A Conversation With Lydia Robinson
Portrait of Lydia by Harry Livingstone
Lydia is a self-taught Film Photographer, with storytelling at the heart of her work, she seeks to highlight her subject’s character and individuality through photographs.
Last year she started a passion project based around queer relationships and documenting couples. Through this series she has aimed to show a more intimate and personal insight into lgbtq+ relationships, and how they are no different than cisgender heteronormative partnerships. With each couple she asked a few questions on their background, and their thoughts about what it means to be in a queer relationship, expressing that love really is universal regardless of identity and sexuality.
“There was never enough representation of LGBTQ+ relationships growing up, I wanted to capture a more intimate perspective.”
Karen: When did you start this project?
Lydia: I started this project in Pride Month last June 2021.
K: Why did you start this project?
L: I wanted to create a portfolio of work that felt close to me. Being queer there was never enough representation of lgbtq+ relationships growing up, and I wanted to capture a more intimate perspective. As well as raising awareness that regardless of sexuality and identity, a connection between two people is the same as heterosexual relationships and shouldn't be viewed any different.
K: What have you learnt since starting the project? - any reflections on film photography or queerness
L: I have learnt that queer relationships appear to have a much deeper level of connection due to facing similar societal hardships when 'coming out.' All couples that I shot mentioned that they feel closer with each other due to both having an equal level of understanding with the difficulties we often face being queer. This really put into perspective to me that lgbtq+ people are just in general a lot more open with their emotions when it comes to relationships.
K: What feedback have you had from the queer community?
L: The feedback from the lgbtq+ community has been, as expected, really great! A lot of people messaged me saying how it's refreshing to see queer relationships shown in such a detailed and normalised way. (Which is how it should be!) As well as this, more couples wanting to be involved in future queer series I plan to shoot which is exciting!
K: What feedback have you had from people outside of the queer community?
L: Likewise, the feedback from people outside the lgbtq+ community has been very supportive. I have had a lot of comments about how my photography captures queerness in a beautiful light, and depicts the connections in queer relationships so openly which I am super grateful for.
K: Do you have plans to make a photobook from your work on this project?
L: I originally had plans to put on an exhibition of this work last year, but come to the decision I wanted to build it up further over the course of maybe another 1/2 more years so it can be a lot bigger involving more queer couples from all over.
K: What is next for you and the project?
L: So the next steps are just continuing photographing more couples, would love to photograph a broader age of couples and shoot people overseas too. I also have another idea of capturing the drag industry a bit more intensely. Focusing on gender identity, and how drag has become a universal gateway for people outside of the lgbtq+ community to understand our world more.
K: How can people support your work?
L: Share, repost, like, talk, anything to help spread the work! If I put on an exhibition, please come and tell older people to come too. I think we have a generational problem with acceptance and I would love for my work to allow elder generations to see that queer people have always existed and it is the norm, but for years we have just been too scared to be open about it.
If you are a queer film photographer working on a project or have a portfolio you would like to talk about, we would love to hear from you.