Do you happen to find situations of which you can take pictures of or do you go searching for them?
I find no difference in finding situations of which I can take pictures or going and searching for them. I am more interested in the in the between moments, self-expression, and making images. I want to capture the spirit of youth with my camera.
What is Factory 77 about?
Factory 77 is a new project created by my good friend, the photographer Brad Elterman. At the age of 14 he was running around Los Angeles photographing people like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and he made the most iconic photos of Joan Jett and The Runaways. This space is for all things nostalgic from music to fashion, and everything in between.
Would you like to own/curate an art gallery sometime?
For now, I am not too interested in the formal and traditional ways one looks at my images such as in a gallery. I would much rather hold a 9-5 job and shoot photos for myself on the weekends. Right now, I would be more interested in seeing my images in books and on merchandise such as t-shirts and skateboards.
When people ask what you "do" what do you say? What do you think about that standardized question anyways?
I stopped telling people that I am a photographer, because when they ask me “what I do?” I would get really uncomfortable saying that, because many times they would say, “Oh so you do weddings right?” because they know someone who needs one. Shooting weddings is not a bad thing, but this is something that I would prefer not to do. I am more interested in showing my life through my images and how I view the world.
I do not feel comfortable with that standardized question, because I tend to see how people generalize photography based on their own interpretation and not how I value it.
What do you pay attention to the most when shooting?
When I am shooting, I pay attention to a certain kind of a feeling. It’s really an addictive feeling or a high. I cannot really explain this. Henri Cartier-Bresson called it “The Decisive Moment”.
I am interested in pure emotion from whatever it is that I am shooting. The moment has to be real when I capture an image. I am looking for the right moment. This moment culminates when, I feel that I can no longer breathe and I know that I have made a connection with my subject. I am actually looking for a reflection or self-realization of the mood which I too am feeling at that moment. In a way I am just making self-portraits of my own state of mind without my having to be in my own photos.
Is there an event/place/person that has inspired you very much when you started to engage in photography?
Yes, all three have inspired me: events, places and people.
The events which have inspired me were: When I first fell in love, my first mental institution experience, my living in Joshua Tree with my friends for a summer, camping in King’s Canyon and doing mushrooms with all my friends in a grassy meadow. Concerning places: The place where I was truly inspired was at my friend’s home. It was in Paul Jasmin’s Apartment, where I learned what photo is really all about. And about people: many friends, artists, and musicians have inspired me.
Matt or glossy?
Do you like to read art magazines in print or rather online?
What is the best advice you ever were given about taking pictures?
Create your world or fantasy with your camera and show the world your own world through your work.
What comes to your mind when I say the name Bill Cunningham?
Portray how you feel in your photographs. Take a look at his work!