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Getting to know: Lavinia Cernau

It all started with instagram, the app that is currently shaping the way we communicate and interact with one another. We bring the people we follow into our lives whilst we’re having coffee, waiting for the metro, yet, how deep is our connection with them? Have we ever had a conversation with them outside of the due diligence of liking and commenting? This is where the idea came from. I would like to add a personal touch, a connection that goes beyond a thousand likes.

When I encountered Lavinia’s profile, I got immediately hooked to her feed by her beautiful aesthetic and eye for landscapes and style. She describes herself as a self thought photographer but what’s more to know about her?

What was your first job
My first life was foreign languages, so I ended up with a degree in Translation Studies; it was legal agreements and other technical documents that photography slowly replaced – didn’t even know I had an eye for it, really, but now I can’t see myself behind a desk anymore.

Did you have a mentor as a photographer
No mentor – it all started with Instagram (such a cliché!) – where I began following those great accounts I still follow today, plus more recent ones that totally blow my mind. In time, I believe I honed my visual perspective and started to develop my own way to see the world through a lens. It’s an ongoing process, though, how else? 

Is that your full-time job 
Yes, I’m currently working as a freelancer doing photography gigs and exploring new perspectives, taking inspiration from here and there, everywhere.

How do you spend your days and how much of that time goes on instagram
Instagram takes more time than I would like it to as it remains an amazing source of inspiration despite all the (not so) recent changes; I love to read and browse through magazines, water my plants and go out for a chat with friends. Come summer, it’s the loveliest time to hang around in the city witnessing the changes in light as the sun finally goes down. Countryside takes many weekends a year, as it’s the place where I feel more enrooted than anywhere else. Must have something to do with the fact that I’ve spent my early childhood years surrounded my nature at my grandparents’ cottage.

What keeps you motivated
Honestly, there are times when I feel low about my work or not finding my drive but then all of the sudden I stumble upon something that feels completely new but somehow old too – and it gives me that much needed direction; it may well be a quote or an image or most often, the return to nature and to observing the little things.

How has instagram influenced you
It all started with this app for me – I mean photography and this whole new, up until then, way of seeing the world and expressing myself, so I’d say it has played a major role in my discovering the path I’m on now. Much of a cliché, but I have to admit, it’s changed my life.

The one question you’re tired of getting asked
“How did you get so many followers?”

Who do you look up to?
My husband is a constant inspiration and source of calm for me, in that he’s centered, reasoned and always comes up with a solution to everything. I’m just the opposite, always gathering my thoughts and my head from the clouds. We make a good team though, I guess.

What would you do differently 
I think it’s always about what you can do now or from now on. I’m currently focusing on putting my work and my perspective out there and not being afraid of being different, of experimenting.

If you could sum up one lesson you’ve learned at your own expense, what would it be
Keep an open mind and say yes more often than no. You’re likely to stumble upon beautiful people and life-changing, enriching experiences.

Recommendations of users or books, podcasts or things that have recently inspired you recently, and could inspire others:
I find Garance Dore’s podcasts very refreshing and inspirational and since she was the reason I created my Instagram account in the first place, it’s even sweeter; I was reading her blog religiously and still find her to be the same down-to-earth person she was before fame came along.

Lachlan Bailey and Iringo Demeter are among the new bunch of artists who inspire me daily; I’d never say no to a Louis de Funes movie, love Ingrid Bergman, rain and cats and couldn’t live without hummus and chocolate.

Thank you for playing ball, Lavinia!
*all images by Lavinia

4 comments on “Getting to know: Lavinia Cernau

  1. Lavinia Cernau

    Thank you for having me, Ilenia! x

  2. Cécile Molinié

    Love your words Lavinia. So glad to have met you through this app. Go on experimenting and taking risk. Xx
    Cécile

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