Fashion photographer Presley Ann chats with us about breaking into the industry and how she incorporates film into her intimate work with models and celebrities.
Hi Presley, thanks for joining us here on Lomography. Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community.
Hi! I am a fashion and celebrity photographer located in NYC and LA with an obsession with nostalgia. I primarily shoot high-end celebrity events, red carpets, and runways. I am notorious for always having a film camera on hand no matter where I go. Celebs have nicknamed me "The Polaroid Girl" which helped me with the name of my polaroid project — Polaroid Famous.
How did you become interested in photography? When did you first pick up a camera?
I have been obsessed with film since I was a kid. I would buy 35mm film with my pocket money and shoot anything I could get my hands on. My siblings were often my first models.
What led you to your exploration of the fashion industry, was there anything in particular that you found opened the doors for you there?
I was obsessed with Vogue editorials as a kid — I would cut out my favorites and tack them up above my desk. When I graduated from high school, I had a dream to one day create beautiful fashion imagery like the ones on my walls. I received a bachelor's degree in Photography and immediately moved to NYC. After working on a fashion editorial and meeting some fashion editors, I found myself thrown into the world of New York Fashion Week 5 days after I moved to NYC. I would say always have an open mind! You never know when the universe is going to offer you your next opportunity!
These photos are from the VS Fashion Show — what was that like?
It was a surreal experience! I never shot such a large runway production before! Normally huge fashion brands' shows can take up to 4 hours to shoot but with VS, it's an all-day commitment! I never knew how much went into filming the show! I was surprised to find out they do two run-throughs of the show. Each take they focus on filming different things. If a model stumbles or there is a wardrobe malfunction, they can edit it out before they air the show at the beginning of December. It's almost like a slumber party backstage. All the girls are so incredibly sweet and fun! I can't wait for the show this year in Shanghai! It's going to be a blast!
I'm sure you've had some pretty incredible experiences shooting these jobs. Can you tell us about some of the most memorable moments from your career?
One of the funniest moments was at a film festival where I photographed Walton Goggins — he really wanted to keep his Polaroid. I made sure I took down his contact info and promised to send him a copy after I scanned them that night. A little bit later, he came back to walk the carpet with Samuel L. Jackson. Right before I am about to snap a polaroid of the both of them, he told Samuel I wouldn't give him his Polaroid. Jackson looked over at me and said, "You're not going to give this MOTHERF***ER his GODDAMN POLAROID?!" The whole room goes quiet, and of course, I promise to give Samuel a copy. I took two shots and gave one to Jackson, and he walked the rest of the carpet holding out the polaroid I took. When Samuel L. Jackson asks for a Polaroid, you give the man his damn Polaroid.
What advice do you have for someone that wants to pursue photography professionally?
It's never too late to start living your dream, Don't wait for tomorrow because you will always put off your passions and dreams for the next day and the day after that. Live your life like there is no tomorrow! It can be a nerve-wracking experience going out on a limb to pursue photography fulltime, but I promise you it is an experience you will never regret!
What is your favorite camera and why?
How do you stay inspired?
I stay inspired by always traveling and never settling for normal. ♥