Theo Garvey: Carter Petit

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?

Hello! I am Theo Garvey or Theothedirector. I grew up in Phoenix, AZ, and made the move to the city by the bay, San Francisco. Not only a film student but I work as a freelance photographer creating bright and colorful imagery in my work. I found a passion for film and photography in high school and began to fall in love with the artistry once I was able to create my own worlds from it.

2. From your point of view, what are the most difficult aspects of professional photography?

bleachfilm-theo-garvey-featureBeing patient. It takes time. Not all your dreams will come true in a heartbeat the moment you decide to be a photographer. Everything will fall into place at some point, but I am still playing the waiting game. Waiting to be better at what I do than I am today, waiting for that new career opportunity, just waiting. It doesn’t take a long time to learn how to use a camera, but it takes patience to find out how to create your own style unique to you and make a profit off of photography (which is a whole battle of its own).

3. As the experts you are, what distinguishes your work from others, and what are the keys to mastering photography?

I don’t like to think there’s ever a time I’ll master photography. I’m constantly learning. Every shoot is a new environment, difficulties, and successes. To get good at this craft is to be a sponge. Learn as much as you can. Give yourself the tools to execute any idea. I love creating colorful images that feel polished, from a wardrobe that matches the sunset to outside lighting that’s smooth enough to be done in a studio. This aesthetic comes from research (looking at paintings, color schemes, and other photographs) and observing the environment around you. I had to learn to manipulate my environment to showcase what I wanted to see. My work speaks for what I wish the world was, bright, colorful, and glamorous making it unique on its own.

4. What type of models do you prefer to shoot with? Why?

bleachfilmI love working with models who are also artists in their own right. Working with someone who understands the creative process makes it completely collaborative. This opens every shoot to new ideas and a different perspective allowing for a unique shot every time. The models I work with inspire me to keep shooting.

5. Are there any other photographers you look up to? Who?

Of course! One of the first photographers I was obsessed with when I started was Brandon Woelfel, and I have had the joy of watching him throughout the years become absolutely brilliant. Danielle Lin Cook (@yellerwellerphotography) is an artist I am always thrilled to see new work from.

6. Can you walk us through your planning process for this photoshoot and how you went about conducting it?

The first shoot I ever did was with Carter Petit when we were both students at Corona Del Highschool. She always had this bright personality full of kindness, creativity, and cheer. Once we started our friendship, we immediately became collaborators. Our minds intertwined together while shooting, that was our happy place. Once she passed in October of 2021 at 19 years old, I wanted to continue her goals and wishes as she would have wanted. I am lucky enough to have documented so much of her life and have many vivid memories like this shoot. We set up lights, my camera, and tin foil in her small apartment in Arizona. We were squished in the room but made it work. I was climbing over her bed to get a wider shot of her and roaming around the clothes on her floor. It was a mess, however to this day it was our favorite shoot.

7. What are your upcoming projects and what are your goals for the future?

I am working on a lot of projects, one particularly regarding a documentary around Carter, “Yes She’s Changing,” getting published in magazines, to creating fun new images. My goal is to just keep creating, and see where that takes me.

8. Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?

The best place to reach me is at or check me out on Instagram @theothedirector

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