A picture might be worth a thousand words, but for famous photographer and fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski, an extra dose of poetry can spark even greater emotion. In Always talk to me: poetry, prose and photography, the royal wedding photographer combines dreamy visuals and verses he has written over the years. A reflection on themes such as love, family, hope, courage and inspiration, the book delves deep into what fuels her creativity.
Lubomirski’s hope is that his introspection will inspire readers to share their light. To this end, he donates all proceeds from the publication to Concern Worldwide, a humanitarian organization that provides nutrition, health and emergency relief services to vulnerable communities.
Ahead, Lubomirski chats with BAZAAR.com about the fusion of photography and poetry, and how these creative outlets serve him during tough times.
You started writing poetry 12 years ago. Where does this interest come from?
I started writing a journal in my early teens and it has helped me a lot to deal with my emotions and insecurities during those formative years. I continued through my 20s and then in my 30s my journal entries started to get more poetic. For me, it was a very natural progression to be able to recognize and process my feelings in a more creative way than just documenting them.
How did you come up with the idea of creating a book that combines poetry and photography?
Interestingly, it took me a while to come to terms with the idea of photography and poetry together. We all carry so many visual references in our heads, so when we see a photograph it can immediately trigger certain emotions depending on what we’re seeing – whether it’s a look in the subject’s eye, a certain color palette, or a particular lighting. At first, I believed that the emotion created by the photo would pollute the emotion that the poem would create. However, I gradually realized that instead of taken from each other, they could – if chosen correctly – elevate one another.
What are the topics that most hold your attention?
In terms of poetry, the subjects of my writing come from a very diverse range. I’m mostly inspired by my wife and kids, but the topics of death, spirituality, purpose, hope, and of course love and romance all play a big part. When we got married 10 years ago, I decided to write my wife, Giada, a poem every month in order to inject a continuing small amount of romance into a marriage. So in total, after each month, in addition to all the special occasions, I wrote about 230 poems for her. She was kind enough to leave me two or three for this book.
What messages are you trying to convey with each juxtaposition?
When I photographed Bruce Springsteen, I asked him if he was able to force himself to write songs or if they came organically. He explained to me that sometimes, and only sometimes, we can force creativity. Other times you unwittingly take something out and it shoots out of you – sometimes in one song, sometimes in ten. The creatives are simply the conduits of what comes out of the creative ether.
These poems are just my translation of experiences and emotions, and how they affect me, and I hope people who read them can understand them or find comfort in the words. Unfortunately, many of us cover our thoughts with a constant din of images and sounds, through our phones and laptops. We never allow ourselves to stop, think and reflect on the big questions of life.
Why was it important that you donate all profits to Concern Worldwide?
When hope and change are desperately needed, we are all called upon to ask ourselves how we can be of help. In every movement there are fighters and diplomats, infantrymen and storytellers, each using their unique skills to change the narrative, inspire transformation, and create a better future. My skills are to be creative, to use photography and poetry to inspire people. I firmly believe in the flow of blessings and have been incredibly lucky and blessed in my career as a photographer. So, with this book of poetry and photography, I hope to spread some light by touching and inspiring its readers with my words of hope, love, family and change, while also raising funds for the incredible humanitarian charity, Concern Worldwide.
Do you plan to create more books on the same theme?
Absolutely. I’m a Mad Virgo, with constant plans, and poetry is something I do organically. So if people like this book then I’ll be happy to make another one. I also have a new children’s book coming out in 2022, as well as another photography book coming out in 2021.
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