Jenny Woods first showed up in my world when she contacted me a year ago about wanting to collaborate on a shoot. Although we were never able to get our schedules to coincide I have been stalking her work ever since. Focusing on fashion and a dark and mysterious ethereal mood her work is easily some of the creative and artistic I've seen in Miami, and particularly coming from someone with no professional training. To follow her work you can like her on facebook or follow her tumblr. Below is an interview with Ms.Wood's herself....
Firstly let me state that you are such an accomplished location shoot photographer for being so young. For the readers sake, how old are you and how did you get into photography?
I’m 19 but I don’t feel it; I have a very old soul.
When I was younger I had a lot of self esteem issues. I never thought I was good enough for anyone. When I picked up my camera for the first time and took a picture of myself, it was like I was shown something I had never seen before – I felt pretty. I felt like the camera was magical. I haven’t been able to put it down since. It started off with just cute, MySpace photos of myself and blossomed into something much more powerful.
What draws you to fashion photography versus landscape or personal work (like the photo’s you take with your boyfriend)?
Anything that catches my eye, I love. I don’t discriminate against certain types of photography. Fashion has always been my first love because it’s always changing… and that’s the type of person I am: I love change, I love growth, I love new perspectives. I think that’s what draws me to it the most. I also really love photojournalism. That is my second love. I work for a newspaper and it has opened my eyes so much. I’ve always tried to combine the two. I hate posing in pictures; it drives me crazy! Whenever I shoot a model, I try to get them to open up to me as much as I possibly can… sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t – that is why I have the tendency to shoot the same models over and over again.
When you approach a shoot do you come up with the concept shoot or just pick the location and see where it goes?
A little bit of both. To be honest, I’m never prepared… even if I have an idea in mind. It always ends up turning into something different, so I’ve learned to go with the flow and just shoot.
A lot of your recent photography has a mysterious, ethereal feel about them. Is this on purpose, and if so why?
I don’t put much thought behind anything I take. My images are just a reflection of different parts of my personality - who I am. I can be the darkest, most intense person you will ever meet but at the same time, I can be very at peace and loving. I have yet to figure out who the hell I am. Maybe I create for that very reason.
What is your attraction to on location shooting versus studio shoots?
I love nature. I’ve always shown that in my photographs. There’s something about the way people react to their environment that keeps me shooting on location. It just seems natural and more honest. I’ve noticed that when I do shoot studio, I always incorporate nature as well. Flowers are my main prop. They are one of the most honest, beautiful beings the Earth has offered us, yet they die so quickly. It fascinates me, which has ultimately led to my obsession.
Who are your inspirations?
Michael Donovan is my main source of inspiration... that man is a God. I cannot get enough of his work. I also really love Sally Mann.
Where do you hope to take your photography?
I’m not sure what I want from it anymore. I want to be happy. I want to create without feeling the need to please anyone but myself. If I never end up going anywhere with it, I’ll be okay. That isn’t my goal.
What is the most important thing you’ve been told in your career thus far?
I wouldn’t call it my “career,” but I think it was when I heard the words “Don’t lose yourself.” At one point, I forgot that and everything that I really loved started to become something I hated. I don’t ever want to get to that point again. I’m ready to let go and see where the Universe will take me.
If you had to describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
I definitely can’t describe myself in 3 words.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
|All photos copyright property of Jenny Woods|