Interview Series: Brian Caissie

I was digitally introduced to Brian Caissie when he shot photos of Spencer for a much anticipated Live FAST print story I’ve been working on. The aesthetics of the Canadian photographer’s work alone were intriguing – classic composition that tells the story of a life well-traveled, wrought with adventure. Something about his work made me lust for places I’ve never seen and ignited my sense of spontaneity. However, it was his collage journals that really caught my eye. The pages from these handmade books are what I imagine the interior of Caissie’s mind to look like. Take a peek for yourself and enjoy getting to know Brian Caissie below.

 Q&A

LF: Where are you from, where do you currently sleep, and what do you do?

BC: I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada where I lived for 18 years and now I’m on the other ocean in Vancouver. Currently I’m the editor of SBCskateboard magazine and working behind the camera via stills or video for some brands. Right now, I’m in the Cayman Islands working on a travel piece for Herschel Supply bags.

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LF: Travel to skateboarding to portraits – your creative eye straddles a few different sub-genres within the photography medium. What originally drew you to photography?

BC: Yeah, I feel like I just shoot photos of what’s in front of me, I like it when it’s natural. I’ve been drawing and painting my whole life so the image and feelings have always been in my thoughts. I paint too slow so the camera just seemed to come naturally. I did a big trip to Europe in 1988, took some photos and never looked back. Maybe one day when I’m old I’ll drop it and go back to painting, though. Seems like a lot of the old guys do that …listen to Chopin, drink wine ,and paint ..sounds great.

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LF: Your travel photos give me an overdose of wanderlust – where are you dying to explore in 2015?

BC: Oh, that’s a tough one, it depends on a lot of things really. For skateboard trips, I think Dubai would be amazing. As for personal trips, I’d love to check out Greenland, Galapagos Islands and Egypt – that’s really high on my list.

    

LF: What project are you currently working on that you are most excited about?

BC: The one I’m doing right now has been amazing, three weeks in the Grand Cayman islands exploring. I’ve also been working on my journals a lot and thinking of putting a book out if I can find the right sponsors to help. This year I’d like to work on a big photo show from my travels as well, get all my friends together and have an amazing night. With all the technology taking over, small screens, and people hiding in front of computers, I think we’re missing photo shows with large prints as a photographic experience. There is nothing like seeing a six foot black and white photo.

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LF: Describe the first time you fell in love.

BC: I’ll save the lady experiences for another time – I was too drunk my first time and it got weird. Instead, I’ll tell a story of how I fell in love with traveling. So, when I was twelve I went to Germany and Austria with my parents. We rented a car and hit the Autobahn going fast with my pop behind the wheel…it was scary. We broke the car and had to trade it back to the dealer, who gave us an old VW bug that was a piece of shit and barely made it to 80 km per hour. I wanted to buy a snowboard and the deal was if it fit in the car then I could have it, which it did, with both windows down since it has no trunk. The next day my parents gave me a train ticket which I used to get up the Zugspitze ski hill all by myself. I was pretty lost but really excited to be up there with my new board. The thing was I had jeans and high top Nike shoes on, but I didn’t care, there was fresh snow and blue skies. After a full day of riding I took the train down and made it to the hotel to tell my parents about my day. After that I was chasing the high of traveling and new experiences.

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LF: Where do you see yourself in one year/five years/ten years?

BC: This is a tough one as I don’t like to plan too far ahead. Hopefully still making photographs and traveling for companies. Having a book or two would be nice. Starting a company with friends is always on the back burner, too. I think working closely with one brand would be great.

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LF: Biggest obstacle you had to overcome in 2014?

BC: Switching jobs was really hard – I worked at the same place for fifteen years so I got too comfortable, but it was so good as well. I’m excited to be working for a new magazine, and one that is on newsstands is a good change as well. Lots of great ideas to come down the chute for 2015.

LF: Literally or figuratively, what gets you off?

BC: Literally, a good imagination can be amazing…put down the electronics, get the polaroid camera out and have some fun. Spontaneity is the best, just having a different day then you thought when you woke up is everything to me. A successful woman with a tight waist and some heels, that works too.

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LF: You currently reside in Vancouver…what do you love about the city you live in?

BC: Being able to call some friends and hit the mountains in fifteen minutes is nice. The ability to get on my motorbike or hit the beaches, this city has everything. Ask anyone who has visited here and they’ll tell you the same. I like partying in Whistler, that town is so much fun and only an hour and a half drive.

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LF: How fast do you live?

BC: I think you can tell by my photos I do okay. Want to go on a trip?

L’Agent Goodies…