Freehand Portraits

Charlotte, Photojournalism, & A Life in Beirut

By November 19, 2009 No Comments

Fleur_de_Lys_Haley_E._Hogan

photo by Haley Hogan

Elena was first enchanted by Charlotte through her Flickr photostream, amazed by the grace and sharpness of her eye. For a girl of 24 years old, Charlotte has a way of capturing people and situations with breathtaking empathy.

When she entered Elena’s apartment for the video interview, I was immediately struck by the contrast between her modestly soft-spoken way of saying things and the frank perceptiveness of what she said. Her cat-like Björkian charm is set off by her ballsy lifestyle of trudging into danger zones for the sake of her photos.

We interviewed Charlotte on the eve of her departure to return to Beirut for her latest project, Intimacies. She spent her teenage years living in Lebanon and wants to re-find her friends and to see how they are coping with the war. She commented on Beirut’s famous nightlife, explaining that, “The Lebanese young people are so tired of everything that they just party” to take their minds off the grim realities surrounding them.

When we asked Charlotte about being a female photographer, she said that there are many women who make their femininity the central point of their work, hoping to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. But Charlotte says of her own photos, “I’m not a very ambitious person … so I’m not going to use my gender for my work, and I’m not going to base my photos on my gender.”

The camera stopped rolling and Charlotte admitted that she often finds herself as the lone woman in a crowded room or on a bustling street, surrounded by male photojournalists. She realized for the first time that there is a gaping hole in the industry where all the female photographers should be.

HALEY HOGAN

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