As Seen by Her: Frangipani Beatt on the Euphoria of Photography

The Berlin-based photographer also writes about the people who shaped her in the latest from our collab with As Seen By Her.

Photo by Philipp Groth

We’ve found our soulmate! Introducing As Seen by Her—a new, Barcelona-based platform celebrating modern women with the ambition to share honest and intelligent perspectives. Sounds pretty similar to us, eh? Since our goals come from pretty much the same place, we’ll be sharing As Seen by Her’s stories written by creative women every week.

Today, meet Berlin-based, emerging photographer Frangipani Beatt. She writes about her all-consuming love for analog and the lasting imprints of family, places and people. 

My name has led to long conversations wherever I go— even at the airport’s passport control. My whole name is Lulu Frangipani Giada Tigreta Beatt. Behind each name lies a little story, my favourite one being how my brother Marlon named me Tigreta (little tiger) after a cat that happily came whenever he called, hoping I would turn out to do the same. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t quite work out.

Both my parents Raimund (German sculptor) and Cynthia (British, American filmmaker) are outstanding artists. Growing up in an old warehouse in Berlin, I spent my childhood climbing through my father’s studio, unsuccessfully trying to steal his small models of artwork. My mother’s knowledge of the great cinema classics and avant-garde film and my dad’s sculptural works in public space helped shape my eye into what it is today. Music has also been a big part of my life, whether it was my father playing loud classical music in the house or dancing with my mother to funk and soul. Marlon’s impeccable taste in music has always fed me with the most enrapturing and varied music.

My parents are undoubtably my first source of inspiration. It is challenging to have a family with such strong personalities: discussions tend to get quite heated as we all are very passionate about the things we believe in. But I am very grateful for their honesty and criticism which led me to understand how crucial it is to stick to your guns and always remain open minded.

I thrive on photography. It triggers extreme euphoria and adrenaline to capture a moment. My love in recording architecture and space stems from my obsession with structures, lines, shapes and shadows. Architects like Oscar Niemeyer and Louis Kahn are truly brilliant; the lightness of their monumental buildings have an inspiring and soothing effect on me. You need space to really see and appreciate architecture. I try to apply this to my life and dispose of unnecessary objects, as I feel these cloud my mind.

The art of photography is a very controversial subject. As technology evolves, you don’t need the same understanding of a camera as you would have needed before. Everything can be set to automatic. My father gave me my first analog camera when I was 13 and I immediately fell in love with the whole process. It fascinates me how film material is created and how the chemicals reveal the image. The anticipation of developing film in the darkroom never fades. It’s a different world—only red light or no light at all, the smell of chemicals and your photography. I find myself lost in time developing one print after the other. Philipp, my boyfriend, is my constant source of inspiration and an exceptional artist. It is captivating watching him express his ideas and the energy that gushes from his mind. We are one another’s biggest supporters. He encourages me to let go and create without overthinking ideas. Phil’s and my father’s work ethics are remarkable and very exhilarating to be a part of.

Traveling by myself for seven months across the world in 2015 was a formative experience and made me hungry for more. I’ve just returned from a three month trip to the US, where I found myself falling in love with New York cityscapes and the Californian landscape. The shapes of mountains and shadows remind me of body details I shot previously in a project where the lines created by our bodies intrigued me—the feeling of not knowing which lines the eyes are following and questioning the ability to discern body details.

While in New York I had the pleasure of working with Pace/MacGill, an amazing Gallery on 57th Street. It wasn’t just surrounded by the most incredible photography: I was lucky to witness wonderful, strong and intelligent women who treat one another with the utmost respect and care. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by so many incredible women—for a start and without a doubt my brilliant, empowered mother. Creating art and raising two children is admirable, as each of them is a challenge by itself. Then, of course, there are my close girlfriends, who are strong companions in the appreciation of life and art. The same can be said for the men in my life: my father, brother, boyfriend and a number of close male friends who have been supportive and played significant roles in my fight for equality.