A Touch of the 70’s: An Interview with Dana Trippe
Inspired by the seventies, this young artist makes it seem that such an epoch lives forever in her photographs, perfectly maintaining the spirit of the time which was characterized by a multitude of colours, contrasts and famous disco moves. With her creative work, she has shown that she isn’t afraid to take risks and show something new and different.
We don’t guarantee that you won’t feel nostalgia to dance the disco again when you look at her portraits and locations where she shot them. Her photographs are a product of combining different techniques, and Dana Trippe reveals for our magazine whether she has always been prepared to take risks and experiment with her photos.
You did a series of experimental self-portraits with which you showed that it is indeed possible to play with perspective and the way we perceive photography. Is it a bigger challenge for you to be in front of or behind the camera, when do you feel more relaxed to create?
Its extremely hard for me to be in front of the camera if someone else is taking the photo! I give props to models for sitting in front of the camera for hours on end. I wouldn’t say I’m ever too relaxed when I’m taking photos either… I’m never sure of myself and always have a million ideas going through my head that Im not sure how to execute. Its easier when the model has a similar style as me in real life. Its all about chemistry between the photographer and model, and appreciating each others ideas.
When did, in your case, photography change from a hobby to a serious profession?
My first actual look book was for Australian designer Lisa Stricker, for her label LENNI. Lisa is an earth angel and was so kind that she definitely made me comfortable with the fashion industry….not to mention her clothes are something I would actually wear. I knew from there on out I’d only shoot for people whom I admired, and whom clothes I actually dig. From there a lot more lines reached out to me. I hope for what I do to never become too serious that I lose my love for it.
How old were you when you took your first photo? How do you feel when you look at some of your earlier works today? Has your style of photography changed over time?
I mostly remember the photos I took in my early years of high school with my Diana f +. They were photos of my friends running around, my toes in flowers, my boyfriend skating, and other nostalgic moments. Not that any of them could be framed in an art show, but they mean the world to me. Aside from shooting for work, I just want to have photos to remember my life. My photos may be more refined now, but I feel I’ve kept the same kind of feeling in my photos as I’ve had from the beginning.
Your work is very versatile, you use different techniques while making photographs and you’re not afraid to experiment. Has it always been so, or have you developed the freedom to do something different with time? Which techniques do you most like to combine?
Growing up, me and my sisters would have these crazy ideas of castles, and treehouses, and projects we wanted to build, and my dad would always make it happen. I got that creative side from him. A photo I am proud of always has something more to it, whether is be a prop Ive made, something that distorts it, or a painting Ive done on top of it. If anything, I have been regressing from that experimental side and have to remind myself every once in a while to try something different out.
Many photographers turn to music, books or films in search of inspiration. What inspires you?
MUSIC! More than anything in life, music has shaped who I am. Most of it came from the late 60s, early 70s which is where I think my style came from, as well. I can also give credit to all the cliche movies like Dazed and Confused when I was growing up. I watched it religiously. Wes Anderson, Alexandro Jodorowsky, and Tarantino were up there too in inspiring me early on.
You’ve managed to build and maintain an authentic style of photography. What advice would you give to someone who has just started doing this art?
Everything in life comes from inspiration and things you’ve seen before. If you like an idea you can always take inspiration from it, but never just copy someone else. Experimentation is what is is all about. The ideas you execute may look weird at first, but they will be refined over time. Play with different cameras, film, and LIGHT!
Another interesting series of photographs that you did is the one on the road trip through California which you took with one of your close friends, who was also your model. How did you come to an idea to go on such a trip? What locations did you visit and were there any special ones which took your breath away?
I love being on the road. I do closer places like Joshua Tree in my car all the time. But I just gave my car a little makeover and wanted to try to make it farther trip. I am always blown away with that part of Southern California, and its constant change of scenery. Mono Lake is always sure to make a killer photograph.
Your photographs are in the spirit of the seventies and the then fashion which marked the period. Why were you attracted to this era precisely, and what is it that makes it special?
I honestly cant say exactly what it is… Ive always been so obsessed with it, though. Its the music, the use of psychedelics, long hair, insanely eccentric outfits, cars, architecture. Everything. Sometimes I’m uncomfortable with the fact that it is such a trend now, but I’m glad its being resurrected.
What does a day in life of a young photographer look like? What challenges have you mostly faced in your profession?
Not knowing where to go next. I’m only twenty one, but I still feel like I’m expected to be fully immersed into the fashion industry. I’m still not ready for that, so Im going to continue to be freelance and mess around for a while longer. As long as i am staying inspired and taking photos, I don’t really mind where I am in life.