Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SACRED Art Show... With Casey Larae!

It's so exciting to include a photographer in the art show! Here is the beautiful work of Casey Larae:

E: I love this so much. How did you choose these three images?
C: I chose these three images because they are what stuck in my head visually, Scarlett and her different connections - her horse is #1; her recurring nightmare and brothers death, #2, represented by being buried / sinking in the sand; #3, connection to a boy, Will.  These three seemed to give a good idea about what is represented in the book specifically focusing on love, fear & hope.  
E: Tell me about the process of a finished photograph—from snapping it to printing it.
C: This took a while to complete from conception to printing, arranging for a 17 yr. old hand model - a local relative, but both of us are without cars, me by choice her by situation being as she's 17.  So we had two shoot days as we ran out of light the first time as we were relying on public transit and had limited options for days/times to meet up.  I had already decided I wanted to keep it simple and just focus on a hand in each image, her hand in different vignettes so that's what I did, picking three significant connections or emotions.  When it came time to edit the images, I first tried a variety of sepia toned gradients and colors to try to evoke more feeling but after a several iterations I decided I liked the look of the images with a slight wash or faded effect so they are not vibrant & strong but more subdued and hopefully reflect a more hazy/dazed emotional state of mind.  I chose to print this piece on metallic paper so it has a strange, reflective & shiny quality, which I think inspires curiosity from a distance and helps draw viewers in.  
E: How did you develop your business? Word of mouth? Advertising?
C: I worked as an apprentice for a top OC wedding photographer for 4 years then when out on my own about 5 years ago.  I initially focused on weddings and pregnancy portraits, but I enjoy variety so have been shooting whatever comes my way since then.  If I had more of a focus I might advertise, but I don't yet want to be anchored down into one type of photography so all my business has been Word of Mouth.  Referrals are a huge part of me being able to do photography professionally, and I am so grateful to the people around me for keeping the cycle going.  I would love to do more editorial work and book covers, so I will be pursuing that this coming year and can't wait to do more fun projects more in line with the documentary style photography that I enjoy.

E: Who and what inspire you?
C: Go getters inspire me. How do they do that? Like Richard Simmons, where does he find his energy and gusto. I like it and his strong sense of self.  Random I know, but I just heard him interviewed and they told a story of him on a plane and how he shifted the energy of the plane, got everyone interacting and laughing... what a great strong being he is, positively affecting the space around him.  I of course love artists and musicians and photographers and writers, comedians especially - they put themselves on stage - open and vulnerable and honest.  As a photographer I think I could walk around all day every day and photograph anything in nature backlit, with light shining through the leaves or branches. This inspires me, makes me curious and yet serene.

E: What is a typical workday like for you?
C: It's improv every time. I have an idea of what I want to do, but no idea exactly what I will shoot.  I always use natural light, I shoot on location, no studio, so I only get natural--hopefully more genuine--images of people.  I try to create a calm and playful environment so that everyone is as at ease as they can be in front of a camera and we move, we walk, we play, we sit still once in a while, and I do my best to capture the essence of people in their environments.  
After a shoot I spend double the amount of time editing - the process of downloading the images, editing out those that don't work, then making any color adjustments and converting raw uncompressed images into JPG files for printing and sharing online.  I love playing with color or black & white or sepia tones to see what colors best represent the images, and once I get to see them printed I am so happy as I get to help people preserve a sweet moment in time. 

E: What other projects—both professional and personal—are you involved in?

C: Professionally, I prefer doing maternity and newborn portraits, but I also shoot weddings and some family portraits throughout the year for variety and, quite frankly, to stay in business.   Personally, I have a few projects going. The one I have shot most is the 'Artist Process' series where I visit artists/craftsmen (focusing on handmade goods from Southern California)  in their workspace and interview them about their process.  I have posted them on my photography blog with all the other professional shoots so they are mingling among the clients.

Casey Larae
E: What advice would you give people who'd like to break into the art world?
C: No idea - I've heard work begets work, so work work work… and as an artist I like to think of it as play… so Play more.
E: Do you have a web presence?
E: If you could meet any character in SACRED, who would it be and why?
C: Will or his Dad - I'd enjoy a philosophical conversation with Mr. Cohen, but I'd enjoy a date with green-eyed Will.
E: That makes two of us.

Here are Casey's lovely images once again:

And if you're in the LA area, please do visit the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach tonight, November 13 at 7:30, to visit with the great artists who are being featured on my blog and to hear me read a bit from SACRED!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulation on your début! I love reading how this piece came together :-)