Lucy Nuzum is one of those photographers who was just born with a natural gift. In just a few short years, she's found a beautiful, tender and unique style that connects with almost anyone who sees her work. Her photos are filled with stories of people looking to find themselves, struggling to find happiness in a cold and lonely world.
This 21-year-old found her calling almost by accident. In fact, it all started because of procrastination. “I had my final school exams, I was holed up in the countryside to study, and started taking the little family camera everywhere with me and just escaping for walks with it,” she says. “I never got into nature photography, but self-portraits, acting like an eejit out into the forest, let me start making scenes and playing with Photoshop effects. Then, friends seemed to like those enough to want to be in them themselves! I was lucky to have gorgeous friends willing to don ballgowns and jump in the snow and clamber on rocks, and that's how I started my portfolio that got me into college.”
You'll notice a sweet but often surreal element to many of Nuzum's photos. While she is inspired by professional photographers like Arthur Tress, Sam Taylor Wood, Dave LaChapelle and Annie Leibovitz, she looks to different artistic mediums to guide her work. “I always liked the abstract and surreal in painting; the freedom that painters have of just creating any scene from their imagination, completely free of constraints. So, in photography, I don't think I felt hardly any desire to capture the world as it already is, but wanted to bring in that freedom of painting and, instead of mirroring reality, I wanted to construct it. Staging scenes, characters, movements…that's what I really enjoy about photography.”
Some of her most fantastic photos are those where her subjects are flying through the air. Just what does this represent? “There are theories about catching people at the apex of a jump and thus freezing them at this magical, vulnerable, personal moment… I'm not sure I can claim much philosophy around my ‘flying' photos, but I do agree that when you catch a person at the right moment, the photograph is really unique because it's literally a view of the person you'll have never properly had before. Before photography, short of lightning fast portrait painters, I don't think you could remember or capture what someone looked like for those few seconds, so maybe it is true that there is a bit of magic in the way photography lets us do that. I mean, it's still a pretty arbitrary feat, but people can look pretty damn funny when they're flying through the air. Graceful sometimes, lunatics more often.”