat amazing meals all the time. The catch 22, is that I'm spoiled when it comes to good food and wine.

Finish this phrase: "You can take the girl out of Barrie... "
"... but don't bring it up in an interview."

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Alex G (Next) by Lindsey Drennan
styling: Alison Tjong; makeup & hair: Kristie Stoodley


When are we going for drinks next?
The sooner the better!

Anything else you want to add?
Please keep an eye out for my new website. I'm really excited for it to launch sometime in the new year. So check up on lindseydrennan.com... and thank you so much for this opportunity!

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