For the next two weeks we’ll be changing the schedule around with holiday musings and giveaways. Be sure to check back daily to see what holiday gift is up for grabs!
I’m thrilled to be starting off this year’s giveaways by introducing you through a special Conversation to a globe-trotting, multi-talented friend of mine who also happens to have just published a book (we did mention giveaways, hint, hint)! Originally from Brazil, Alessandra Cave is a photographer, workshop leader, and writer who is currently based in San Francisco. Her book Shooting with Soul: 44 Photography Exercises Exploring Life, Beauty and Self-Expression was just published this month by Quarry Books. I hope you’ll love her work and vision as much as I do, and be inspired by her story telling and photographic view on life.
How did you get started with Photography?
I picked up a camera for the first time when I took my first trip overseas at 17-years old. Then in my college years I took photography classes and learned how to develop and print film. Later I got a job as a trainee in Kodak’s professional imaging headquarters in Brazil. This was in the early 90s, an exciting time for photographers and graphic artists, with the launch of Photoshop and the Photo CD, etc. So I had the chance to experience training in digital photography from leading industry professionals, right when that field of work was exploding for the first time. From then on I became obsessed with that sweet spot where art and technology intersect to produce stunning imagery.
I went on to get a Master’s degree in Arts, and worked for over 15 years in the film industry, producing groundbreaking visual effects for major feature films. Although that career was exciting, I craved my own expression and I really wanted to produce work that represented my own voice. That’s when I found my way back to photography. I started assisting local photographers, I read a lot on the subject, and I took pictures all the time. It did not take very long on that path for me to know that I wanted to do photography for the rest of my life. So after 5 years or so into it, I quit my job to dedicate myself to photography full time.
How would you describe your style?
My style is vibrant and at the same time soulful. I tend to catch the moments “in between”, where there is a quiet pose and expression, but I also like to play with color and design. In my personal work, my message is in how I see the world and a particular scene. This view is usually poetic and at times, a bit melancholic, with a yearning of sorts.
Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by beauty, quiet moments, color, spirituality, and poetry.
You’re a multiple formats shooter: digital, mobile and film. Any favorites? Do you treat your shooting process differently based on the camera?
The technicalities of my shooting process are definitely different depending on what camera I am using, given that each medium has its own characteristics. But the core of my shooting process doesn’t change at all. It is always about being really present and seeing with the eyes of my soul.
You recently published a book, Shooting with Soul. Tell us about it. What does shooting with soul mean?
As I mentioned above, there came a time in my life where I craved personal expression. I was producing movies and helping some incredible directors and artists fulfill their vision. But on the other hand, I wondered: What about me? What do I have to say? How would this picture look like if I was making it my way? So I began a process to find my own soul and voice, which led me to the happy creative place where I am today.
What I share in my book is the proven and tested approach I developed and followed, in order to unleash my own soul and photographic style. There is a whole chapter dedicated to getting started in photography, with information about equipment and my secret methods for capturing images that everyone will connect to and love. Then there are 44 photography exercises packed with ideas and my signature “soulful approach” for creating successful images.
My hope is that by working with the methods and exercises I suggest in the book, others can also find their souls and create images that truly represent who they are.
Any special projects your working on right now?
Right now I am working of a myriad of projects that range from magazine and book features, a fashion catalogue, and upcoming online photography classes. I am also planning a book tour, and working as fast as I can to launch my new website that will host my professional work as well as my book Shooting with Soul, under one shiny new roof.
What would your superpower be?
I am grateful for my super resilient spirit. It seems that I can endure storm after storm after storm… It is a helpful superpower to have because it takes tremendous dedication to find your soul and life’s path, but once you find it, it takes lots of resilience and devotion to stick to it despite life’s twists and turns.
If you’re interested in buying a copy of Alessandra’s new book, you can find it in major and local bookstores, although you may need to request it in your neighborhood shop. It is also available online in the Quarry Books shop and on Amazon.com.
Thank you Alex for musing with us today! You can follow Alessandra’s adventures in photography and life at at her website www.alessandracave.com.You can also find on her in the web at facebook, Google+, Instagram and on twitter.
As I mentioned above, today kicks off this year’s Festive Musing with our Annual Holiday Giveaways. I am thrilled to tell you that Alessandra will be giving away a copy of her new book for today’s drawing! For your chance to win Shooting with Soul, just leave a comment below. The winner will be selected at random and announced on Sunday, December 29th. Over the next two weeks, each muse will have a unique giveaway, so be sure to keep on commenting for additional chances to win. (One comment per giveaway per person.) Happy Holidays Everyone!
Holly ~ Soupatraveler