Carrie Jade is a 19-year old Fashion Communication (and former Photography) student at Ryerson University in Toronto. She likes the colour silver, Lana del Rey, eating sushi and red velvet cupcakes, and watching The Princess Bride. I asked her a few questions about her journey into photography and the inevitable mix of fashion within.
I think I got interested around 2007, between middle school and high school. I started joining art communities like DeviantArt, and the artwork on there was sort of a culture shock. They were so inspiring, and I really wanted to be a part of it. I took two photography courses in high school, and around that same time I started getting interested in fashion. Editorials in magazines like Teen Vogue and Nylon, and most importantly, Richard Avedon's work–truly inspiring, iconic photographs –really inspired me, so I kept at it with the intention of hoping to produce beautiful work like that one day.
I've never had a “niche,” so I wasn’t spending my time on or doing anything else. And it was cool, my friends thought it was cool. But I never take it too seriously. I think you lose the fun and spontaneity. I don't take myself seriously and try not to call myself a photographer unless it’s business related. I feel a little pretentious when I do. Everyone owns a camera now and calls themselves a photographer. It’s lost its substance, I think, and I don’t think I have “the” body of work to truly call myself that. Maybe one day!
To be honest, I also fall in and out of taking photos. I’m not consistent enough, or truly devoted enough. I can see that in my photos—not sure if others can—but I’m hoping that, by switching majors, I’ll get back a sort of creative freedom I lost when doing assignments for school. There’s something different about being inspired by other photographers and famous photographs, versus being inspired by fashion, culture, and other mediums of art. I prefer the latter; you compare yourself less and do work you really care about, that’s more reflective of you, rather than obsessing over who’s better or why you’re just “not good enough,” or doing it just as a way of proving to yourself and others that you actually can. That was my biggest problem during school this year, and it was a terrible feeling.
You work with a lot of Toronto-based designers for their look books and you also shoot for
Getting to incorporate both my interests into one! And it’s very inspiring. Fashion is something I care a lot about, so being able to use that in my art is very expressive of who I am as a person. Like everyone says, fashion is a form of art. So it’s kind of like a double pow-wow to get to mix two different forms of expression together.
What's been your favourite photoshoot that you've done?
Do you style for your own shoots?
Usually yes, though I don’t think they’re as inspiring as I would like them to be. Which is why my latest shoot is my favourite—I really took the styling as an important element of the shoot, and I loved the results. I’m hoping to continue doing so! Always looking to work with stylists and designers, though!
I would like to reflect my own style in my shoots, but I don't think I do. But now that I've gotten a pretty good handle on what I like in regards to my own personal style, I think it'll come across more.
My personal style is kind of all over the place, but I wear a lot of black and flow-y stuff. I’m sort of a nu-goth flower child, sans black lipstick. I love lace and that whole festival, hippie thing, with floppy hats and flower crowns. I live for maxis and crushed velvet. For the past fashion week, my colour palette was black, gray, burgundy and red velvet. It doesn't mean I don't love colour, though. I just have a hard time wearing it.
What would your dream shoot be? You can choose any model, location, etc.
A shoot with Boyd Holbrook. He was one of the first male models I became “aware” of, and years later I’m still not over him. He was so versatile and did some of my favourite editorials and campaigns. He’s doing more acting now, landing a supporting role in The Host (another Stephenie Meyer book-turned-movie that stars a bunch of my fav actors), which is sure to be a blockbuster. Maybe a fun, edgy editorial while he’s promoting that? Haha, I should get to building a solid portfolio, eh? Loved him in the recent History channel mini-series Hatfields & McCoys. He’s just so talented, it’d be very inspiring.
Where would you like your photography to progress to from this point? Model testing with agencies, to shoot their new faces. A small step, but hopefully that'll lead to magazine submissions, and published work! That would be a lot of fun. And just being more consistent in shooting and producing work I’m proud of. Consistency is really something I need to work on, and actually publishing/posting my work online. I’ve never regarded photography, or being a photographer, as a career, and I still don’t. But I love it, and always will, so I won’t stop doing it.