N Y Photographer Darcy Rogers was featured on POP last April in an interview following a series of coincidences that led me to her. She and I spoke a few months ago about a Snaps posting. She wanted to share a new project and would be ready in a few months. Shortly after, I was planning a trip to NY and reached out to see if she’d like to get together.
It turned out she was not only available, but she was ready with her post and had two rather than one projects to share. We met for coffee and talked for hours about how things are going in NY (she’s been welcomed by the photo industry and has been working non-stop assisting and finds plenty of time to shoot for herself) and had two fun new projects that she wanted to share with POP. A California road trip she shot on a drive with her family from San Francisco to Oregon and a Frida Kahlo-inspired lookbook she shot in the studio for Dudine Jewelry.
When I saw the road trip images, I was so happy to see the familiar quiet power Darcy brings to her portrait and fashion work reflected in the way she framed her shots and captured light, fog and trees. One of the more fun aspects of creativity is constantly being surprised. And the Dudine shots really added a new dimension to Darcy’s previous fashion work. Conceptually driven, highly styled and shot with strobes rather than her favorite Hasselblad window light.
Snaps is an opportunity to catch up with prior interviewees and for them to share current projects. After I interview people, I wonder what they are shooting and with the emerging photographers, how things are going for them. It was so nice to meet with Darcy and spend time looking at her book, her new projects and seeing a fresh talent inspired, happy and to see that picking up and moving to NY and following her dream is going well.
I asked her first about the Dudine lookbook followed by some work and short discussion about the California roadtrip images. Thank you to Darcy for staying in touch and sharing her work with POP.
POP: How did the Frida Kahlo concept evolve for a lookbook?
A stylist friend approached me to shoot the concept for Jennifer Kramer’s jewelry collection Dudine. She was inspired by a recent Italian Marie Claire fashion spread done in the spirit of Frida Kahlo. We thought the idea would work perfectly with the Dudine jewelry line. The main objective was to create a lookbook for the jewelry, but with a fashion touch. Jennifer was really wonderful in allowing us to experiment with the styling.
POP: Your work is generally location-based, and quite light and soft. This is quite a departure from that. Has it pushed your other work or do you plan to do more studio and color work?
The original Marie Claire spread was shot in a beautiful mansion in Italy. Our budget was a bit more limited. Location would have been wonderful, but we decided a studio setting would be best to help showcase the jewelry. I had been wanting to do a Frida-inspired shoot for a long time and that concept was very inspiring to me.
Typically, location intrigues me, but on this particular shoot, the idea of creating a character was more essential. We even talked about the austere, Renaissance portrait that relies on the subject and light. Working in the studio was definitely a new departure for me that was both challenging and rewarding. I would love to do more sessions in studio, experimenting with mood, light, and simplicity.
POP: You’ve done this road trip many times before?
Growing up it had been a family tradition to do a road trip every winter from San Francisco, CA to Southern Oregon to visit extended family. The tradition died several years back when my siblings and I had completely moved out of my parents’ house. About a year ago, I moved to NYC from San Francisco. NYC has so much to offer and I love living here, but one thing I’ve missed is that feeling of open space—that sense that you can just get out on the open road and see landscape around you. I think the accessibility to nature and landscape is one of the great things CA offers and I hadn’t even realized it until I moved away.
Missing the landscape and my family, I decided that we needed to revive the Northern CA roadtrip. We spent five days traveling between San Francisco and Oregon and I photographed all along the way. It was a wonderful feeling to reconnect with landscape and family tradition. I had so much fun photographing this project!
POP: Did your experience of the trip change in some way because you were stopping to photograph? Did you engage with the landscape differently?
I definitely felt like I wanted to stop and photograph everything! I remember taking these trips as a kid and feeling so amazed at the scenery as we drove past it. I wanted to capture that feeling. I wanted to photograph it almost as if I were seeing it for the first time.
POP: Is this your first time photographing landscapes? Any tradition you are inspired by? You often shoot location-based fashion. Has this inspired any fashion work?
I have shot landscape occasionally when the mood struck, but have never thought before this trip of putting a series together. It was a nice break from photographing fashion/people. I didn’t put too many constraints on myself, just to shoot a lot. I think, with no guidelines, I was able to relax and just have fun with it. I am taking a trip to Montauk in about a month and want to do another series like this one. The Northern CA trip inspired me to continue to visit new places and just shoot, shoot, shoot! It would be great to one day take a model to some of these locations and do a fashion shoot.
POP: Favorite stop along the way or destination?
Oh man, this is a tough question! There is a stretch between Eureka and Crescent City that is amazing—there are tons of redwood trees making it spooky and magical. There is another stretch outside Eureka were you can catch glimpses of the coast. The shoreline is amazing, raw and pristine. It’s amazing how much beauty there is to see.