1. Could you please give us a little introduction and tell us about your first experience with photography? Who or what inspired you to begin photography?
My name is Maxine Bowen, I’m a photographer based in LA. My first experience was when I took a photo class junior year of high school. I originally took it because I needed to pick any elective class. During that class, I started to begin to fall in love with it starting with a homemade pinhole camera made from a tin can. I had actually failed that class miserably, and by failing it, it actually motivated me more to pursue photography. I think even one photo I took I decided to put a red stiletto shoe on a table outside a mall and somehow I thought it was an interesting photo and I believe I got an F. I don’t blame my teacher at all. By senior year, I got an outstanding award for photography just because I kept practicing, finally understanding photo composition, and listened to his advice each time I showed him a new photo I took of my friends. It took me a bit to become a full time freelance photographer after making a lot of wrong decisions, but I’m glad I did because it made me realize I would never want to give up doing what I love and am most passionate about.
2. From your point of view, what are the most exciting aspects of professional photography?
I absolutely love lighting and composition. I started off just working with natural light until a couple years ago, I was obsessed about lighting or making the scene look very cinematic. I want to feel when I look at my photos that I feel I’m in a movie. I think that’s what’s exciting about photography is the creativity you can put behind it with just your imagination.
3. As the expert you are, what distinguishes your work from other photographers?
I don’t like saying I’m an expert, just because honestly I don’t know a lot of technicalities when it comes to photography. A lot of how I learned was this worked and that didn’t. I know there are a lot of perfectionist photographers out there, I’m most definitely not one of them. I’m sure there are better ways to being more efficient with how I go about my photography. I will say that I am more adaptive than others learning how to stay relevant and constantly trying to figure out ways to keep my photos interesting. But who knows, I could be wrong. I’m no expert, and I’m okay with that because I love what I do.
4. What are your goals for the next year with your photography business?
My on going goal as of now is getting my photography more known on my social media platforms. I’ve been working towards putting my work more on tik tok and finding ways to make my photos feel interesting than the actual photo itself. I noticed people don’t really care about anyone’s portfolio, I feel more people connect with the story behind the photos or the person that took them. So far, I had a couple videos go viral, and it helped market my business gaining me more clients, businesses, and influencers wanting to work with me.
5. Are there any other photographers you look up to? Who?
I am in love with Polina Washington’s work. There are definitely others I’ve seen on Instagram or Pinterest, but her work every time inspires me. Her work is so cinematic and the way she’s open about how she takes photos, lighting she uses, etc.
6. Can you walk us through your planning process for this photoshoot and how you went about conducting it?
This photoshoot was with model Sarah Donna in a bathroom shower.
I honestly had no plan, but I wanted it to be a Euphoria vibe. I just looked on Pinterest, got some ideas, and played around with my LED lighting/spray fog cans/650w mole light till eventually, I found some photos I loved.
7. What are your upcoming projects?
I’m in the process of editing a music video I directed which I can’t wait to share and finish. I also have a bunch of Tik Tok’s I’ve been planning with either influencers or brands. I’ve been putting a lot of my time and energy into this way of marketing myself to further my career and hopefully be on some big projects.
8. Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
Model Interview: Sarah Donna
1. Could you please give us a little introduction and tell us about your first experience with modeling? How did you get started and where are you currently based?
So I started modeling when I was about 10 years old. I modeled for a smaller clothing company that was doing a show in the metro Detroit area which I where I’m from. I’ve modeled ever since, which ultimately lead me to Los Angeles where I currently reside.
2. What was your first paid job as a model? How did it feel?
Well, my first paid gig was technically my first gig so I was very lucky. Very much a right place at the right time kind of thing.
3. Besides modeling, what else are you passionate about?
I love creating, I’m a very creative person. Professionally I also act, and personally I love to write and paint.
4. Is there anyone in the modeling industry you look up to? Who?
It’s hard to pick just one, I love to find inspiration from as many places as I can, but I’ve always admired Grace Jones her art is so authentic.
5. What do you value most in a photographer who collaborates with you?
I like working with people who are excited about making art and enjoy the creative process.
6. What are your goals for your modeling career? Do you have any upcoming projects you want to share?
Modeling for me has been something that has always been there and will probably always be a part of my life so there’s always more around the corner. Unfortunately nothing I am currently allowed to share but a few things coming up that I am definitely excited for.
7. How can we stay connected with you?
You can find me on Instagram @sarahdonna._