Behind the Lens: Lucy Devine


Work of the Week



Lucy Devine is not your average History and Literature concentrator. After class, she can be found on the streets of Cambridge and beyond, photographing anything and everything. In viewing her work, it is critical to note that Lucy only ever takes the same photo once. She chooses to use film over a digital camera because of the intrigue that each unique photo she takes creates.

“I can’t see the photos I take when I’m taking them, and I get the film developed a week to a month later. I’m always surprised to get the photos back and see what I shot.”  

The photo (pictured **) of the girl on the trash can was one in a series of three photos. In each photo, the viewer can see the girl in the photograph notice Lucy taking her photo and begin to smile for the picture. However, Lucy never wanted to shoot a picture of the girl posing! The reason she uses film is to capture the moment as it is. Lucy has found when using digital cameras and taking multiple photos of the same person, the subject will often, “polish themselves,” in the process of the photoshoot—like the way that the girl on the trash can smiled when she noticed Lucy’s camera.

“I’m really a perfectionist and if I used a digital camera, I would try to get into the knitty- gritty of the photo. With film, I only have control over where I point the lens, the exposure, and the film speed. I usually only take one photo and leave it unedited.”

While film photography is her medium, portraits are Lucy’s artistic calling. Her photos of strangers are striking as she catches people in their natural element. She loves taking portraits because she says, “when you take someone’s photo, you’re capturing their essence.” Since she never edits her photos, each piece shows evidence of each person’s, “essence”—blemishes, facial expressions, and activities featured in Lucy’s photos are natural and cognizant of each person’s personality.

Lucy tells an honest story through her photographs. In studying History and Literature, Lucy’s academic journey will soon intersect with her artistic interests as she works towards writing a thesis related to a “visual history.” She hopes to do further research on “cultural history” which in her opinion, should be displayed visually and viewed as the most valuable resource in academia. Through film and magazines, Lucy will gain insight to the cultural history of women in America.


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About the Artist

Lucy Devine ( / @lucydevinephotography on Instagram) is a sophomore in Lowell House concentrating in History and Literature. Lucy is originally from Farmington Hills, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit located in the lower right corner of one’s right palm when visualizing Michigan as, “The Mitten”). She got into photography after years of creative activities—whether it be making friendship bracelets at summer camp or creating an original brand of birthday cards for family members she called, “Lucy’s Card Company.” Since coming to Harvard, she has become involved in various musical theater productions including Into the Woods, the Freshman musical, and the Pirates of Penzance. Lucy loves children and hopes to work as a grade school teacher when she graduates in 2020.