WONDER WOMAN // Samee Lapham, Photographer & Designer
Samee Lapham is a Wonder Woman.
A freelance designer and photographer, Samee primarily works in web design, content creation and is also the founder of The Kind Guide. This allows her to do what she loves most: build experiences and share stories that people can connect with.
We asked Samee to photograph local floral artist Vivien Hollingsworth from the amazing Flos Botanical Studio as she foraged and transformed the Radical Yes! store into a winter wonderland, and took the chance to ask her a few questions about her work, aesthetic and inspiration.
Looking over your inspiring IG feed there is a real breadth of environments covered in your compositions. Do you feel more comfortable shooting in rural or urban settings? How about people versus places?
Instagram has become a great way to document the things I come across on a daily basis, and I'm sure most people approach it this way too. Since I have always lived in a city, whether it be Sydney, London and now Melbourne, I am constantly shooting urban settings. In saying that I do have a real love for a beautiful rural landscape, particularly in Australia—I'm the one always pleading to stop on a road trip to take a photo.
People vs Places is something I'm actually trying to pair together in my work more this year. I'm naturally drawn to places, and I'm sure my Instagram shows that. I really dislike having my photo taken and that has become a bit of a barrier in not wanting to make someone else feel as uncomfortable as I would. I do really enjoy photographing people when they are not too conscious of my presence, when it's not forced. I think this brings out real moments, something that is naturally occurring and I happen to hit the shutter at the right time. I love chasing those moments.
Images by Samee Lapham for Radical Yes!
We love the strong architectural quality of your aesthetic. How do you feel that your last two years in London has influenced your work?
Meeting up with people through Instagram dramatically increased the amount of photos I was taking on a weekly basis. Hanging out with people who loved taking photos as much as I did really helped to stretch and grow my style and love for photography even more. I had been drawn to house portraits and interiors whilst living in Sydney and so this really grew whilst I was living in London—it's particularly easy to photograph houses and museums there, I must admit! London is an incredibly photogenic and inspiring city to live in.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have any work rituals or habits you follow?
Making lists at the start of each week (or each day if it's a really busy time!) is my main ritual. I find it hard to sleep if I haven't made a list of everything buzzing around in my mind! It's also about proper mental preparation for what's coming up and ensuring I have the energy I need.
When I'm given a creative brief, I spend a lot of time researching and making sure I'm aligned with the client's aesthetic and needs. I look for visual inspiration, I make sure I know the people involved, and I think about the type of person I'm ultimately communicating with through the finished product. I like to be as prepared as possible, but you can't always preempt what's going to happen on the day!
Image by Samee Lapham for Radical Yes!
For this brief we sent you to the woods to capture a foraging story for Winter Solstice. Do you celebrate solstice? What do 'new beginnings' mean to you?
This brief was seriously so much fun! Vivien is an amazing floral designer but also a really beautiful and fun person to hang out with. I don't actually celebrate solstice, so it was lovely to be reminded of it. I like that every day we get to wake up and try again.
Images by Samee Lapham for Radical Yes!
Tell us three things you always say YES to.
What does being 'radical' mean to you?
Being radical is about embracing the unexpected and being unafraid to try.