London based Hawaiian, Leila Peterson came across our sights via Instagram sometime ago and ever since it has been a daily struggle to pull her light-filled imagery feed from our palms. This photographer has a subtle penchant for simplistic beauty, while her knack with the camera draws you in to small square-sized snaps of serenity and style. Leaving us to momentarily drift away into her humble abode or snow capped mountain tops of Switzerland.
We discovered just what it is that intrigues Leila, compelling her to capture elements of both life and the land that surrounds her.
What drew you to learn the art of photography?
I started taking photos at a young age, shooting mostly with a Polaroid SX-70 and various point and shoot cameras I’d found at flea markets. My parents would document everything my sister and I would do, from family vacations to school talent shows. After a while, I started doing the same. I’m very drawn to the feeling of looking back on my life through a series of frozen frames and cataloging it all. I don’t want to forget anything.
How would you describe your style through the lens?
For a long time, I never really felt as though I had a particular style; I just shot what intrigued me. As I got older, I noticed there were a lot of recurring elements in my photos. Bright light, pastel colors, white space, and singular objects. I think my style is simple – I like focusing on the simplicity of life and capturing ordinary objects and scenes that stir up some kind of emotion in me.
What captivates you most by landscape and travel imagery?
How unpredictable it all is. I’m always faced with situations I never saw coming when I’m on the road, but go with it anyway. I’ve realised there’s only so much you can plan — the rest will find you if you’re open to experiencing it. Being completely pushed out of your comfort zone is terrifying for someone like myself, but it is also what makes the journey that much more exciting. I love seeing travel photography that captures a genuine story in a series of images. It’s also something I try to work towards when I travel for work or a project.
Who or where do you seek inspiration from?
Everything. Colours, light, nature, music, love, people. I try not to look at other photographers work too much, but do enjoy the work of Vivian Maier. There is something really beautiful, and tragic about her work, and life. Something raw, and real, and not for exploitation.
What is your favourite thing about your home and interior?
How bright and airy it is. The space is full of windows and sharp angles, because we’re living in a converted attic space. I love the little details, and how the over-abundance of white can transform the darkest winter day into something so lovely and relaxing.
What projects are you currently working on or have planned?
Exploring and photographing more of England, hopefully. I’ve been doing a lot of travelling in the past two years since moving to London, and I haven’t really had the chance to see other parts of the UK. Over the weekend, I visited East Sussex and shot photos of the ocean from up on the cliffs. I’m hoping to shoot a lot more near the seaside in the coming year.