JONATHAN CHERRY: How valuable is the experience of photographing for you?
ASHLIE CHAVEZ: Pretty effing valuable. When I do commissioned work, such as portraits, I’ve always liked to hang out with or get to know the subject beforehand. I can’t tell you how much I value good conversation and menial engagement. We’re all melting pots of information that’s gathered from our own experiences and that of others- so I really value getting to know the people that I shoot.
And if I’m doing my own personal work, the process is still very therapeutic to me.
JC: Who are some of your influences?
AC: I’m actually really inspired by animals in general.
Elinor Carucci’s “Closer” Series, Robin Schwartz’s “Amelia’s World”, Nina Buesing’s “Fauna” Series, Yusuf Sevincli, William Eggleston, John Divola’s diptych work, and Alec Soth’s photo “Two Towels” from his “Niagara” Series.
That covers it.
JC: Has anything inspired you over the last week, if so what was it?
AC: Well I’m 5 months pregnant right now so I’ve been pretty inspired lately just because my shape is literally changing - I look like a little kid that has swallowed a bowling ball.
JC: What is symbiotic all about?
AC: Symbiotic is collaboration with my twin sister. It was shot and reshot over the past few years until the final edit for it’s exhibit last summer. The series was a delineation of our relationship - what it’s like and what it’s not like being twins, being really close twins. Over all the message was that our identities end up being more shared than they are owned.
JC: Are you pleased with the final edit for symbiotic?
AC: I am pleased with the amount of work that went into it. My sister and I have been growing as photographers so of course there are things that we did or did not do that we wouldn’t do or would do now.
It was my first finished series and does sort of serve as a millstone for us - we discovered a lot about ourselves with that series. There were 3 different finished cuts or attempts at that project that we either discarded or revamped throughout the past 4 years.
So I’m for sure stoked on the amount of work and time that went into that whole piece.
JC: What has 2010 got in store for you photographically?
AC: My sister and I are currently working together right now with some aesthetic documentation styled work. The work will document the time during my pregnancy - but it won’t be about the pregnancy it self.
I’d like to keep it simple and but get very experimental. We’ve gotten a little more confident with alternative analogue methods and processing.
JC: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
AC: A breakfast shake. I hate eating.