About the Photographer
American, b. 1966
My intention was to return to my own culture and re-explore an experience that was formative and about which I was ambivalent.
– Lauren Greenfield, 2005
Coming out of an internship with National Geographic where gaining access to subjects had been a constant struggle, Lauren Greenfield decided to go somewhere people actually courted the camera – and so the twenty-six year old southern California native returned to shoot at her alma matter, Crossroads School, a private college-prep school in Los Angeles. The project took shape around the ideas of an early loss of innocence and the influence of Hollywood culture and values and eventually took the title Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood. Greenfield met the Crossroads student and subject of Jessica, 13, Orders a Non-alcoholic Drink at a Party, Beverly Hills while shooting a series of Bat and Bar Mitzvahs. Though her acquaintance with Jessica was casual, Greenfield photographed Ari (the honoree of that particular Bar Mitzvah) over a period of years. In the three years Greenfield shot Fast Forward, the scope of her photographing expanded from the city's affluent neighborhoods to also include East Los Angeles and South Central.
Lauren Greenfield was born in Boston and raised in Venice, California. She earned an AB in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University (1987). The New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar, and American Photo have frequently published her work, and her photographs are also in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the International Center of Photography, New York; and the Milwaukee Museum of Art, among others. Fast Forward began in 1992 and was supported in part by a documentary grant from National Geographic in 1993. It was followed by five years shooting Girl Culture, which also became a book and traveling exhibition. Greenfield is a member of the Paris-based photography cooperative VII. She resides in Venice, California.