Belgian photographer Laetitia Bica may be only 37 years old but her name has become a reference in photography. Her work is varied, her exhibitions are frequent, and her collaborations with fashion brands such as Gioia Seghers, Especes and Jean-Paul Lespagnard made her become an accomplished artist with multiple facets. This year, she’s one of the ten finalists of Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography. A consecration, especially since she’s the first Belgian ever to be finalist of this festival. For this second episode of our series about different careers in fashion, Laetitia Bica made us the pleasure to chat with us about her career and her current projects.
Collaborative projects with fashion designers
Around 700 photographers are applying each year for the prestigious Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography and this time, Laetitia Bica made the difference. The photographer is one of the ten finalists of this year’s edition which will take place from 26 to 30 April, and she’s the very first Belgian finalist in the history of this festival, which was founded more than thirty years ago.
Although this event is going to bring more visibility to her work and recognition from a prestigious jury, Laetitia Bica is already a renowned photographer in her own country, Belgium; her various projects prove it well. Her first collaboration with her good friend and Belgian fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard when they were both still students made her enter the world of fashion photography, which she explored further by working later with jewelry brand Especes and Story to Line fashion designer Gioia Seghers.
© Laetitia Bica
Besides, Laetitia never works for someone but with someone: “I involve others as much as possible in my projects”, she tells us. Each of her projects is the result of a collaboration, an exchange of ideas, whether it’s during the workshops she does with students in Brussels schools or for her latest work, CREAM, for which she collaborated mentally handicapped artists from Creahm. Collaborating is indeed a process she always insists on creating, which is unique to her and close to her heart, in an era when the art world tends to become industrialized, she says, and where artists isolate themselves more and more.
Various sources of inspiration
Photographer Laetitia Bica takes inspiration from everything around her. Her photographs are known to be fresh, fun, colorful, but she’s not trying to tell a particular message in her photographs, she’s rather trying to transmit an energy.
She wants to give the audience the freedom to interpret what they see in her photographs, which she thinks might come from her love for surreal and fictional things that are open to interpretation and affect more people.
Even her collaborations are a source of inspiration and a stepping stone to a new project. Working with Belgian fashion brand Versa Versa for example was the occasion for her to work with models who are originally dancers. A whole different experience. “With models, beauty is really dictated and codified”, she tells us. “When I’m working with dancers, beauty comes naturally, they know how to do something with their body”.
Being a creative fashion photographer
How do you keep being original as a photographer, and how do you bring something new every time? “You always have to question yourself, evaluate your own work and not necessarily do what people are going to like”, Laetitia tells us.
In a time where social media is putting a lot of pressure on artists to always show new things, be successful and get likes, she reminds us that not showing is also a form of communication. “I used to have a direct, concrete communication and I learned to work for myself. If I end up being a photographer for Vogue, that’s good, but it doesn’t have to be a goal in itself.”
What sets her apart is her desire to learn and her openness. “With Jean-Paul Lespagnard, we’re always working on some crazy idea that is the opposite of us and I think that’s even a particularity among Belgians: we’re not afraid of diversity”. And diversity characterizes her well.
Laetitia Bica‘s latest exhibition is still running at BIP in Liège, and her next is going to be the Hyères Festival, at which we wish her to win the greatest award. By then, fingers crossed and good luck to one of our favorite photographers.