By Elly P. ’21
Perhaps you follow her Instagram account, @lilliantakephotos, or you have posed for her at Semi. However you know about Lillian Gibson ’21 and her photography, it is easy to see her remarkable talent. The Banner loved talking to her and we can not wait to see what she does next!
1. How did you get into photography?
I have always been interested in photography, borrowing my parents’ automatic camera when I was younger. What really got me started and more interested [in photography] was receiving my own camera for my 11th birthday. It was a blue Canon Powershot camera. Having my own camera sparked my own creativity, and at that time, I was really interested in recording skits or pretending to be a vlogger, but as you can see my vlogging career did not go too far. I was never able to take a photography class in the lower school at Winsor, but I did not give up my passion for it and tried to find programs outside of school during the summer. I did Phillips Andover’s Summer Session before 9th grade and took two classes one of them was photography. Then the summer going into 10th I did a week long program at the New England School of Photography.
2. How long have you been interested in photography?
I have always been interested, and that interest really took off for me when I got my first Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera in 7th or 8th grade. Having the freedom to shoot what I wanted, when I [wanted] gave me room to explore the area of photography I liked the most. Taking my first photography class at Winsor, which was Darkroom, gave me a different look at photography and was definitely more challenging for me than I expected. But doing so helped me understand lighting and manual settings better.
3. What do you like to shoot most?
When I can, I really enjoy taking photos of people in a natural state. One of my favorite photos I took was at a laundromat in Waltham because I did not set up the shoot at all; it was just situational. I was able to catch the expression and personality of someone I did not know. I also really enjoyed my documentary photography assignment for for my Digital Photography 1 class last year where I took photos of protesters outside of Planned Parenthood. Now in AP Art, I am taking still lifes which has definitely been more challenging creatively.
Why has shooting still lifes been more challenging?
There are only so many items on shelves in the Art studios and after a while, it can become quite tough to come up with new ideas. I have definitely had to apply more composition and lighting skills during the process. When it comes to portraiture, I can do one shoot of a person for an hour and find a few good photos and since I can do different people each time it’s already different from past photos because each person is different. A person can have different expressions so they can different elements to the photo but still lifes are all about how you position or life back because it is unable to interact while shooting. I have definitely had to go back to the lighting studio multiple times to get the position and lighting just right. I am also more limited in the spaces I shoot still lifes and I have had to creative with how I set up the lighting studio so all my still lifes are not on the same stand in the same way. I have gotten more used to knowing that I can’t expect a great photo in each shoot and see each time shooting more as an experiment and not as a time to get a perfect photo.
4. Why do you enjoy taking photos?
I enjoy taking photos because I get to capture objects or people in creative ways. When it comes to capturing still lifes, I have full control and make objects look more interesting by composition or lighting. Photography also gives me an outlet to express myself or ideas in a different way.
5. How have you tied your love for photography into life at Winsor?
I have used the skills I have picked up with photography in my role as Graphics Editor on Banner. Almost all the photos in each issue I collect and edit. Being on Banner has definitely given me a space to use my skills but has also helped me improve them and cut down the time it takes me to do certain tasks.
What non-ap projects are occurring right now?
I do not have many projects at the moment but I am planning on doing some more shoots focused on architecture and local train stations.