Lucy Sparks – MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Lucy Sparks is a photographer who graduated from the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course at London College of Communication in 2013. We catch up with her to find out about her inspirations, her time at LCC and her high-profile projects since graduating.

Where are you from in the world?


What are your fondest memories of LCC?

I loved the mixture of people I met on the course. I got to learn so much about different cultures due to the nature of the programme and the types of projects people were shooting. Our final show was also a highlight – as a group we had really grown and developed our styles and interests.  

Close-up photo of pink leather sofa by Lucy Sparks.
Photograph from Lucy Sparks' 'Tina' project.
Image © Lucy Sparks

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve recently completed a project called Tina. The series was shot in themed hotels throughout California and is influenced by a calling card I found for a curvy blonde escort of the same name. I drew from Tina’s looks and sense of style to create a twilight, Lynch-esque series. Focusing on fictional fragments within each location, I was able to construct an environment I could imagine Tina moving through. The images aim to highlight California’s ability to story tell and blur reality, so using real life locations to build a fantasy world seemed fitting.

Which contemporary photographers/photojournalists most inspire you?

I’m inspired by the work of John Divola, Charlie White, Viviane Sassen and Roe Ethridge.

Close up photography of sand-coloured curtains in front of bold red wall.
Photography from Lucy Sparks' 'Sand Dollars' project.
Image © Lucy Sparks

Tell us about your future plans and ambitions:

The next step is to apply for residencies abroad to help expand my practice. I also thrive when collaborating with fellow photographers, so I would like to do more of that too.  

What drives you to succeed?

Success means something different to everyone. For me, it’s to keep creating work that I’m proud of.

What three words would you use to best describe LCC?  

Diverse, rewarding and fun!

Photograph of gold soap dispenser on bright pink wall.
Photography from Lucy Sparks' 'Essexland' project.
Image © Lucy Sparks

What piece of advice would you give to new students?

Make sure you attend the guest lectures – I saw some excellent talks whilst attending LCC. Use the facilities and technicians to the maximum; they are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. Finally, take a look at the Stanley Kubrick archive, I never got around to it and have regretted it ever since!

Where in London do you go when you need a little inspiration?

I like to go to galleries and bookshops, I especially like Claire de Rouen. They have a really good range of photography magazines and books. 

And where in Essex?

I don’t have to go far, the people and their tastes inspire me there. Much of my work focuses on and celebrates the façade of grandeur, which parts of Essex has in abundance.

British Journal of Photography blog post
It's Nice That blog post