June is Pride Month, dedicated to celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Florence Law is an editorial and documentary portrait photographer that aims to help bring visibility to the LGBTQ+ community through their work. They tell us more about their recent project, Seen in Sport.

Tell us more about yourself and how you started in photography?

photo of Florence Law in the studio

I am a photographer born in the Cotswolds and based in Leeds. I love capturing people’s personalities and a lot of my work celebrates members of the LGBTQ+ community.

I got into photography around the age of 15, studying photography as a subject in school and then finding myself shooting personal projects in my spare time. During this time, I found my love for portraits, finding more inspiration and made me think about how I can make an impact with my imagery.

portrait of Lois Hinder basketball player in red outfit stood with basketball

Seen In Sport “Lois, Basketball” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Lois Hinder @iamddq. Photo credit: Florence Law

Can you tell us more about your Seen in Sport project?

LGBTQ+ representation is important in my work. This is visible in my Seen In Sport project, where I worked with 11 Queer athletes, photographing them and hearing their experiences about the inclusion they have felt within their sport.

I originally made the Seen In Sport project for my final major project at Leeds Arts University, it has now become much more than that.

portrait of Ethan Akanni hurdler

Seen In Sport “Ethan, Athletics, Hurdles” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Ethan Akanni @ethaka124 Photo credit: Florence Law

Seen In Sport celebrates strong Queer sports people, the analogue portraits are alongside inspiring stories from each athlete, hoping to get others involved in sports and being authentically themselves.

I created a Zine at the time selling copies with profits going to Stonewall, since then I have also exhibited photographs from the project at Queer Joy – Kings Cross, Birmingham’s Pride House for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Leeds University. There has been physical representation of the athletes around the UK, on display for people to see, learn about the project and for people understand why this visibility is important.

Jaide Annalise doing a split leg handstand for seen in sport portrait

Seen In Sport “Jaide, Acrobatics” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Jaide Annalise @jaideannalise Photo credit: Florence Law

At this time the project includes 11 sportspeople. I am currently working to continue the project this Summer as I want to include more athletes.

For the original selection, I reached out to people through Instagram, I also had contacts from mutual friends. It was a great mix from all over the UK and I made sure to include a range of sports.

Okasia B footballer resting against fence

Seen In Sport “Okasia, Football” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Okasia B @kayyyshb Photo credit: Florence Law

How do you plan your shoots?

I was travelling around the UK and it was normally the first time meeting when we were shooting. I had sent over all the details and mood boards before the shoot and sorted styling. When I meet up with the models I spent some time at the start chatting before the shoot starts. I did have a short shot list for each model which included a headshot, full-body pose and some action shots. This was a great mix to warm each athlete up as many of them had not modelled professionally before.

What equipment do you use?

For this project, I used my Mamiya RZ67 and a Canon point-and-shoot with flash for the action shots. It was all shot on film which was a lovely intimate way of shooting and something new for sports photography.

portrait of Ethan Akanni hurdler at starting position for seen in sport portrait

Seen In Sport “Ethan, Athletics, Hurdles” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Ethan Akanni @ethaka124 Photo credit: Florence Law

What’s next?

I have previously shot a moving image self-portrait project titled ‘Born’ in which I explored my own gender identity. This vulnerability is key and my future work has benefited from being in front of my own lens. I have plans for another self-portrait project this year, stay tuned!

model in green coat sat on a large rock in studio space for portrait

Personal work “Rocks” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Zadie Quinn @zadiequinn Photo credit: Florence Law

I am also currently shooting for a new project entitled “A Dream Of Now” which is focused on what Trans+ people dreamed of being when they grew up. I am excited about this personal project and I cannot wait for the outcomes.

Sorcha Williams posing in dark tree scene with yellow crochet bag photo for sorchacrochet products

Work for SorchaCrochet, Canon 5D Mark iii, Sorcha Williams, @sorchacrochet,
@sorchawilliamss Photo credit: Florence Law

I am so excited about my future career as a photographer. Recently I have worked on some incredible campaigns for Pride, this is such an important time to me and I have met some amazing people.

Since leaving university a year ago I feel that I have had some amazing opportunities and I am really excited about the future.

person posing in double denim outfit on the bank of a river

Basement magazine issue 1 “And That Includes Us” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Azekai, @azekaiii Photo credit: Florence Law

You can see more of Florence’s work on Instagram @florence_law and their website www.florencelaw.co.uk

Featured image: Seen In Sport “Amy, Hockey” Mamiya RZ67, Portra 400, Amy Lloyd-Jones
@amy_and_lolly. Photo credit: Florence Law

Related reading:

Photographing Birmingham Pride 2023

Best portrait tips from the pros

Complete guide to portrait photography

Best cameras for portraits

How to Shoot Portrait Photos at Home

How to take portraits on a smartphone

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