How did you start out in photography?
I entered the world of photography when I was in high school. I started with film, and would print cyanotypes in the sun on paper and then paint over them. I fell in love with photography because I wanted to express myself creatively, but couldn’t seem to achieve what I wanted through painting by itself. Photography changed that, and I fell in love.
I went to an institute for photography in 2010, but when I graduated, I couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around how to become a full-time photographer. I kept pushing the idea away because it intimidated me. I ended up traveling for 4 years and when I was ready, I took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles to hopefully jump start my career. I tried working at a furniture store as a catalog photographer and doing my passion of fine art photography on the side, but I couldn’t seem to balance the two- and I wasn’t the slightest bit happy at the furniture store. I decided to quit my job and have faith that the photography jobs I wanted would come – and to my surprise (with the help of Instagram and photographing people every waking moment) I was able to achieve that dream.
You also do a fair bit of creative directing. Was this a natural progression from photography? Can you tell us a little bit about this evolution and why?
Even during my earliest moments playing with a camera (my mom’s point and shoot) I would dress up my friends, picking out the outfits and colors of the outfits to match. I always wanted to have control of that aspect of photography because I felt like that’s where I had the most creative freedom. You can only take a photo from so many different angles, but when you can direct pose, match colors, and location, the stories are endless.