Interview with: Rédactrice indépendante and Photophile

art institute of chicago
Hi there! I was recently interviewed for a couple of French publications: Rédactrice indépendante and Photophile. If you happen to know French you can read the interview through the links. If not, here’s the translated version…
Can you tell us about yourself, about your journey?
I’ve been photographing since 2001. Early on it was to take better photos while on vacation but I quickly realized I wanted to do more than make vacation snapshots. I taught myself the technical aspects of photography and took some classes on developing and printing because I started out shooting film. I spent about 5 years doing portrait work, but it just wasn’t what most excited me about photography. After a move, I decided to step away from the portrait work and take time to rediscover what it was I most loved to photograph, which, it turns out is architecture photography.
 
Why did you choose architectural photography?
When I took the time after that move in 2011, I found myself being drawn to architecture regardless of where I was shooting. Having grown up in a very small, rural town I was always fascinated by big cities, how alive and different they felt from my childhood surroundings. I fell in love with Chicago the very first time I visited. I think my awe and fascination with large cities keeps me energized and excited to explore the buildings and structures that make them feel so alive.
 
What photographic technique do you use most in your work? I’m most often drawn to the details of my subjects, preferring to abstract the common sites of the city. I think we’re often rushing through our environment not really paying close attention to our surroundings. I hope that by focusing on smaller segments of these common sites I’m helping the viewer to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings and see something they may have missed.
 
What are your regular or occasional customers?
I most often work with art consultants to place my work in hotels, corporate offices and public areas of condo buildings. I also work with interior designers to place work in individuals’ homes. I work with individual collectors as well.
More recently I’ve started working with architecture and design firms to photograph their completed projects.
I also work with brands to either create artwork for their space or collaborate on advertising campaigns.
And I teach. Both classes and workshops through conferences and schools in the Chicago area. Plus workshops throughout the United States, Canada and most recently, Paris. With plans to expand to London next year. The latter workshops are in partnership with another architecture photographer, Michael Muraz. We’ve started a separate business for these workshops, Photography Unfolded.
 
How do you share your time between the USA and France?
I’m most often in the US and Canada but have traveled to France about once a year since 2014. I’ll be back again this May. As I mentioned, I teach workshops in Paris but did a large commission for Le Meridien Etoile in 2014, which brought me to Paris a few times between 2014-2016. In 2017 I finally explored outside of Paris visiting Grenoble and Lyon. I’ll be back to both later this year.
 
What are your projects?
I have a number of ongoing photo series I continue to work on; Cloudscapers, Urban Quilt (expanding this to city’s outside of Chicago, including Paris), Pareidolia, to name a few.  I plan to do more commercial work, both with architecture and design firms as well as commissions and campaigns with private clients and brands. And, of course, will continue to teach. Hoping to expand to new locations each year.

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