The way I met Alexis Gross is just brilliant. I was hanging out with friends at the Los Angeles Premiere of Shake Junt‘s Chicken Bone Nowison video and noticed a really beautiful blue-haired girl with her hands full of beer cups, barely making it through the crowd. I immediately made my way up to her and, without even introducing myself, asked her if I could help her get where she was going (the DJ booth).
Completely puzzled by my attitude – girls in L.A. normally don’t help each other out, especially in a room full of skaters – she said that was the nicest thing anyone had done for her in a while. We became friends.
Everything about Alexis is so lo-fi and authentic. I could spend hours on her website, which is, unlike a lot of generic photographer’s portfolios, a HTML collection of all the good shots from most of her films over the past few years. Big sized badass pics. You can literally travel in time through her life, and it feels totally clandestine. I love her, so of course she had to be a part of the Live Fast Interview Series, and here’s what she had to say:
LF: When did you first pick up a camera?
AG: I’ve always taken pictures because my Mother was a photographer. She would show me her photos of bands and tell me stories of all the cool shit she got to do because of her photos.
LF: What would you say defines your style as a photographer?
AG: Plastic Cameras and Film. Being me.
LF: You told me you’re a one shot type of girl. How did you train your eye to always catch that special moment and click?
AG: If I start thinking too much about something I usually mess it up. This applies to all aspects of my life so I enjoy living in the moment. If I see something I like and my cameras in my hand I just shoot.
LF: What camera do you prefer shooting with right now?
AG: I found the camera I always use at the Hells Kitchen Flea Market. Only recently did I start carrying around two cameras at once. One with color film and one with black and white film. I was just gifted a DSLR and have only been using it for the HD video.
LF: NY vs LA. How would you compare the scene?
AG: I don’t think I could compare. I have certain connections to people in LA that I don’t share with anyone here in NYC. There are aspects of both cities that can be comparable but for me LA is for play and NY is for stay. I always manage to get job or two out there when I plan my trips so I feel like there’s a purpose aside from getting laid, pissing my money away on vintage clothes, etc. In New York, I work 7 days a week on my photography and a couple nights at The Jane Hotel which usually ends up being enough for me. I end up staying in on my nights off painting, playing guitar, and listening to my records.
LF: As a lifestyle photographer do you feel like the overall style and texture of your work is influenced by who you are with and where you are at?
AG: Absolutely. I’d like to think though that if I were in a situation I typically wouldn’t be in, and I was shooting photos, you’d still be able to recognize my work. I want to be able to shoot for all different kinds of opportunities and have you still be able to identify that its my photos because of my defining style.
LF: Let’s talk fashion. Who’s a model you are dying to shoot with?
AG: I don’t really care too much about that whole thing. I enjoy fashion but for me, all I need is a subject with personality. Unfortunately the world doesn’t work that way and the better the name behind the face you’re photographing, the more people will give a fuck about the photos. Lets just go with Lara Stone.
LF: How would you describe your personal style?
AG: I wear a whole lot of nothing on the bottom and ripped t-shirts. Leather is always a staple for me such as my motorcycle jacket or my favorite Rag and Bone pants. I have a pretty great ankle boot collection as well.
LF: How is it working with non-models on lookbooks, such as what you do for Comune?
AG: I feel lucky to have the chance to work with anyone Comune involves themselves in whether it be the models, snowboarders, the design team, or my favorite person there, Corey Smith!
LF: Any important upcoming exhibition in 2012 you would like to share?
AG: March 28 at Clic Gallery and Bookshop is a group show I’m in and May 17 is very special show I’ve curated with with Magdalena Wosinska, Molly Stone, and myself at Envoy Gallery. Both in New York City.
LF: You are a stunning girl with a camera and an encyclopedic knowledge of the skateboarding industry among dudes with skateboards and lots of random chick fans. How do you stay a lady? Can you?
AG: I grew up around skateboarding. I don’t think I’m very much of a lady as in the sense that I tend to bro out more than open up my legs. Maybe seeing Chloe Sevigny get AIDS in the movie Kids scared me straight. Thanks Larry Clark. As for rules and boundaries? I’m good at separating business from pleasure and find humor in the idiotic chicks who think hanging out with a professional skateboarder is credible. What it comes down to is that I’m a woman working in a male dominated industry. I’m comfortable with the position I’m in and value the connections I’ve made.
LF: When are you happiest?
AG: Riding on the back of a guy’s motorcycle. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to see a smile on my face.
LF: How fast do you live?
AG: Pretty slow considering I’m stoned all the time! Just kidding. As fast as life will take me. I believe that pacing yourself is key cause no one likes running out of breath.