Jaqueline Larsen: Photographing The Female Form
We spoke to Jaqueline Larsen, a Madrid-based photographer who finds inspiration capturing the shapes and details of the female form alongside nature. Though photography was not her initial career path, she found her love for the medium after trialling a few different fields.
Jaqueline has created a beautiful set of images for us that features the female body alongside flowers. Read on to learn all about her creative journey so far.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m 29 years old and was born in a small town in Argentina. I’m a visual artist and photographer.
What led you to fine art and photography?
Growing up I’ve always felt drawn to art. I started drawing before I learned how to speak and it has been a very important part of my childhood. My education also was very focused on art, even in high school. I studied Fashion Design and that’s where I really discovered my passion for drawing and painting. I loved the designing part but not so much the sewing, so I made the switch into visual arts.
I then moved on and studied to become an art teacher. Those were an intense 5 years of learning so much, but when I finished I thought that instead of being in a classroom for the rest of my life I wanted to explore photography. So my education in photography started seriously only three years ago and I still love it and see myself doing it for a very long time.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I think it reflects my background in painting because I play a lot with colours and textures. You can see a resemblance to the world of art in the way I direct the models to act and pose.
I love to photograph women and focus on the details and finding new shapes. My work portrays a kind of femininity that is delicate and strong at the same time.
You have a strong running theme of women in your images, what inspires you to focus on women and the female form?
A lot of people have asked me why I photograph mostly women and I can’t really find an accurate answer to this. I think that the women in my life have had a great impact on me (my mother and sisters) and I never had a strong male presence in my life, so I guess unconsciously I left that figure out of my imagination.
I find the feminine body so inspiring and fun to explore and I never get tired of it. I think that no matter what I do, I always find new shapes and forms that I want to capture.
You’re currently based in Madrid, did you grow up there?
No. I was born in Argentina but when I was 11 years old we moved to Álora, a little town between mountains near Málaga. After a few times going back and forth between Argentina and Spain, I got a scholarship to do a Masters in Fashion Photography and that’s when I moved to Madrid.
You often create diptychs of landscapes and portraits. What do you find draws you to the relationship between these two different subjects?
Well, I think that is actually one of the main features of my work. I’m all about establishing analogies between the body and the environment, mostly landscapes because for me they're so evocative. There’s a lot of intuition but also an attempt to return to our roots and relate more with what surrounds us, rather than keeping nature far away as we are used to when living in big cities.
My hometown, Necochea, is a place full of nature because it doesn’t have as much development as a commercial city and there are not many tourists either. So that gives it a feeling of being in a different time and it almost seems as if time stands still.
Growing up there and in Álora, which also has a lot of nature around, made me appreciate this environment without many buildings or noise. That is something I don’t have much access to right now. Whenever I find a location that has some resemblance to those places, it inspires me a lot and I use it to create my images.
How do your location and your surroundings inspire your photography?
The location I choose for every shoot is not arbitrary. It depends on the feeling I want the photos to have and the styling too.
How have you adapted your photography practise while being in isolation?
It was really hard. Not only because of the whole situation and the uncertainty but also I became really uninspired because my creativity feeds a lot from being around different people, seeing exhibitions or just walking around and thinking about random things. Also, I am used to working with other girls when I create photographs and since that wasn’t possible, I had to put myself in front of the camera again after many years of not doing so. It was challenging on many levels. I think I managed to stay at least a little active but also I learned to stop creating compulsively just to please other people and keeping the content flowing on my Instagram.
When you’re not creating images, what else do you love doing?
Sometimes I need to stop creating and have more of a social life instead, but I also like to be by myself a little bit. I like drawing and painting and I was able to paint a little in quarantine after three years of not painting at all. So I would like to get that habit back.
When you need a little bit of downtime, how do you relax?
I take walks whenever I can and listen to music. I love to do mundane things like keeping my home clean and nice, watching movies, reading books, exercising and being outdoors with friends.
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
I think that my greatest accomplishment is to be able to stay true to myself and my style despite all the things that may influence my photography and make it lose its uniqueness. Sometimes it gets hard and I still have a long way ahead but I think I’m on the right track.
I also think it’s nice to be able to do my photographic projects with a documentary approach, being curious and investigating deeper matters and still not losing my signature style. I always try to do my best in everything I get involved in.
What would be your dream project?
One where I could be as creative as I want which leads to other cool projects with brands that I like and admire. To always do things that I enjoy and where I can apply my vision and creativity freely.