Alexandra Lhermite-Schwass

Alexandra Lhermite-Schwass

How did you get started in photography?

In 2006, while I was studying business management at university in Switzerland, I remember reading an article about Flickr in my local newspaper. Out of curiosity, I signed up and browsed for beautiful images. I then looked at the few pictures I had on my computer to see if there was anything worthy

of sharing. There was not a single picture I wanted to upload. My pictures of holidays with the family or friends at parties were nice memories but nothing “artistic.” From that exact moment, I decided I would start training my eye and I photographed anything I thought would look interesting on my Flickr account. It was a lot of experimenting with my basic digital point-and-shoot camera, and from then it has evolved into my passion. 

What role has your iPhone and Instagram played in it?

Instagram has completely changed the way I photograph. As I became more familiar with the fundamentals of photography, I upgraded to a proper DSLRand felt my pictures became more qualitative. But then I discovered Instagram in 2012 and started shooting with my iPhone. I have always kept my feed “iPhone only” as I have come to realize that there are so many possibilities withthe iPhone and all the apps available. I find that shooting with the iPhone is less intimidating, it is just so easy to take out my iPhone from the handbag

and quickly shoot anything that catches my eye. But it should not be a reason to neglect the DSLR and I do try to take it out from time to time.

How has London influenced your perspective? 

Moving to London has been very fulfilling in terms of creativity. I have met a lot of interesting and talented persons thanks to Instagram. Before moving to London, I used to go shoot by myself. Now I really enjoy photographing with others, I always find it very enriching. I have also noticed that, nowadays, I mostly compose my pictures with people in it. I like the sense of scale and personal dimension that it gives to the pictures. 

Where are your favorite places to go in London? 

London is such a diverse city, which makes it a fantastic playground for photography. I love to wander in Notting Hill, with its quiet alleys and colorful facades. But then I also appreciate Shoreditch, with all the cool street art. The various parks in London are really nice when you feel like you need a dose of nature. After one year of living in London, I realize there are many places I have yet to discover...which is a nice feeling. 

What are you inspired by? 

People, places, colors, details -- I am passionate about capturing my personal interpretation of the beauty that the world has to offer. I am also inspired by many artists, photographers and filmmakers. Every day, I fall in love with images I see on Instagram or elsewhere.

What words would you say, perhaps in addition to color and minimal, describe your style? 

I think I can say my style is eclectic. I do not confine my pictures to one single theme. I like to try different styles. I love colorful images, but

I do not mind posting something darker if I find a scene I like. I like urban shots with elements of architecture, but I am also inspired by nature and enjoy shooting landscapes. I have also been experimenting with short videos on my Instagram account, and I love it! 

How has it overall been for you moving from Switzerland to London? 

It has been a refreshing change! I am a curious person who loves to travel and explore new places. I have found much inspiration in London and the opportunities for photography are endless here. But I do miss the Swiss lakes and mountains every now and then…

Interview by Jack Sommer

Kevin De Los Santos