Following our chat with styling maverick Giuliano Bolivar, Glamcult presents the second episode of our mini series in collaboration with Converse—introducing photographic rising star (and Glamcult contributor) Lois Cohen. Known for capturing an eclectic mix of striking characters, Lois never fails to create vibrant images that carry a powerful narrative. Dressed head-to-toe in the new Essentials collection, she tells us how “self-knowledge, being obsessive, and keeping your inner kid alive” form the key to artistic growth.
What initially made you want to become a photographer?
As a teenager I used to do lots of dress-up parties with friends. I would take my parents’ camera just to capture that, but intuitively I started adding more and more to the image to turn it into a story—going all crazy. Photography was this world I could step into with unlimited possibilities, and where I could forget about homework and mean kids and stuff.
How would you describe your photography to people who haven’t seen it?
A world full of characters, colours and contradictions—somewhere between fantasy and reality.
How important is experience and time in terms of your development as a photographer?
Experience is the most important thing. Forget about theory and technique and all that, if you don’t shoot shoot shoot / practice practice practice.
This past summer you shot Mairo Nawaz for Glamcult on a golf course, with styling by Bonne Reijn. Can you tell us a bit about that shoot?
It all started with a cowboy-themed shoot with the same team. Due to its success, we decided to do a part two, with the golf story as a result. We were able to shoot at the most fancy private golf course. It was a good fancy pants experience.
You have quite an eclectic selection of subjects, all coming across as very powerful characters. How do you find your models?
I’m always on the lookout for eccentric characters for my work. Luckily I know a lot of interesting people from various scenes and subcultures. Besides that I’m very pro active when it comes to street casting—if I see someone on the streets that sparks my interest, I don’t hesitate to go after them. Also, Facebook and Instagram are the best modeling agencies ever.
What do you think you have learnt with age that has aided your personal development?
The moment you stop comparing yourself and stop giving a fuck what others think, you’re going to make (more) authentic work.
What is the most important thing for artistic growth?
Self-knowledge, being obsessive and keeping your inner kid alive.
What do you think gets better with time?