Whether it’s children, adults, or landscapes, it is connecting with the subject, playing with the surroundings, waiting for the perfect light that gives her pictures the energy they emote. Loving the unexpected on a shoot and being flexible when something doesn’t go as planned is what sets Alexandra Tremaine apart. Her demands on herself are commendable, and her pictures will captivate you.
What designers/artists are on your radar right now?
I have a few interior designer friends — Andrew Fisher and Jeffrey Weisman, Charlotte Barnes, Rela Gleason, and Michael Trapp. Amber Interiors and Emily Henderson are two designers who aren’t friends but would love them to be.
What are your favorite sources for design inspiration?
Inspiration comes in all forms, at all times, when you pay attention. I’ve always had an artistic eye and appreciate beautiful people, places, spaces, and things. When I travel I find instant inspiration, and the most notable of my favorite places is San Miguel de Allende. It is the location where all of my VW Bug Diptych pieces are photographed and a place I lived for one year. It is set in the mountains of Mexico, smack dab in the middle of the country. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has original architecture from the 16th century. The cobble stone streets, colorful buildings, and the inviting and vibrant culture feed my creativity in every conceivable way. When I can’t get away I find inspiration by getting outside, running, yoga (this is starting to sound like a dating profile), and exploring and being involved in my own (a little less vibrant) community and surrounding area.
What are some of your favorite emerging design/art trends?
I love big art. I think it’s a shame to not give your spaces the artwork it deserves, in an appropriate size. I have seen more and more large-scale art in spaces.
What is your personal approach to photography?
My personal approach is simple and basic. Good photographs need to be executed behind the camera, not the computer. I only slightly alter any of my photographs, for color, contrast, etc. I despise overly edited photography. The computer component of what I do should give a result that gives you the opportunity to make you feel like you were there when I took the photograph and are looking at that scene in real time.
How has your artistic style evolved?
I’m still evolving… aren’t we all? Since graduating from Brooks Institute in 2008, I have seen great growth in my photographs. There was a time for a few years that I edited too much. I look back at some of those overly saturated and contrasty photos and think, whoa, that’s real shit. I stopped editing so much in part because I was getting it more and more right behind the camera. When you nail it like you are supposed to, you don’t have to rely on Photoshop to pick up your slack. I hate when I hear, “it’s okay, I’ll just Photoshop it”.
What do you love/hate to photograph?
I’ll start with what I hate, it’s a strong word but catalog photography is the pits and I’ll use it for that. On the flipside, I love so many different kinds of photography, even an occasional wedding! I love being a part of such an important day in people’s lives. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. I also will do some family photographs, mostly for families I am close with or have used me for years. I have LOVED this project. It started when I lived down there. On Instagram, one day I put two VWs together and people flipped over it. I did a few more and decided to do it with my big camera.
Which is your most favorite piece in your portfolio and why?
Good question. I have a few combinations that are my favorites of the VW Bug Series but I’ll let you choose your favorites without my influence. As for other pieces… I’m usually a lighting snob and sometimes won’t take my camera out when I’m traveling because it is high noon sun and everything is ugly. However, a few years ago I was visiting friends in Maine who are relatives of Andrew Wyeth, and we got to go to his island and hike around. We picnicked on the other side of his island, which doesn’t have any buildings or anything. I took a photo of a branch in that mid-day light, which has become one of my favorite pieces and has taught me much about my views on lighting conditions. It hasn’t changed my view of harsh lighting totally, but if I had not brought my camera that day, I never would have captured this shot. It has sold many times because of the shot and because of the story. Not only that, Andrew painted many scenes from his island and this photograph closely resembles many of his pieces. The photo can be seen here.
What are the challenges of being a photographer in the digital era?
It’s a vastly oversaturated market. Good cameras are more affordable, you can learn how to light, edit, or use your camera while eating Nutella out of the tub on your couch watching your smart TV. There are young and hungry photographers who will undercut the market, which only ends up hurting them in the end. I’ve walked away from many jobs, sometimes when I have really needed the money, because I wouldn’t match another photographer’s price. However, with the turn of digital photography and the evolution of smart phones and social media, it has also created this super connected world. I’m not so old-school that I can’t embrace the new age tech/social media world, but I’m old enough to have a film foundation. I still shoot film and one of the many handles I follow on social media are film blogs, forums, groups, and photography. Film is not dead and the digital platform has connected us.
What is your most valued possession as far as art/photography?
My albums and prints are by far my most valued possessions. My cameras are cool, and my hard drives are desperately crucial. However, it’s those albums and printed and framed photographs that make a house a home.