Jason Lee Parry is the quintessential Hollywood fashion photographer. He consistently documents a lifestyle that is wild, filthy, fearless and beautiful at once. His shots are just as timeless as they are contemporary; making it obvious that the iconic rock & roll dream is alive, kicking and celebrated all over again in Southern California. We had a chance to sit down with Parry for a quick interview, and here’s what he had to say:
LF: When did you first pick up a camera?
JLP: I first picked up a camera when I was 15 years old. I started by shooting skateboarding and gritty, random shit.
LF: What would you say is your signature as a photographer?
JLP: When I shoot I want it to be like I’m making a film, to make it as believable as possible. Always pushing the model to really get into the character. Ideally shooting film on location with all natural lighting.
LF: You are an active instagram user. What’s your take on iPhoneography and how it affects your profession?
JLP: As a photographer I like to be shooting all the time, so I feel that no matter what kind of camera it is it’s good to capture random shit constantly. In some weird way seeing raw lifestyle shots inspire me.
LF: Does fashion influence art or is it the other way around?
JLP: I think art influences fashion because looking in the past, certain sub-culture’s art influenced the way they dressed. A person doesn’t usually paint a picture because they were influenced by a dress, but a dress may be designed because it was influenced by a piece of art.
LF: You married a beautiful muse… Tell me about the photographer / model relationship. Did you guys meet on a shoot? How are you pushing each other’s artistic boundaries? Are you working together a lot?
JLP: Yes, I cast her for a shoot when I first moved to California. She had a boyfriend at the the time and I invited them to a local bar to have a drink. At this point we were just friends, but every time the boyfriend went out to smoke we found ourselves rambling on to each other. By the end of the night, and after a few drinks, I found myself flirting with her. I grabbed her, picked her up and carried her out of the bar. And since then, we’ve been inseparable. As far as pushing each other’s artistic boundaries, I definitely married a woman with a vision, someone who plays outside the box. The way we live our fast-paced life really comes out in the art we create, individually and together. At the moment, Jenny is becoming an amazing actress and I hope I inspire that by pushing her to be fearless.
LF: How about this whole ordeal with Hailey Clauson? How did you feel when you heard the news that the case against you was dismissed? Must have been such a relief.
JLP: Truthfully I can’t believe it even took this long for this insane lawsuit to be dropped. But, of course, my wife and I are thrilled that it is over, it is a huge relief. Now I feel like I can move on and continue working on my art.
LF: Shortly after you have been dismissed from the case, she makes headlines again for being in an over-the-top editorial with porn stars, being strangled to holding a baby. Did you fall off your chair?
JLP: From the point of being the dismissed, I’m surprised she didn’t wait longer to do shoot like this, considering the lawsuit with Urban Outfitters is going into trial. I feel like it does not put herself, and her family, in a good light. If the model and the family were so concerned about my photo being “salacious,” then why would she go about creating even more “salacious” photos. Yes, the magazine is based in Europe and magazines there are much more lenient than the United States, but it’s strange timing for her. Now it’s even more apparent that the lawsuit is completely about publicity and money. In my case, they used the word “salacious” to create more attention to the lawsuit to scare Urban Outfitters out of money. Seeing this new controversy come up, I’m glad it gives a chance for people to see what this family is really all about.
LF: Who’s your favorite new face in fashion right now?
JLP: I think there are quite a few good new faces. But if I could choose three models, new or not, to shoot right now it would be Charlotte Free, Lindsey Wixson, and Freja.
LF: Any important exhibition coming up in 2012?
JLP: I plan to do multiple art shows in 2012, as well as work on my book entitled “I’ll Keep You Wild.”
LF: Any other artistic medium you are interested to explore?
JLP: Directing and music, maybe be in my wife’s made-up psychedelic country band.
LF: In your opinion, what is L.A.’s best kept secret?
JLP: I don’t know but there are so many little gems to explore, especially in my neighborhood of Silverlake.
LF: What gets you off – literally and figuratively?
JLP: Forts and whiskey, old motorcycle films, brewing my own beer, 60s and 70s playboy mags, Jim Morrison’s Poetry, long road trips with little cash, recklessness, total freedom to be myself, Guy Bourdin, long walks at 3am, activities that have no meaning, complete confidence without cockiness, surrounding myself with people that really live in the moment, small towns, just doing shit that’s out of the ordinary, and of course my beautiful wife.
LF: Favorite Jim Morrison quote?
JLP: Show me the way to the next whiskey bar.
LF: How fast do you live?
JLP: As fast as my body will allow me to.
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