By: Bella Metts, Staff Writer
Professional photographer Lara Rossignol gave a lecture Friday, Feb. 22 in the Roe Art Building Lecture Hall. The lecture hall was packed full with students sitting on the floor for the entirety of Rossignol’s lecture. Rossignol began her photography career after her mother won a Hawkeye Auto camera in a bridge game. Rossignol’s first passion was actually dancing, a pastime which took up the vast majority of her adolescence.
As she grew up, Rossignol bargained her way into getting a new camera; trading a family trip to Hawaii for a new 35mm. New camera in hand, she began studying photography seriously her senior year of high school. After high school, Rossignol eventually enrolled at Art Center College of Design. The photograph that she submitted for her application was one that combined her love of dance and photography. It was a photograph that Rossignol had taken at age 17 behind her garage of a dancer on pointe with a ribbon tied around her feet.
During her third semester at Art Center College of Design, Rossignol began a project photographing teenagers. “Something about the shoot just made me know that this was what I was doing,” she said in recollection of the shoot. “I just wanted to take this school like a sponge and just drain it.” Rossignol used this shoot to fill her portfolio, which she then submitted and gained a shoot with Nicholas Cage. Photographs from this shoot were published in German Vogue, one of Rossignol’s first big publications.
After Cage, Rossignol had a shoot with a poor local actor to help fill out her portfolio more. This actor happened to be a young Johnny Depp. Rossignol had Depp’s pictures in her portfolio to help her when she moved to New York. When speaking about portrait photograph, Rossignol says that clients “are as invested in the outcome as you are” and that she works hard to give every clients a product that they are truly happy with, yet also is marked with her integrity as an artist.
In Rossignol’s eighth semester at Art Center College of Design she was signed by an agent. Upon graduation she began her first job at the LA Style. As her whirlwind career progressed, so did her tastes. Rossignol has many passions of subject matter that have varied wildly over the years including children, fashion, and even semi-professional pool players. When speaking on why her work is so different from others, Rossignol put it simply, “There are some things that other people thought were mistakes that I liked.”