Maxwell Swift is one of the creative minds we rely on to bring our vision of Larroudé to life. His shots exude the glamour, sex appeal, and unmistakeable layer of joy that perfectly encompass the brand. After the acclaimed photographer accompanied us to Paris to shoot our Fall campaign, we caught up with him to see what inspires his approach to photography and the career advice that still rings true.
What drove you to start your career as a photographer?
I've been interested in photography ever since I can remember, but it wasn't until my mid twenties when I decided I needed a new creative outlet and purchased my first camera. I was going through a bit of a quarter life crisis, and instead of paying off credit cards and student loan debt with my tax return money, I bought myself a birthday present- a used Canon 6d from Craigslist. At that point, I had no plans to make photography my career, I was just searching for something to exercise the creative side of my mind. It wasn't until a couple years later when I realized I could actually make a living taking photos, so I packed up my photo gear and suitcase of clothes and moved from SF to NYC (which I guess you can say was the beginning of my career).
What advice would you give aspiring photographers hoping to break into the fashion industry?
I get asked this all the time, and to be honest, I never feel like I have a great answer. But ultimately, don't focus so hard on trying to "make it" in fashion. Instead, photograph what you love and make your work how you like it. Take photos as often as you possibly can. Experiment -> learn from your experiences -> take more photos! Did I mention you should take a lot of photos?
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love and the right people will recognize your passion.
What was your favorite look/shot from this past Larroudé shoot?
That's tough, there were so many great moments! I think my favorite look was the black velvet blazer with the silver glitter platform boots. The look was sleek and sexy, and the light was hitting just right. Close runner-up is the striped shirt with the Inez shoe. Such a great mood and I love shooting near waterfeatures.
Out of all the shoots and campaigns you’ve done with us, what is your most memorable moment working with Larroudé?
Hmm this is also really tough.... I really think the studio campaign I shot for the Wonderland collection was really strong. I experimented with some lighting techniques that were new to me, and the results were amazing. The styling was fantastic, I got to shoot with live animals which was new, and I always love working with Gabby (model) because she is down to experiment and get weird.
What is your favorite part of your job?
There are so many things I love about my job, but I think it's the fact that it's allowed me to meet so many other amazing creative people.
What is your must-have item this season (or favorite recent purchase)?
I'm always an advocate for carrying around a film camera. Even if you don't consider yourself a photographer, I think it's great to have a small point and shoot 35mm camera to capture whatever you find interesting. Whether you're hanging with friends, on vacation, or even just running errands around town, you never know what you're gonna see! Everyone takes photos on their iphones nowadays, but I think there is something special when it's captured on film.
See more from Maxwell on his Instagram @maxwellswift