Interview Foam Talent Call: Shane Lavalette
Can you tell us a little about
My name is Shane Lavalette. I was born in Vermont,
and am currently living in Upstate New York. I have a BFA from
Tufts University in partnership with the School of the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston. When I'm not making photography, I work as the
Publisher and Editor of Lay Flat and the Associate
Director of Light Work. I enjoy good food, good company,
and the good ol' outdoors.
What inspired you to pick up a camera and take
It was photography itself, really. I got serious
about taking pictures around the age of fifteen when I discovered
the black and white darkroom. I think working in there reminded me
of my childhood fascination with photography. I'm not in the
darkroom much these days, but am still enjoying the magic of the
How did you find out about the Foam Talent Call last
I've been reading Foam Magazine for some time now,
and always enjoy seeing the work that's featured and the young
artists in the Talent issues. Having just completed a large body of
work as a commission for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, I
thought it would be a nice time to start sharing some of the
pictures. I'm glad the editorial team responded well to the project
and decided to include it.
What (technical) gear do you use?
It varies by project, as it should. For this
particular one, I shot everything with a medium format Mamiya,
scanned the negatives on an Imacon, and made prints on Canson
paper. These were the first digital prints I have been happy
Do you have other interests besides photography?
I've always been been interested in graphic
design, and in music. I recently designed and produced the first
full-length album titled Be Good for an up and coming
Chicago-based artist, Cross Record. She chose a photograph of mine
for the cover. That LP can be purchased here.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Depends on the day. Generally I look outside of
photography for inspiration, and bring it back into my work. Most
recently, as I mentioned, music has been very important. I'm
enjoying classically inspired guitarists lately-the likes of John
Fahey, Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Steffan Basho-Junghans, and
Who is your favorite photographer or artist?
Impossible. I spend most of my time looking at
photographs in books, and there's a new one every week, if not
every day. I feature some of those here.
Have you been working on any new projects this year you
would like to share with us?
I've been experimenting a lot, trying to push my
practice, and exploring more conceptual approaches to image
What did the Foam Talent Issue do for your career as a
The issue helped me get my work into the hands
of many other artists, gallerists, curators, etc., of which a few
opportunities and connections have come from.
Do you have any tips for the young photographers out there
who want to submit their work to the Foam Talent Call?
Be passionate, make work, share it. That's