As a realtor, I see a lot of art in homes. This is the one thing that can really set the tone and vibe of a house. Just by looking at the artwork you immediately draw a conclusion about the type of person that lives there. How do you want your perceived? I’m a big fan of photography and decided to get some insight from L.A. photographer Shawn Ferjanec…who just happens to be my husband.
How did you get started?
When I was a teenager, I used to sneak my instamatic camera into rock concerts. This was back before cell phones and when security would check for cameras. It was exciting shooting film because you were never 100% sure what you got until you picked up the photos after being developed. You would see your mistakes and have to learn quickly how to correct them for the next concert. I was completely self taught and loved the excitement and challenge of trying to capture that special moment of some my music icons.
As I got older I bought my first high end digital camera. What a difference this made to instantly see what you shot. One day I was asked to shoot some photos of an actress. I loved the interaction and the creative energy of working one on one. I then began working with various modeling agencies in Los Angeles doing test shoots. I soon started collaborating with some really talented makeup artists and wardrobe stylists and put together a team. Over the past two years, I’ve shifted my focus from fashion photography to be more fine art. I really enjoy the creative freedom. As Ansel Adams once said “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
What or who inspires you?
Besides the masters of fashion/fine art – Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Richard Avedon…I’m also inspired by the photographers that shot the music scene of the 60’s,70’s and 80’s. Mick Rock, Gary Burden, Ross Halfin, Jim Marshall and Neil Zlozower are a big inspiration. I played in a heavy metal band and was living in L.A. during the Sunset Strip scene of the late 80’s. The glam and attitude of the music scene at that time is a big influence on my work.
How do you come up ideas for your shoots?
Sometimes it’s a planned concept and other times it’s spontaneous. For the series of the model with the cigarette, she was wearing a blonde wig for the shoot. At one point she took the wig off and I loved the contrast of her big heavy eye makeup and dark hair against the white wall behind her. I handed her a cigarette and it completed the look. It felt confident, bold and sexy.
Sometimes the idea happens in the moment. On a recent shoot I was standing outside the dressing as the model was getting ready and the eclectic atmosphere caught my eye. The shots from the dressing room turned out to be some of the favorites from the entire shoot.
For the series of the model on the rooftop, the idea was to capture the vibe and attitude that I remember of the glam L.A. music scene in the 80’s…when everyone – both girls and guys, would try to outdo each other with the big hair and cool sexy outfits.
What do you have planned for upcoming series?
I’m in the planning stages of a photo series that will take me back to my days on the Sunset Strip. Stay tuned!
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