Audrey Guiraud Interview: Cityscape Photography as You’ve Never Seen

Audrey Guiraud

I know very little. One thing I know: you could live your life seeing only what’s necessary. Either you’ve lived seeing the same things over and over or you haven’t. I’m afraid that when I go all that I’ll see are the things I spent my life forgetting: the numbers of an ATM machine, the concrete of a forgotten highway, the green lights suddenly red. My last memories: one blur of the inconsequential.

That’s my hell. But what if you wouldn’t mind it? What if a flood of inconsequential images is what you want? To be treated with things that do no harm, instead of remembering all the faces you’ll no longer see. Meaning corresponds to what you’ve experienced. That’s perspective, and perspective is why I really want to share Audrey Guiraud’s work.

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Jared Thomas Kocka Interview: Leaving Everything Behind to Shoot Photography

Jared Thomas

A few weeks back, I found an article in Complex that I really loved. It was titled The Top 25 Young Photographers to Keep Your Eye On. It was a fantastic selection of photographers. Our interviews with Catherine Scrivener, Ira Chernova, and Jessica Lehrman started from there. But the article wasn’t only an article. It was a list.

And at the top of this list, Complex‘s number one young photographer to keep your eye on, was Jared Thomas Kocka. Going from working at Dominos to shooting LA’s best models, Kocka makes work that’s vibrant and clean. But describing his work would be the least interesting thing to write. If you want to read about an artist who left everything he knew to create his art, or if you need inspiration at all, just read his story.

In this interview, Kocka talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, and reveals why his parents are his greatest influences.

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Jessica Lehrman Interview: Capturing Stories You’re Meant to Tell

Jessica Lehrman

On page SR6 of Sunday’s New York Times, an article appeared with the headline “A Family Hits the Road”. In it, documentary photographer Jessica Lehrman writes about a 3,365 mile journey taken this past summer with her family. The article begins: “Rusted Root’s song ‘Send Me on My Way’ is blaring as my sister, Cassidy, winds our little Nissan Sentra through the serpentine roads of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. The fresh basil my dad bought as a ‘car freshener’ is wilting on the dash . . . ”

Lehrman goes on to write about her childhood, of moving town-to-town in a RV, and about hiking canyons, handling rattlesnakes, and finding herself on the road — all between the ages of nine and twelve. But tucked at the very end, sounding as a whisper or a dedication, is a sentence about a small tattoo written on her wrist. This tattoo is a word, and the word a symbol. For her family, though, it’s a dedication: Gypsy.

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A Day on Set: Janna Park’s Fashion Shoot

Janna Park

A while back, we had the chance to interview fashion photographer Janna Park. In that interview, I rambled on about sad movies and her work’s intimacy (you know, the usual dramatic flairs I never put down). Anyway, we really liked her work, so when she asked if we’d like to feature her again, we said, “Sure, but can we do something different?”

Different means different things to different people. Differences are just similarities for different things. For example, I love reading poetry, and assuming you’re mature and saved yourself from suffering from it, you probably don’t, so we might have that difference between us, but in reading poetry, I’m also similar to someone who loves poetry (these are my most special people). But different right now, for this particular article that you’re reading, means that this interview isn’t really an interview. It’s, well, an interview + MORE!

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Catherine Scrivener Interview: The Beauty of Photographing Life’s Many Small Moments

Catherine Schrivener

If you divide your life into its many great movements, you’ll find a year, or maybe more, to every great change in your life. Then, if you continued and repeated — separating from these movements, these parts of a song, your life’s similarly themed notes — you’ll find, from the years, the days you considered your worst; days where nothing could be better. Then, it all again: dividing, separating, repeating.

After some time, you’ll see your days separated into its many small moments. And you’ll soon discover in these small moments even more smaller impressions. At the end, you’ll see your life’s enormity divided into its indivisible instances. You’ll have reached the fabric of memories, the instances of one smile, one word, one image: you’ll have arrived at the language of photography.

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Maja Daniels Interview: Heartbreaking Photos of Those Suffering from Alzheimer’s

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The ward’s entrance is also its exit. Once you enter, the door behind you locks. To look back you’d have to see through windows that are hardly larger than your face. To the residents entering this ward, the door and its windows are the first things they see of their new home. Soon, however, in being a locked exit, the door will become the only thing between them and the memories outside.

Swedish photographer Maja Daniels hadn’t anticipated that this door would become Into Oblivion’s main focus. But after working three years inside a geriatric care center for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, she began to understand the door’s hold on the residents there. She saw, firsthand, how they interacted with it.

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Ira Chernova Interview: Elegant Monochrome Portraits of the Fashion World

You won’t meet many people like Ira Chernova — unless you already know a heavily tattooed Russian who’s both a well-known model and a highly talented fashion photographer. Named by Complex as one of 25 young photographers to keep your eye on, Chernova’s been gaining attention for her moody, highly intuitive, and largely black-and-white portraits.

Based in New York, Chernova has already worked with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry — both behind and in front of the camera. And being a music lover, she’s even toured with one of the most popular experimental metal bands in the entire world: The Dillinger Escape Plan (that video above is hers). She’s excellent proof that you can find success doing what you love.

In this brief interview, Chernova talks about how she got her start in photography, explains how she made a couple of her photographs, and reveals why she shoots in black-and-white.

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(NSFW) Betty Tompkins Interview: Photorealistic Paintings Made from Photos Your Dad Used to Hide

Betty Thompkins

Sex Grid #10, pencil on paper, 17×14″, 2009

In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that possession of obscene material — porn, if you’re of the Xvideo generation — was protected as a right. Around that time, artist Betty Tompkins, recently graduated from art school, had her first two showings. She called her work Joined Forms, then later Fuck Paintings. The latter title described exactly what was displayed. The art world had never seen anything like it — except, wait, that’s incorrect. The art world never noticed her then.

You see, after her first two showings, the Fuck Paintings weren’t seen by anybody, anywhere, for the next two decades. These large scale paintings of photorealistic intercourse, of sheer explicit sex — of anus, of cock, of vagina, equally – were taken off their stretchers, rolled up, then stored underneath a pool table in Tompkins’ living room. They idled in the dark for nearly thirty years until they were given a second-life.

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Emily Berl Interview: The Way the Last Lights Fall

Emily Berl

Every Friday before the last lights have fallen, there’s a prayer beginning in Texas. It’s in the football locker room where everyone’s gone quiet, even those you’d never want to meet alone. The prayer begins with a hush, slowly it builds, then soon all the team — from the big uglies who’ve never prayed to the coaches, the trainers, and the few family allowed in — everyone, soon suddenly yelling holy to the high heavens. “Lead us,” we all say. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,” then nothing, silence. Everybody on their knees looking down, there was always knowledge that some of us wouldn’t finish the game.

In Texas, football swerves in and out of your life whether you wanted it to or not. In high school, you already knew the legends: Friday Night Lights. Explosions in the Sky. Clear eyes, full heart . . . all that. On the field, all the pain and the blood motivated us. Still young, we were caught in the imagination of glory. That was Texas and Texas is football. And that’s why I was drawn to Los Angeles photographer Emily Berl’s work. Her two projects Our Boys and Along the Way, TX sent me back to those nights in the fall. But this isn’t about those nights, though it seems like it is.

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Amy Lombard Interview: Flashy Portraits of Unordinary People

Amy Lombard

“I don’t believe in giving up. That’s not in my DNA,” New York photographer Amy Lombard told me when I asked if she’s ever felt unsure about her work. “I’ve had gallery owners tell me no one would hang my photos on their walls because they weren’t ‘pretty’. I’ve had professors and peers make me feel like my work wasn’t commercially, or editorially viable. I know it’s partially delusional, but I’ve always felt it’s all a matter of the right timing. You can’t force things.”

Yet Lombard could have easily given up. Before finding her voice, she hated her photography, thought her eye was horrible. She was convinced that she was no good. She decided, however, to give herself more time and enrolled in a class at the Tyler School of Art. There, she learned the importance of telling stories and committed to building her life around photography. At 16, she even made a list of places she wanted to work for, things she wanted to accomplish. Seven years later, having worked with New York Magazine, TIME, and many more, Lombard, at 23, says that she has now checked every single item off that list.

In this interview, Lombard talks about how she persisted with photography, explains why she’s attracted to shooting the unordinary, and reveals why she loves using flash.

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