Empty Stretch: Age/ Location/ Favorite things in life?
Alana Paterson: I’m 28 I’m currently living on Gabriola Island off the coast of British Columbia. My favourite things in life are too many to number but some are: big dogs, big cities, small town charm, country roads, nice light, a steady headed man, a well planned skate park, a frosty brew…I’m going to stop there… Swell times with friends and family, natural phenomena, moving to new cities, leaving, goodbyes, showing up unannounced, surprising people. Ok now I’m done.
ES: How did you get into photography?
AP: I got into photography shooting skate photos of my friends. That was the physical manifestation. Why it stuck with me and I never got bored of it or put it aside is a lot more complicated I’m sure.
ES: All of your photos have an undertone of transience & a sense of something being left. Is this something that comes naturally or are you actively seeking that feeling?
AP: That’s great. You’re pretty observant. Yeah I move a lot, half a year here, half a year there. I don’t really stay in one place and I love the romance of leaving. I don’t think I seek it actively in my images making though. It must just come through on its own. That’s nice though, I like that.
ES: Do you differentiate between commercial & personal work? There is a consistency in your work that makes it seems like you treat all your subjects the same, which is nice.
AP: I’ve heard people noticing that. Yeah I guess I have a system of working with people whether my friends and family or models and it comes through in my work. I mean sometimes friends and family are even harder to shoot. People never think about that but sometimes when you know someone so well it makes it tougher in a way because you can’t see the surface anymore. And there’s all these politics between you also. My cousin is 7 months pregnant and she asked me to shoot photos of her and her belly and I’m more nervous about that then any of my big shoots coming up. Cause if I fuck this one up its family that’s mad and thinks I’m a bummer photographer and not just some kids on the internet.
ES: How important is people & place to your work? Do you photograph the
same in places/ with people that are new?
AP: Well we try to never use the same location twice for commercial stuff if that’s what you mean. But if it is just my personal stuff I’m just shooting as I go. Not really thinking too hard about it. Climb a mountain take a photo, I don’t know.
ES: How do you like your work to be viewed? Galleries, books, magazines?
AP: I’m more of a magazine girl I think. Catalogs. stuff like that. I don’t really enjoy the gallery atmosphere. Or maybe I don’t think my images are well enough developed to be in galleries yet. I think that’s something you really have to earn. That’s the sunset shit if you ask me.