In my search in photography for real life experiences, real people, real life stories, real life moments, I decided to search inside the world of actors and more specifically I wanted to see the life from inside of an actress, the places she likes, the place she lives and her passions.
So I contacted Lara, a french actress born from the mix of an Italian father and an argentinian mother, an interesting 3 cultures cocktail. I had met her 2 years ago when we did a small shooting in a studio while I was in the photography school, but this time I wanted to take pictures of her universe, staying with her during one day, to get a touch of her life, so I proposed her the idea and she immediately accepted.
That day I arrived to Lara´s home located in a typical parisian building in the 3rd district of Paris, a very particular place of the city center where you can find a mix between the jewish neighborhood called Le Marais, the trendy stores, the cool restaurants and also a strong presence of the gay community.
The door of the building had a beautiful grayish blue color with some small windows guarded by steal bars with amazing plant´s shapes. When you open the door a classical checked black & white floor welcomes you surrounded by mirrors that seems to be staring at you until the end of the hall where a door with colorful stained glass invites you to go into the typical parisian wooden snail staircases. Everything in the halls was perfectly painted, with really good taste and simplicity, it was like entering into the beginnings of XIX century in a really pleasant way.
I knocked in the door and Lara opens, letting me go inside of her calmed, relaxed and mysterious world. An apartment with a very beautiful light that enters through 4 huge windows and bathes the whole apartment with an special energy, an energy that I´m sure is potentiated by Lara´s aura itself. Lara was dressed like at home, in a really relaxed way, with a pink extra size shirt and black leggins, really confortable and natural, exactly what I wanted for the start of the shoot, I wanted the real way, her way.
We started talking about her place, her life, the weather, the light, the cappuccino that she made me, about how she eats in a really healthy way since she´s a child by her own decision, long before all this fashion of being healthy arrived (no meat or processed food is included on her diet), about her neighbors and the cat that from time to time she coddle when he knocks on her door and of course about the passions that she has in life besides acting.
I discovered that behind her big and beautiful eyes the soul of a real passionated artist is living the present to express her feelings, desires, dreams, fears and demons. Lara not only has followed her passion for acting studying at many different schools like Cours Florent, CNRR (Conservatoire National) Nice or Atelier Blanche Salant & Paul Weaver and winning prices like the Soulier d’Or for best actress in “Lifever” at Festival 2013, the Grand Prix of the Jury du Dau’Film Festival 2013 and Special price of the jury for the best actress Palmares at the Vidéo Festival of Voreppe in « Lifever » de Ted Hardy Carnac 2014, but also she´s an avid writer keeping her own well decorated personal books and diaries, at the same time she also paints when the inspiration of the daily life comes and makes her hands flow with her soul over the canvas.
But it doesn´t end there, she also loves to dance and letting her body free her inner energies and desires whenever she´s alone at her place or when assisting to the Centre de Danse du Marais – Mia Frye to dans street jazz. In sum, Lara is like one of those living volcanos that appears beautiful and calmed from outside, but inside her bowels the hot lave of her artistic passion is boiling getting ready to explode when the time comes to show to the artistic world her existence.
When you talked to Lara, you feel the mystery on her life, on the way she sees and she talks, the way she thinks and goes from one topic to the other, the way she takes you from one situation to the next one, you start discovering the parallel worlds that she can see not only through her real eyes, but with the eyes of her soul. Since she´s a child she has had the ability to experience things that not many of us can, having out of body experiences like that one time while staying at her apartment being awake she was able to see what was her girl friend doing in the corridor of the entrance of the building while she was 6 floors above her, when her friend came back into her apartment Lara asked her if she was doing this and that and her friend was just amazed to tell her that was exactly what she was doing downstairs. The mysterious soul of Lara is enriched by this type of parallel world stories and many more out of which she could made a film saga if that was her desire.
That day, as the time passed by, Lara started opening more and more layers of her life for me to see and to know, it was like an artichoke that was taking away little by little, one by one of her petals. We went for a walk, we had lunch together in a very typical parisian cafe, we went to the marché des enfants rouges, walk around different corners of the neighborhood and came back to her home with the soul and the life richer by the fact that we had learned from the life experience of each other in a sincere way.
Here are the pictures of the amazing journey with the polyvalent, mysterious, calmed and full of good vibes of Lara Megan Mistretta, hope you enjoy them as much as I did.