Every month, in our new franchise Behind the Lens, we will be getting to know the women behind the beautiful images that fill the magazine’s pages and illustrate our online storytelling at Harper’s Bazaar. From celebrity cover stories to fairy-tale fashion editorials, every image is lovingly captured by one of our talented pool of visionary photographers, without whom the brand wouldn’t be what it is today.
This month we’re turning the spotlight on photographer Lynette Garland, recently responsible for shooting some of Bazaar’s most beautiful imagery, and known for her signature black and white shots.
How did you get into photography, and did you always know that was what you wanted to do?
“When I was working as a stylist I began shooting backstage on my iPhone and then later on a small compact camera. I was shooting quietly, sometimes without the models even noticing, always looking for candid or intimate shots that caught the atmosphere behind the scenes. The photographs were purely for my own use, I would sometimes post the images on Instagram, often cropping into the photos to accentuate small details or gestures – the shape of a collar, the nape of a neck, a model putting on her shoe or her hosiery.
“People liked the images I shared on Instagram and from there I was commissioned by designers such as Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs to shoot officially behind the scenes. I’ve always had an interest in photography but more for my own research or reference. I never consciously set out to be a photographer.”
What was your first photography job or commission?
“Katie Grand commissioned me to work on a story for Love magazine. It was a one-day shoot with a model and a small team. I shot in black and white using natural daylight.”
What was the shoot that changed your career?
“There were a couple of things that happened early on which took me by surprise. The first was seeing a selection of my behind-the-scenes images for Marc Jacobs on fly posters on the streets of New York. The second was when Miu Miu commissioned me to shoot images for an installation for their pre-fall 2018 collection. The photographs were also used in their stores worldwide.”
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
“My late friend, the photographer, Amber Rowlands, used to say, ‘Just go ahead and do it.’ In terms of how to do it, I like something that the great Brassai once said: ‘Photography must suggest, not explain.'”
Which person or location you’ve photographed stands out the most for you over your career, and why?
“I spent four days shooting for Miu Miu on a ranch by the Blackfoot river in Missoula in Montana. The sense of wide-open space and natural beauty was breathtaking.”
What has been your favourite Bazaar UK shoot and why?
“The shoot I recently did in Hastings, where I live, for the August 2021 issue (pictured above and below). It was a beautiful sunny day and everything just came together effortlessly. I think it has quite a timeless, classic feel.”
Who or what do you find interesting subjects to photograph?
“Tomboys and quirky models.”
What makes a good photo?
“Personally, I try to create a mood or an atmosphere and a sense of ease in the models so that nothing looks too staged or unnatural. It’s important to sustain the mood through an entire shoot. For me, the technical aspects are just a means to achieve this.”