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

Catherine Schrivener

If you were to 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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(NSFW) Andi Elloway Interview: Starting Trouble and Shooting Nudes

“Feeding on fever, down on all fours, show you all what a howl is for . . .”

A secret — I’ve only fallen in love with one woman. Although according to some poets, that’s already one third of all the hearts I’ll ever meet. When Hemingway was asked to explain when he wrote his best, he said it was only when he felt love. With love, sex. Sex hits like falling up to your greatest depth. Roberto Bolaño, knowing he’d die in a few years, wrote a story about this, about sex and, of course, love.

He told the story of Mexico City’s mother of all living poets. The sexed-up mother that falls in love, many times, then dies. But before she does, she has a vision of the world. In it, she sees all the dying children of Latin America marching to a great abyss, singing, though quiet and innocent, singing, though maddening and dismal, singing, for the briefest loves they had the chance to experience, all together falling for love.

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Nathanael Turner Interview: Vivid Photos of L.A.’s Many Different Faces

Nathanael Turner

Anyone who has lived in Los Angeles has a favorite Los Angeles. There isn’t one whole L.A. Whether you’ve found a particular neighborhood or a particular street, each L.A. is its own little world. Aside from that, each season has its own specific quality, too. My favorite Los Angeles is downtown during the cloudy, dark time between fall and winter, when the night arrives at its earliest, and the sun fades spectacularly. I love seeing the skyscrapers coated in what I hope are oceanward clouds and enjoy the streets just a little bit more when it’s most bitter.

Sometimes, though, I get the feeling that L.A. was never meant to be a city. That it would’ve fared better as a deserted paradise, or a private hell. The city has a strangeness unlike anywhere else. L.A. photographer Nathanael Turner understands this city’s strangeness, and he’s able to tap into its halfway-split core. His work captures its brilliant and desperate faces, simply. Having worked with New York Magazine, The Wire, and Newsweek, and many more, Turner makes work that tastes like L.A. — and that certainly says a lot, considering L.A. hardly ever feels complete.

In this interview, Turner talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his greatest influences, and reveals how he achieves his vivid work.

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Eliot Lee Hazel Interview: A Cult Photographer and How to Achieve Unique Work

Eliot Lee Hazel

There isn’t much prefacing you can write about one of my favorite portrait photographers Eliot Lee Hazel. Though, I guess I could mention that, during the last five years, he has shot some of the biggest musicians in the world: Thom Yorke, Beck, Cat Power, and my favorite band growing up in El Paso, Texas, the Mars Volta, just to name a few. And that, currently, he spends his time between Los Angeles and London. Oh, and let’s not forget that he’s achieved a worldwide cult following.

You see, I thought I’d be able to give you more information after this interview. But the only definite truth I can share is that he’s just as mysterious in written form as his work has in impact. It’s as if he’s protecting that pure and irreducible part of him. And that’s fair. It’s an artist’s job to keep their favorite part of themselves free from explication — to never have their process spooked. So all you need to know is that his work and his answers are as rare as anything we’ve featured before — brilliant, clever, and crookedly humorous.

In this short interview, Hazel explains how he overcomes self-doubts, talks about his work with Thom Yorke, and reveals his greatest influences.

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Miguel Gutierrez Jr. Interview: 6000 Miles on Motorcycle to Capture the Beauty of Latin America

Miguel Gutierrez Jr

On June 14th, Austin photojournalist Miguel Gutierrez Jr. and four friends began a six thousand mile journey from the United States to Mendoza, Argentina. Travelling up to 250 miles a day, they’ve been riding on motorcycle, stopping only to shower, drink, then photograph. Gutierrez says that he started this journey hoping to capture the diversity and the beauty of Latin America. He wants to dispel notions that this vast region, home to as many rich cultures as the writers it’s famous for, could be written off as violent and chaotic.

Nearly halfway to his destination, Gutierrez responds to our questions from a tiny hotel in Pisté, Yucatan. He writes that this small town is peaceful, the sun already set and the warm weather cooling. Gutierrez also notes that, aside from the seldom heard car, the only real sound is that of cicadas and crickets. And I imagine that, for a photographer, there could be no greater feeling in the world than travelling day after day to complete a sketch of a land you know has yet been fulfilled. To show, through your own lens, the wonder that might have never been seen without you.

In this interview, Gutierrez takes time from his journey to talk about how he started shooting, explain the risks involved with the trip, and reveal what he wants to accomplish in Latin America.

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