Laurence Philomene

Lucky on Broadly

Slowly but surely revealing this body of work I’ve been working on with Lucky for the last 7 years. Had some snippets of it published in Broadly this past month, you can see the article here: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/zmkknw/laurence-philomene-photos-trans-intersex

Lucky: A Star is Born” is an ongoing photo project focused on my best friend, Lucky.

I started taking pictures of Lucky in 2011, when we first met and started dating (at the time—now I just consider him family, and he is happily married to an amazing woman). I compulsively document everything in my life, so I would say it started that way, taking diary photos of this person I love. Eventually, I started taking pictures whenever we hung out, and staging photoshoots with him as well, curating a timeline of his style as it has evolved over time.

As the project took shape, my intention came into focus: To simply show an intersex and trans person experiencing the highs and lows of life, surviving, loving, being loved. As a trans photographer myself, it’s important to me to shift the gaze of cis photographers profiting off of trans bodies, and create a body of work that is rooted in mutual care. As trans visibility increases, I want to make sure it’s shown that trans people who do not fit neatly in the binary are beautiful too. I want to show androgyny in a way that’s not “neutral,” but rather the opposite—extreme masculinity mixed with extreme femininity. I want to capture the stunning audacity to exist as everything all at once.

The below is just an small selection of a massive, years-long project. Ultimately, I hope the full body of work will show the layered complexity of our existences as queer, trans, working class, mentally ill, beautiful humans. At the core, this work is about capturing identity as an unstable force rather than a static label.

xo

Laurence


nb portraits - heath

I took a little break from shooting non-binary portrait series while I was working on my book but I’m back at it! I think this time around I will just publish it shoot by shoot because that’s what feels the most natural to me right now.

Today I got to shoot with heath aka gay jesus, who is genuinely one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met - hung around their apartment and wandered in a bit of nature after a rainstorm. 

xo

Laurence



Fluide beauty

Can’t believe I forgot to post this earlier but I had the chance of shooting Fluide beauty’s new eyeshadow palette back in April!! https://www.fluide.us/collections/makeup/products/seeing-the-future-001-shadow-palette

Very thankful for this brand who is committed to supporting gender non-conforming individuals in front of the camera, behind the camera, behind the scenes, always! 

You can also see a short interview I did with them on their website : https://www.fluide.us/blogs/futurefluide/queer-matters-laurence-philomene

Here are some of the images we shot - Models are Bilal, Heath and Rhiannon :)

xo

Laurence


Lucky - a star is born

Here are some images from an ongoing project of mine that were published on Adolescent this week: www.adolescent.net/a/lucky-a-star-is-born


Lucky: A Star is Born is an ongoing photo project focused on my best friend, Lucky, that is part documentary, part creative outlet. I started taking pictures of Lucky in 2011 when we first met and started dating (at the time—now I just consider them family, and they are happily engaged to an amazing woman). I document everything in my life quite compulsively, so I would say it started that way, taking diary photos of this person I love. Around 2013 and 2014, Lucky was going through a lot of hardships with their mental health, so I started documenting that journey more closely with the intent to make a photo book about it. In the end, though, I realized that the work wasn’t ready yet. I decided to let it sit for a bit and continue to document them until I was ready to publish a fuller body of work. Since then, we’ve both gone through many transitions in our lives, and I’ve continued to photograph them. 


Even though most of my work tends to be conceptual fine art, I’ve always had a strong interest in documentary photography. With this project I really want to blur the lines between the two. At first, my aspiration was to document a gay relationship in a tender, loving way. Then it became about depicting mental illness, and then it became about showing what intersex bodies can look like. Right now I’d say my main motive is to show androgyny in a way that’s not “neutral” but rather the opposite—extreme masculinity mixed with extreme femininity. That’s something we’re both really interested in. Ultimately, I hope the full body of work will show the complexity of identity, all of its layers, our existence as queer, trans, working class, mentally ill, beautiful humans. This work is really about identity as an unstable force. I hope that the series can also shed a light on nonbinary trans bodies and the beauty of existing as everything all at once.

xo

Laurence


Silent retreat (iphone diary)

Here is a photo essay I shot on my iphone in May & was published in The Photographic Journal last month: http://thephotographicjournal.com/essays/silent-retreat/


I shot these images on my phone while i was on a silent retreat in May. My mom had talked about wanting to go one of these retreats for years so for her birthday this year I signed her up for one and decided to go along with her. I had been feeling really overwhelmed by technology and needed some time to be alone with my thoughts. The retreat was run in an old catholic nun’s retirement home and the second I got there I was overwhelmed with the desire to photograph everything. Even though we were instructed to only reflect on ourselves through writing, I honestly couldn’t help myself so I shot these images whenever I was alone. Spent the weekend thinking about, my body, my past, my family’s catholic past, colours, gender, the usual.

xo

Laurence

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