Laure Joliet, photographer


You could say that photographer Laure Joliet is in the image business, but her work is about depth as much as surface. She has a way with spaces, rendering them intimate and mysterious at the same time, capturing the revealing detail you notice out of the corner of your eye. Though her subject is often interiors, a large part of her job involves getting to know people. “I spend the day with them and find out things I don’t know that you would normally get to find out, what they’re passionate about. It feels really satisfying to have that experience.”

Joliet developed her skilled but instinctual approach partly as a reaction to the conceptual rigor of CalArts, where she got her BFA in 2001. “It got to a point where I couldn’t take pictures without thinking about how I was going to defend the work in a critique. So I had to take a break for a long time to be able to enjoy it again.“ After a few years of production work and blogging for Apartment Therapy, she took a position with an interior designer, shooting the end results, and that gave her “the confidence I needed to call myself a photographer and to put myself out there.” Since then, numerous commercial clients and publications like The New York Times and California Home + Design — not to mention our own site — have featured her work. As her assignments have increased, she’s lately felt a pull towards projects that are somewhat more tangible, that “you can hold in your hand.” These include the beautiful black and white print posters now available at her online shop. And launching today is a guest artist print with Debbie Carlos, who shot Joliet’s Echo Park home for us.

So how was it, being on the opposite side of the lens? “I felt all the things I know someone is feeling when I show up at their house. ‘Tell me if I need to move anything! Does this look okay?’ Really, everything was fine. And it gave me an excuse to pull out and share things that aren’t necessarily décor but are really important to me.” In conversation with Joliet, you quickly get the impression that her home is a real reflection of herself: easy-going, understated, and West Coast cool.