A Conversation with Instagrammer, Alixe Lay

James Borley

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Alixe Lay Instagram

To celebrate our appearance at the first Independent Bath Market (more on that here), we asked Instagrammer, Alixe Lay, to take over our Instagram account and share her 3 favourite spots from the beautiful city of Bath. Over the course of this week we’ll be sharing these gems on our account, so be sure to check them out over on our page.

In addition to sharing her favourite parts of the city, we sat down to find out a bit more about what she loves about Bath, her passion for photography and her plans for the rest of 2017.

R: What’s your background and how did you get into Instagram?

A: I grew up in Malaysia and came to live in Bath about three and a half years ago to pursue a degree in Psychology. I’ve been on Instagram since it started as a way to document life and connect with friends, but have not looked at it more creatively till March 2016. It was during a trip back home that I discovered Instagram’s ‘other side’ from my brother’s friend which inspired me to start using Instagram as my creative outlet.

R: What’s your approach to Instagram, do you go somewhere with a specific shot in mind, or is it a more organic process?

A: I don’t usually have any shots pre-planned before I go somewhere, it’s more often than not a ‘reactive’ way of shooting – I work with whatever is available to me, the weather and light of the day; and if I’m lucky, I get to have a few interesting characters in my photos. Though more recently I’ve been interested in exploring more ‘controlled’ ways of shooting like flatlays and all that to broaden my photography skills.

R: Do you have a ‘go to’ routine for taking and editing your photos?

A: Yes, I do actually, though it wasn’t until about the end of last year that I’ve finally settled down with a particular routine as I was happy to just experiment and not in a hurry to find my style. That’s not to say that my editing process is now set in stone, it is still evolving, albeit more slowly now, discovering little techniques here and there to fine tune my routine.

R: If you weren’t living in Bath, which other city in the UK would you love to call home? 

A: I’m going to be a cliché and say London. Though to be fair, London is the only other city in the UK I’ve called home (very temporarily). I have a love-hate relationship with London – I love the vibrance, the buzz, the never-ending list of places to visit and dine in, but hate the crowds and the pollution. But still I will always gravitate towards London, as I’ve been a city girl most of my life.

R: Architecture seems to play a big role in the photos you take - do you have a favourite architectural style or period?

A: Hah, did I fool you? I’m a dummy in architecture. I love beautiful buildings, and have grown to love the Georgian ones after having lived in Bath for a while. Though I definitely would love to learn more about architecture and start appreciating them more than just their pretty facades.

R: What would you say inspires your photographs more - the natural or the man-made?

A: It’s very difficult to pick a side, hence why in most of my photos I like to combine the two. I just love buildings covered in some sort of foliage or greenhouses where both the nature and the man-made co-exist. In fact, one of my favourite places where I keep on going back to is the Cloud Forest in Singapore, a massive greenhouse filled with all sorts of exotic plants and very impressive architectural design. It is truly a masterpiece.

R: Who, or what, is inspiring your work right now?

A: I’ve very recently discovered Rosie Hardy (@georgiarosehardy), whose work just inspires me to want to explore the more technical side of photography to make magic happen.

R: Which three Instagram accounts should we all be following?

A: These three accounts never disappoint: @josephowen, @haarkon_ and @mlee73. I’m always looking forward to seeing their latest photos and love the fact that they are always bringing something original, authentic and fresh to my Instagram feed.

R: What does the rest of 2017 look like for you, do you have big and exciting plans?

A: I’ve been taking a backseat on my Instagram for the past few months to focus more on my studies so I’m really excited to pick it back up again when I finally finish my degree in the summer. I’m looking to push out of my comfort zone in terms of what I shoot, experiment with different styles and potentially venturing into videography. Keep an eye out on my Instagram for all the creative adventures coming, can’t wait to share them in the coming months!

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