Lily Bertrand-Webb 27 London
Categories: Photographer

Posted: 15th November 2015

Photography runs through Lily Bertrand Webb's blood. As a young child she was introduced to the camera by her Godfather. Her crisp, exquisitely coloured analogue photography has meant that at sprightly age of 27, she's already ticked most photographers’ bucket-list sitters off of her client list; from Damien Hirst to Imelda Staunton and Toby Jones and Fiona Banner if you want a portrait taken, Lily's your woman. The born and bred West Londoner is of half-Dominican decent and her beautiful curls mean that Lily’s just as fabulous as sitter as she is an artist, but she's chosen to stay very much behind the lens.

Having studied photography at Bournemouth Art Institute Lily graduated in 2011 but not before world-famous photographer and Bournemouth alumni Jim Naughten became her mentor. She then went on to assist world-famous director/photographer Sam Taylor Wood (50 shades, anyone?) whilst simultaneously helping run a photographic gallery in West London. Not too shabby, huh?

Lily has always shot on film and her preferred tool is a Mamiya 645 and Pentax cameras. She visits her subjects for no more than twenty minutes in their natural environments, living by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s mantra that, ‘A portrait is like a courtesy visit of fifteen or twenty minutes. You can’t disturb people for any longer than that, like a mosquito about to bite’. She travels straight to Labryinth Photographic Printing in East London to get them processed and printed and fits in a lovely cuppa tea with her printers too. You just don't get the same from your iPhone now do you? In fact, her portrait of Damien Hirst in his countryside studio was shot in a dark studio with only one shot left on the roll. Lily had to remain utterly still to avoid any blurring (check out the picture if you've not already Googled it). Her portraits are regular fodder on the glossy pages of the weekend supplements and she's gone on to shoot for big-boy titles Vogue, The Guardian, i-D, The Telegraph and Huffington post. She also collaborated with her long-term friend and original BabyFace girl Lotte Andersen on Lotte's beautiful Adidas x Stella McCartney zine.

For now Lily is focusing on shooting i-D’s cult Straight-Ups; collaborating with Thandie Newton and Kay Montano’s beauty venture and making a a semi-autographical short film with her actor dad, Danny Webb, casting director mum Leila Bertrand and writer sister, Bellaray. Yes, the Bertrand-Webb household, is not your average one. If Lily doesn’t already sound talented enough to you, she’s also a passionate skateboarder and surfer (hobbies she inherited from her father) and you’ll most likely catch Lily on Goldbourne Road or skating around Hyde Park with her mut, Dylan.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO:Portrait photographer, born and raised in West London… I shoot on film, film… film. With my Mamiya 654, I go to people’s houses/studios and drink coffee & take their portraits. Previous portraits include Damien Hirst, Toby Jones, Imelda Staunton, Fiona Banner, Graham Linehan… Longboard skater & surfer… HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU IN A SENTENCE?Gullible, loud, fun & sci-fi obsessed! WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?Surfing with my family in a small village called St Agnes in Cornwall. Going for long walks with my ditzy dog, Dylan. Getting my film rolls back from the lab, Labyrinth Photographic Printing, in East Ldn.FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT/SHOP/HANG OUT?My parents house for Sunday lunch / Portobello Road market on a Friday / My best friend, Ithaka’s flat, on her bed.WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE?Laugh out Loud!WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?‘You are braver than you believe. Smarter than you seem and Stronger than you think’ Winnie the Pooh!WHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?Fantastic!BEST PARTY YOU'VE EVER BEEN TO?Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull party few years ago. Pulp was playing, danced with Peter Crouch, ended up at the Ritz hotel and passed out in the hallway. Enough said. SONG TO BE PLAYING AS YOU ENTER THE CLUB?Donna Summer – I Feel LoveBIGGEST LIE YOU WERE TOLD/THAT YOU TOLD AS A KID? Eating lots of carrots gives you better vision in the dark!WHAT'S NEXT?Meeting more fun people, drinking lots of coffee and taking their portraits. Collaboration with ThandieKay. Shooting ‘The Straight Ups’ for i-D. Making a semi-autographical short film with my Mum & my little sister… AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Ithaka Roddam
Why: She’s my best friend, amazing photographer & cook and… Because I say so.
Contact Lily Bertrand-Webb