Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, what kind of schooling/training did you receive, what type of photography do you create?
I grew up in LA and traveled a lot with my family, though as a child I was greatly inspired by my travels. Australia and particularly Queensland were extremely influential in my love for island life and the beach. I am self-taught except for two photography classes that I took in high school. I had an amazing teacher who encouraged me to follow my own instincts and talent rather than let someone else shape it. In college I just kept shooting film. I tried to double major in Biology and Photography but unfortunately I couldn't because the classes conflicted so I went with Biology. I did end up taking an internship with a wonderful and well known nature photographer, Kennan Ward, who was crucial in cultivating my eye and expanding my vision. He would lay out 300 slides on a table from a shoot and tell me, “You have one minute to find the one that would be featured in National Geographic!” Somehow I always managed to get it right!
My style as of now is vintage beach. And more recently I find my photography is moving into more of a dreamy washed out look. I love it when photographs transport you to another place or capture your imagination. It's one of the reasons I rarely shoot recognizable people. I like to leave it up to my viewers to create what they are seeing and experiencing from my images. My viewfinder series allows for such creativity and imagination it's fun to create new images. I never get tired of it.
Do you think that being a photographer is a talent you are born with or is it something that can be taught?
I think photography can't be taught. I think you have a way of seeing and you can nurture, cultivate and explore, but you can't teach someone how to see. People ask me all the time to teach them photography and I just say, "You hit that button, end of lesson".
If you did not become interested in photography what do you think you would be doing now?
I studied Marine Biology so I'm sure I’d be off swimming with dolphins somewhere.
What piece took you the most time to expose or shoot and why did it take so long?
One of the prints that took the longest to create is my 4 feet by 6 feet wrapped canvas print of BLAH BLAH BLAH. It was incredibly difficult to get that particular image to stay sharp and clean but it came out fantastic. It's one of my favorites.
What is the best and worst advice someone gave you while working as a photographer?
The best advice I ever received was "look don't think". The worst advice I ever received wasn't really advice but was being told over and over again when I was young by many different people, "you know you'll never make money at that". It's a good thing I didn’t listen to any of the bad advice.
What is your favorite color or color combinations you like working with?
My favorite color is blue. Lately though I'm gravitating towards washed out looks that are soft and dreamy. It's completely against my nature but once I'm finished working on an image like that it changes everything. Something inside me stirs and falls in love with it. When I Was Just A Girl is an example of that. It just takes me to another place.
What artists and/or designers inspire you?
My mom is my inspiration. She is the most talented and creative artist I have ever met. She has been my biggest inspiration and my most most valued teacher.
If you could hang your photography anywhere in the world where would you love to have it shown?
Having Owen Wilson buy my handmade surfer ornaments, last Christmas was a quite a thrill. I would say if I could have a show anywhere it would have to be LACMA. I love it there and spent a lot of time there as a child. Or I will settle for Brad Pitt's house! He's actually a pretty talented photographer, I'd love to talk shop with him.
Thanks to Bueller Designs.
For next weeks Trending Post we will feature anther interview by Los Angeles based ceramicist Moye Thompson.
"Trending" is a weekly report from Vanessa De Vargas, owner of Turquoise, a Los Angeles furniture and interior decor business.