For photographer Lana Prins (21) it started with photos of half-naked friends. This summer she has her first exhibition in France. Romance, sensuality, innocence and the woman are the main focus in her work. Part 10 of a series by Mrs. Mokum, originally posted on Parool.nl
When you look at the mostly sensual pictures, you wouldn’t expect them to have been taken by a twenty-one year old girl from Egmond aan Zee. But Lana Prins has been capturing women with her camera since she was fifteen. “I want to convey my feelings through pictures. I also love to romanticize the images. Romance can be as sweet as honey, but incredibly exciting too. By combining these two aspects, I create sense of tension between sensuality and innocence.”
“The woman is the perfect means for me to get to that end: women are sensuality and innocence,” explains Prins. The pictures are exciting to look at. Erotica with a hint of poetry. Prins lets the observer fathom their own story with the photos. “I often see the images as screenshots of a movie. No beginning, no ending, but a moment in the middle. The rest is up for interpretation.”
Photo shoots in the dunes
Prins started taking photos of her friends out of boredom. “I soon realized I thought it was way more fun to be behind the camera than in front of it,” says Prins. She directed the shoots and told her friends to wear their hair up or down. That’s how they posed for Prins in the dunes of Egmond aan Zee.
“The half-naked posed is something that happened quite naturally. It was never really thought out, my intuition and feeling told me it would be more beautiful. And because I was photographing my friends, we all felt incredibly comfortable.”
Amsterdam was the closest big city for Prins to move to, where she escaped from her little village. “Of course there was a lot more happening in terms of art and sex in Amsterdam that there was in Egmond aan Zee,” says Prins. “Where I was from, I had to create my own stimulants. Maybe that’s what pushed me to take those exciting photos in the first place.”
The fascination Prins has for women already existed before her love of photography, and it eventually seemed to turn into an obsession. Round shapes intrigue Prins. “Men are so square” Prins considers woman to have two sides. The sensual, sexy side and the timid, innocent side. “My pictures are partly a reflection of myself, but also that of every woman, because every woman is in possession of those two qualities.”
Prins often appears in her own work too. “I’m proud of the pictures I take of myself. We live in a society where women are ‘supposed to’ be more modest and reserved than men when it comes to expressing their sexuality. I think that you’re allowed to consider yourself sexy, and you should be allowed to express this as well.”
Broadening the horizon
It seemed like a logical step for Prins to study photography at the Kunstacademie van Den Haag. This soon turned out to be a wrong decision. “I’d already clearly defined my own style before I started attending the university. All of a sudden I had to do school assignments that were not my cup of tea, and use styles photography I already knew I wasn’t going to apply in the future.
Prins also thought it was important to acquire more knowledge in other areas than photography. “I realized that if I were to develop myself as a person in other areas too, my photos would develop with me.”Now Prins is studying Lifestyle and Design at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam. “I just started, but I think I made the right decision. This is where I can truly broaden my horizon.”
In terms of photography, Prins is still improving too. “It would be a challenge for me to translate my stories in the same romantic, poetic way, but without the woman as the main focus.”
In the summer of 2015, Prins has her first exhibition in France. She hopes to successfully finish college and to keep learning and inspiring. “I’m hoping to do a lot of collaborations with other artists. I think that would keep me sharp and inspired too. As long as I keep improving and developing myself as long as possible, I’m happy.”
This article was originally posted on 25 december 2014 on Parool.nl