Part 2: Lauren Bamford

Lauren Bamford has been taking photos since she was about 14, which (if we had to guess) probably amounts to half her time on earth. Little wonder she's as good at capturing moments on celluloid as she is sleeping. The majority of her work behind the...

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Sep 27 2012, 1:18am

Lauren Bamford has been taking photos since she was about 14, which (if we had to guess) probably amounts to half her time on earth. Little wonder she's as good at capturing moments on celluloid as she is sleeping. The majority of her work behind the lens has been with bands too, the best bands by the way, which means she also knows how to deal with a fit of Front Man Syndrome if she has to. For her legendary moment image, she chose this pic of Melbourne band Twerps.


VICE: What can you tell us about this photo?
Lauren Bamford: I shot this image in June 2011. They were after an image for their album cover and wanted something that looked natural, almost incidental. I've been friends with those guys for a while, and have lived with almost all of them at some point, so that made the whole situation more comfortable I guess. Also, we didn't stray far from home to shoot it - this was on Pat's front porch.

What makes it a legendary moment in your eyes?
The fact that it's a Polaroid makes it a one-of-a-kind object, which is cool. It isn't a jpeg stored away on a computer somewhere with 100 other variations of the same image. Shooting that way was a conscious decision, not just for its desired aesthetic, but the nature of capturing the shot is more considered - subjects always take it more seriously when it's an 'okay, on 3 - 1, 2, 3 click' situation. Also, Twerps as a band just keep going from strength to strength, and the album has been really successful - which means this photo has appeared everywhere, both here and abroad. I think it will go on to become a classic Australian record.

When did you start taking photographs of bands? 
I started shooting bands when I was a teenager, about 14 - which is when I first became I interested in guitar bands rather than Boys II Men. Shooting black and white film, and printing in a darkroom my dad and I built at home became a hobby of mine, and being at that age, it just became my 'thing', my identity. I was taking photos at the Newcastle skatepark and all ages shows. I got hooked and wanted to make it my 'career' one day. I had no idea.

What's your favourite moment in your career?
Meeting Sonic Youth. It was about 2006, and Love of Diagrams were supporting them at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. It was quite surreal, just hanging backstage eating cookies with Lee Renaldo, being filmed in Thurston Moore's home movie, running scared from Kim Gordon... oh yeah, and shooting the show with access to anywhere I wanted!

Can you explain the magic of photography, being able to capture not just a snapshot image of a time but so much else?
Well photography gives you the opportunity to create your own reality, using a system of visual editing. I feel most comfortable shooting honestly, anything too contrived just makes me feel gross. I love photography because I am a sentimental fool, not to mention a hoarder. Photography feeds those personality traits. 

Do you have a favourite photo that someone else has taken of a legendary musician or moment?
That is impossibly difficult to answer, and can't be narrowed down to one! In general, I love photographs of musicians in the 60's - it was the birth of so much amazing music and a new attitude towards everything.

You dodged that question like a pro. Thanks Lauren!
No worries!

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