Follow along this month as I show you behind the scenes of how the Modern Shibori photo shoot came together. First, I started searching for a fashion photographer near me in the SF Bay Area. I did some searches for “photographer bay area” and “fashion photographer near me”. Who popped up but my bestie from 1st grade?? How cool is that? It didn’t even occur to me to ask Gina Gaiser if she’d be interested in being my photographer!! Thanks, Google. She said yes and we discovered yet another way we could collaborate and grow together.
Meet My Photographer
So I decided to interview her so you can meet her and learn a bit more about the eye behind the Modern Shibori shoot.
How do you know Jenny Fong? My family moved next door to Jenny’s when I was in first grade because my dad was a teacher at the high school. I remember our mothers being excited that we were in the same grade and arranged for us to walk to school together. I was a really shy kid so didn't say much and Jenny didn't know what to make of it. Despite the awkward start, we continued to walk to and from school together and eventually became best friends.
There were no cell phones in those days so we made a tin can walkie talkies connected between our houses with string. I think it worked but maybe it was because we yelled into the can loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. We were always looking for ways to make money or start a business. We worked together to go door to door selling raffle tickets and washing cars. Jenny designed uniforms for us so that we looked good and were professional.
Later we played on sports teams, travelled across Europe and backpacked the Sierras. Jenny is super smart, creative, funny and kind - four things I have always admired about her. After all these years I still consider Jenny to be my best friend!
Tell us a little about your work and what inspires you. I am an Oakland-based artist primarily making digital photographs. My work examines everyday life - how we navigate through our environment, build structures, and connect with others. Using a digital camera, camcorder, or phone and a computer, I capture and edit the images, focusing on formal compositions, and create a series of my daily activities that are like pages of a book, cells in a comic strip, or stills from a film.
How did you get into photography? In grade school, I took a summer photography course and made a pinhole camera. Soon after I started collecting old format cameras in various states of repair. Not afraid to take things apart, I deconstructed the cameras, made adjustments, and loaded them with film to see what images I could make. Most often, I create through experimentation, using technology as a collaborator, and playing with techniques and processes until I get the desired result.
What are you working on next? Currently, I'm working on a series of aerial photographs taken from a plane window looking down on metropolitan and suburban places I've recently been to. The view from above allows us to see the fabricated landscapes. They will be shown at Gearbox Gallery in May with another artist, Sarah Newton who also documents transitional places, and the effect of humans and climate on the environment.
It was so much fun to collaborate with Gina on the Spring Collection. Have you ever collaborated with one of your besties? Drop a comment below and let me know!