The new Stella Kids campaign is a colourful trip to the iconic Hotel Le Corbusier in Marseille, shot by British photographer Tara Darby and styled by Des Lewis. We spoke to Tara about the shoot, motherhood and what it’s like to work with her children in our Q and A below.
How did you get into photography and film?
My parents were always into taking pictures so I was interested from an early age. I studied Spanish and English Literature and spent a year in Barcelona as part of my degree; that is where I really fell in love with photography. My friend Claire and I looked after a flat during the summer which had a darkroom so we spent all our time taking and developing images and sticking them on the walls. We had the best time. I never really looked back after that.
Hotel Le Corbusier is such an iconic location. What made you choose it for the Stella Kids campaign?
Des and I wanted to shoot in a modernist building with lots of light and character. We are both Le Corbusier fans and felt that the colours and structure would be a perfect backdrop for this Stella Kids collection. It felt like a giant playground that the kids could explore.
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What was it like to take Missy, Inca and Kit to Marseille and photograph them for the campaign? What was it like to work with your kids?
It was so much fun. They were very excited to go on an adventure. It was special because I know them all so well and they are used to me taking lots of pictures of them for my personal work. They all really got into the atmosphere and spirit of the shoot. On the first night there was a huge electric storm where the air was so charged everyone’s hair stood on
end. They loved exploring the architecture and playing in the pool on the roof.
Do you have a favourite shot from the campaign?
It is hard to choose just one but I do love the one of Missy and Inca standing on a block outside the hotel and covering their eyes.
Why did you choose to shoot on film?
I still shoot as much of my work as possible on film. I much prefer the speed it dictates and the quality of the results. I like the fact no one can see any of the images whilst I’m shooting. I feel like I travel into a different mind zone when I shoot on film and have to concentrate much more. There is a different kind of immersion which I really like. I much prefer editing from film and having the negatives somewhere where I can see them rather than just files on a hard drive.
Your ‘Mothers’ series is a personal look at motherhood and place. How has being a mother informed your work?
I think having children changes your world in every way imaginable so shooting the series about mothers was a way of trying to understand how other women reconcile all these different parts of themselves after becoming a parent. Becoming a mother changes you and the way you interact with the world—children force you to be in the moment and surrender to their needs so that can hinder and help creativity all at the same time. I think I’ve become more resourceful. I love photographing my kids and seeing how uninhibited they are.
You have travelled all over the world for your work. How do you balance work and home life?
I have to plan things a bit more now. I love being at home and picking up my kids from school but then equally I really appreciate travelling for work while the kids have a great time having their Dad all to themselves. I think we’ve got quite a good balance. It is always work in progress.
Did the kids have favourite pieces from the collection?
Missy and Inca loved everything but especially the black toucan swimsuit, the pink trousers and the cherry good tee. Kit loved the shorts.