something we love about this section of your site is how natural the images look. it's been said that professional artist or band shots can sometimes be awkward in that they can feel stiff or staged. how do you manage to take such candid photographs that still look like they belong in a music editorial?
i think there are many factors that play into candidness of my photographs. the first one being that everyone is excited that i use film and there's something that clicks in them that helps them loosen up a bit. i'm also fairly gentle with my approach. i let everyone do what feels comfortable and i give little to no direction. a friend of mine told me to pretend i've been friends with everyone and that has helped me not get too anxious before a shoot. keeping that in mind, i try to crack bad jokes about the weather and i believe everyone plays off that energy.
self portraits / self reflections
as a feminist publication, we are deeply moved by your self portraits, so excuse us while we take a moment to thank you for sharing your magnificent skin with the world. we want to leave this one pretty open ended - can you tell us a bit about any inner monologues reflected in these photographs and their process?
i am an extroverted introvert and i'm constantly having moments where i'm overwhelmed with my own existence. a professor in college instructed me to find the one thing that terrifies me and to photograph that because at the time, i was playing it safe with my work. i mean, i still kind of am because i'm constantly evolving and trying to figure out what it is i want my work to be, but i'm a little less afraid now. everything i do is intentional from the clothing i'm wearing to how i am looking at the camera.
each photograph is like a diary entry. "i took one of the best showers today." "wouldn't it be funny if i took a photograph of my butt during our private seminar at the getty?"
where are your favourite places and what are your favourite circumstances to shoot portraits of others in?
i love photographing people in their homes. in cars. in open spaces. mid-speech. slightly posed. not posed. i let my subjects (my friends) do whatever they want, really. it's just as much their photograph as it is my own. i studied photojournalism before transferring to an art school and i still carry that storytelling with me. the "capture what you see and don't move anything" mantra echoes in the back of my head whenever i'm photographing my friends. i try my best to keep everything simple.
i'm currently working on an ongoing series titled invite me into your life where i photograph people in their bedrooms. it first started as a project on my classmates between the ages of 18 and 25, but i've since let go of the age restrictions simply due to the fact that at any age, our bedrooms best reflect us. i will more than likely release a small zine of my work in progress sometime this year.
you also have a great eye for objects and spaces most of us might not take a second glance at. is this a skill you feel you've trained yourself in or a natural talent? additionally, some of the photos in this section of your site invoke significant emotion, despite being inanimate objects. do you find the objects that catch your photographic eye reflect your inner mood?
i think photographing spaces came naturally to me. i mean, i'm a half self-taught photographer and half-art school graduate (meaning i could have easily gone without going to school for photography but i wanted to learn more theory and work in a darkroom so i enrolled). i've always been interested in the absence of a person in a space that's used frequently.
my mood when i photograph is usually on the calmer side. i'm introspective and when i'm not talking a million miles an hour, i'm observing. my photographs of spaces and objects is usually because the light hit something in a way i needed to remember. along with my self-reflections, my still life photographs are acting as an entry to my visual diary. without giving away too much– because i want the viewer to engage with the photographs in a way that resonates with them without my guidance– i make a mental note of how i'm feeling and take a quick photograph to remember how the light hit something. it's the details, the little things, that interest me.
we love the combination of text and photography that makes this digital space feel like a peek into a diary. we felt as if we experienced the world from your eyes. if you're comfortable, can you share with us any moments from this section of photos that stand out in your heart or mind and why?
one of my favorite projects in the second section is .twentythree.
when i was 15 i had a crush on the new kid in school. after a few months he transferred out of our high school and we lost touch. while he was at school, he'd tell me about new bands to listen to and i credit him as the first person to show me interpol.
we reconnected years later and after many failed attempts, we met up at my favorite cafe for the first time in 8 years. everything was friendly at first and i half-jokingly told him he should visit me in portland and he spent part of my spring break with me. it was unspoken, but we started dating and i unknowingly started documenting our time together. i half knew it wouldn't last after the summer because i still had a few months left in college, but part of me wanted it to. it's probably weird to have a favorite ex, but he is mine simply because throughout it all- the beginning, spring break, our summer, the time after it all ended- he was gentle and kind and understanding and did his absolute best to let me know he meant everything. it was also a mutual thing. we both knew we were better off as friends, but i still think it hurt me more than it hurt him.
another favorite section is my series momma. i wasn't nice to my family growing up, especially my mom. she's been sick since i was in my mid-teens and i started photographing her at the end of 2007 when i purchased my first film camera. it was my way of trying to spend time with her without actually saying i wanted to spend time with her.
i spent two weeks in georgia with my mom and her side of the family. we spent an afternoon in her hometown of albany with her cousin sandy. i vaguely remember the home from the last time we were there when there was a big flood in albany in the mid '90s. my mom is my queen and this photograph was the first one i've made of her that she's proud of. i mean, she loves all my photographs, but this is the one she used on every social media site.
i was born and raised in the san fernando valley in a city called sylmar, but instead of giving people a geography lesson, i simply tell everyone i'm from los angeles. my love language is film and my work is heavily influenced by my longstanding obsession with the word "home." i graduated from pacific northwest college of art with my b.f.a in photography in 2013 and i've been trying to make sense of it all ever since. on the first tuesday of every month you can catch me at the echoplex in the photo booth in between screaming along to my favorite pop punk and emo songs at taking back tuesday.
invite me into your life, let's talk about our favorite bands. (mine is brand new)