DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-hero

A self-portrait by Candice Lake

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-title

#MAKEITHAPPEN

Candice Lake

DEBUG: core/paragraph

"When everyone else is turning left, don’t be afraid to go right. It’s not necessary to do what people expect or what people want you to do—following your gut tends to lead to better choices."

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Meet Candice Lake, whose career trajectory has been anything but linear. The model-turned-photographer-turned-editor-turned-influencer, has worked on every side of the fashion industry— and isn't afraid of following her own direction.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

"I had spent years as a model being flown first class and being revered, and then saw...a very different side to the industry. When I started shooting for myself, these contrasting experiences completely shaped how I work with my team and with clients, always ensuring everyone feels respected and heard," Lake tells us.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Today, the mother of 3 continues her work as a photographer, and is also a contributing style editor for Vogue Australia. And although she certainly has her hands full, we got a chance to chat with Lake and learn just how she makes it all happen. Read on for her photography hacks, the charity that's close to her heart, and why screen-free time is one of her top work tips.

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-small-header

Q&A

DEBUG: core/paragraph

What are the driving passions that set you on your path? Why photography?
I was always inspired to create—I was forever in the garage with my father as a child, inventing things. I moved from my hometown, Sydney, to New York—the prospect of a ticket to see the world was incredibly alluring. I was working as a model, became the face of Ralph Lauren, and was shooting with Vogue as well. During that time, I was working on a Versace campaign with photographer Steven Meisel, and that's when my career aspirations changed. He only took 10 to 15 frames and I thought for sure that I’d been dropped, but months later I saw myself on a billboard. It looked so different from how I’d experienced it on set. I knew then that photography was what I wanted to do with my life.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

I took myself back to art school, which was one of the most inspiring times of my life, and then went on to assist anyone and everyone. I started working with British Vogue, and was commissioned to shoot street style in New York, right as it was beginning to take off. That really kickstarted my photography career. 

DEBUG: core/paragraph

What would you say is your greatest strength in this industry?
I have a relatively unique perspective as I have been on every side of the industry: model, stylist, photographer’s assistant, commercial sales, designer, photographer....

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-two-column

What does #MAKEITHAPPEN mean to you?
If you want something, you have to go out and get it. That's making it happen. It sounds obvious, although I think a lot of people sit around and wait for something magical to happen when in actuality, nothing is handed to you. In life, we are given opportunities. If you’re not brave enough to grab them when they are presented to you, you'll miss them. Something I say to my children all the time is, 'You only get one opportunity, don’t waste it.' 

When I moved to London from New York, I knew no one. I had no connections. I knocked on every single possible door and after approaching British Vogue several times, they finally gave me a chance.  Everyone kept telling me to go back to New York where I was established, but I knew I could make it happen, I just had to fight for it.  

A self-portrait by Candice Lake

DEBUG: core/paragraph

And who or what inspires you to make it happen? 
I am doing something that truly inspires me. Creating images of women, to truly see them and celebrate them is so rewarding. What an inspiration to be able to give this joy to another woman. 

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Top essential work/life hacks to make it happen?
1. When everyone else is turning left, don’t be afraid to go right. It’s not necessary to do what people expect or what people want you to do—following your gut tends to lead to better choices.
2. Stay curious, it’s the fountain of youth. I want to understand what people have to say, their stories, and where their creative impulses come from.
3. It’s so important to look around (not at your phone) and be in the here and now.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

3 must-haves to make it happen?
1. A great team is essential, so you can be fully present in what you’re doing. 
2. I really believe in having screen-free time to deeply connect with whatever it is you are doing.  
3. You need perseverance. You have to be willing to hear 'no,' and go for it anyway.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

And the wardrobe MVPs that help you make it happen?
I love to wear a uniform and the VB blazers are so chic—I’m obsessed. 

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-two-column

As a photographer, do you have any posing hacks you can share?
Shake it off. Before you’re having your photo taken, jump up and down, do a little spin, and blow out your lips like a horse. It really relaxes you and as we all know, the best images are when we are relaxed. 

A self-portrait by Candice Lake

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Tell us about the one thing or person who changed your life and POV?
When I decided to quit modelling at the height of my career and go back to art school, a lot of the people I had worked with in the fashion industry were aghast.  While earning for my degree, I assisted photographers and stylists for many years, carrying sandbags, loading vans with equipment and was treated very differently than I had been. I had spent years as a model being flown first class and being revered, and then saw...a very different side to the industry. When I started shooting for myself, these contrasting experiences completely shaped how I work with my team and with clients, always ensuring everyone feels respected and heard. People who are not confident in their own abilities often implement strong hierarchical systems to give them a sense of power. I prefer to work collaboratively with my team and I have seen incredible results from it.

DEBUG: core/paragraph

Advice to others to make it happen? 
Follow your instincts and give it everything you have. Don’t ever let fear get in the way of you becoming who you want to be. If you try something and it doesn’t work, try again and again and again! Something will stick. Life is long but actually so short, it is only with hindsight you realize that each opportunity you get is a precious gift not to be wasted—grab hold of it and run.

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-small-header

SHOP THE LOOK

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-two-column

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-small-header

discover more on vbedit

DEBUG: cgb/block-vb-related