Around here, among fashion week, sponsoring a wedding giveaway and shooting other various projects etc, we've been working with the ever so talented Jessica Mindich of Jewelry for a Cause to get ready for MS Awareness Month. Shopping to fight MS is on our mind. So check this out, and visit www.jewelryforacause.net to buy yours. You can help a lot of people living with Multiple Sclerosis just by getting your bling on!
In the new entry of Image Source's blog IMSO, John O'Reilly gave me a good talking to. He was way too kind, so I present to you the interview he did with me that makes me look way more interesting than I really am, so enjoy!
Image Source photographer Angela Cappeta has an eye for social
and psychological nuance. Her photos are great visual anecdotes. It’s
why she’s recognised as one of America’s top wedding photographers
I first came across the work of Angela Cappetta around 10 years ago, working on a project with Paul Pensom, now Art Director of Creative Review.
We were doing a photography feature on the desire for the ‘new’
authenticity in advertising photography – in journalism it pays to have a
goldfish memory. The feature was partly inspired by the Cruel + Tenderexhibition
at the Tate Museum in London. Pensom wasn’t just a great designer,
annoyingly he would write better headlines than the editor, and had a
gunslinger’s eye for spotting the killer photo. There was one image of
what looked like a Mother/Mother-In-Law at a wedding whose body language
suggests she’d really prefer not to let go, if you don’t mind. It’s
sweet, it’s a little a bit cheeky, and because it has an emotional edge,
it means the viewer is kept a little off-balance. Angela Cappetta’s
image nailed the feature, and would later nail this ad for Citi.
On her website Cappetta has a call out from PDN that says, “This
artist is among the nation’s top wedding photographers today.” The
Wedding is the perfect dramatic backdrop where heightened anxieties and
emotions are played out. Cappetta has an eye for narrative, in that way
she has a classic illustrator’s eye. And the ceremony, the ritual, the
big emotional theatre of weddings suits a photographic sensibility
that’s sharp in spotting social nuances.
It’s not just weddings of course. Cappetta just makes great compositions.
Photographer Angela Cappetta, Family Project
Catch some of Cappetta’s take on the world below in her interview
with Lisa Curesky, Image Source Director of Photography, USA, and
spend a few moments on her blog and appreciate her unique photographic anecdotes.
Photographer Angela Cappetta. Glendalis Project.
A shot of a single object that expresses a powerful memory/event
The stick shift knob of my car is my favorite thing. It has never
asked for anything in return. I throw my gear in the back and go. I
usually photograph alone, sometimes with an assistant or a friend.
Three books that have inspired you?
Three books, I tried. I really did. But three isn’t fair. Here is the
bookshelf in my studio. This is the fiction, non fiction section
arranged by color. The monograph and art compilation section is a whole
other thing. Those are arranged right to left in the order of which I
refer to them.
[Angela had another think!]
Angela Cappetta, Three Books
Here are three I’ve used a lot lately. My Medusa project is primarily influenced by the work of Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams.
and the Truman Capote book is there just because I think In Cold Blood is one of the best crafted stories ever told
Favourite photo you have taken?
Its not about individual pictures for me, rather, bodies of work. I’m
only as good as my next project, That said, my favorite project to
revisit these days is L’Ulivello,
pictures from an Italian villa where i lived and worked as a kid. It
was my first successful attempt at a project. Looking back on it, I now
realize that I was examining the act of simplicity. It was shot with
TriX and a Leica over several visits. I got grant money and was
fortunate to be able to develop it into something more than one trip
could give me.
L’Ulivello, Angela Cappetta
Angela Cappetta, L’Ulivello
It depends. I’m really gonna dork out hard on this one. I admire Lee
Friedlander for sheer will of picture making, he just doesn’t stop and
it’s always incredible. When I need formal inspiration I look at Judith
Joy Ross and Carleton Watkins.
For perfect cacophony, I go to the Ragubir Singh section of my shelf. Then there are the days when I need to look at Helen Frankenthaller or Richard Diebenkorn,
so I will hit the books from my painting section. Sometimes nothing
scratches an itch like an Ad Reinhardt painting. You get the idea. Dork
Angela, your tagline on your tumblr page reads ‘documentary style
photography with edgy warmth’ – talk to me about this. How did style
Its something a collector once said to me. I liked it because it
summed me up so well. I’m other things, too, but I’m mostly that, the
sideways glance of the thing you almost missed.
Angela Cappetta / Cultura RM
I don’t think I cultivated that look on purpose, it’s something that
evolved naturally. I have a wide scope of ability, but my signature look
is refined and consistent.
How important is social media in your self promotion?
It’s a necessary requirement for getting new assignment work, but I’m
so busy shooting that I have an intern handle my weekly marketing. I
recently met Victoria’s Secret model Cameron Russell on social
media. She wrote to me and said she loved my work and wanted to
collaborate on her new project, Interrupt Magazine
. We’ve shot excellent assignments together and I’m now a regular
contributor. Cameron is a great art director and lovely person. That
never would have happened without Twitter.
How did the Joffrey Ballet project come about? Do you have a favorite image from this project?
I live near the Joffrey and
I’d see the dancers everyday, at the deli, the coffee shop, the drug
store etc. I knew I wanted to photograph them in their environment, but
that was all I knew.
One day I sat down and wrote a letter to the director of the Joffrey.
I included a project statement for pictures which didn’t exist yet. I
called it “Built on Toil” and likened the trainees to soldiers doing a
job under command of a general. I could see it clearly: TriX and a 6×9
punched up with the bare bulb of a Lumedyne. I just needed him to say
yes. Later that day he wrote back. He explained that he regularly gets
requests from photographers and always says no. But, he was so struck by
the clarity of my proposal, that he’d be happy to offer me complete
access for as long as I wanted. I almost fell off my chair. I started
the next day and continued for two years.
Angela Cappetta, Joffrey Ballet project
Mostly, It was a lot of me trying not to get kicked in the head. I
was right in the thick of it with the dancers. On the floor in the
middle of their routines with a lens in their faces, they’d gently glide
around me. It was beautiful to watch. If an elephant fell stage center
they’d dance around it without breaking focus. They were incredibly
gracious and kind to me.
I’m currently working on a print project of the ballet work with the Art Director Liron Kormas. She brought me the idea, and I liked it. Coming soon.
You shoot a lot of weddings, are there any trends you are seeing emerge in this area?
I’m the last person you should ask about trends, but if it’s interesting from behind a lens, then sign me up.
What is the strangest Wedding request you were ever asked by a potential client?
For me, nothing is “strange.” I think getting married is strange. Beautiful and strange.
Angela Cappetta, Brooke + Dan
What have you learned to get the best shots at a Wedding?
A few good pictures do not a photographer make. I shoot weddings with
the same acumen I’d shoot any editorial, personal or advertising
assignment. No matter what I’m shooting I never pretend to be something
I’m not. Having a clear goal in mind is essential.
Angela Cappetta, Christiane + Robert
Furthermore, being fit and healthy helps with my shoot performance in
ways that are incalculable. Muscle strain is your enemy. When I feel
escalating pain I go straight to the acupuncturist. People don’t realize
how much a serious photographer uses their entire body. I see pictures
of myself working after the fact and I’m amazed I bent myself like that.
The adrenaline kicks in and you just go for it.
Is there a predominant theme in your work?
Any hidden talents we should know about?
Dogs love me, and I them, I know how to train a horse and I am a member of an elite knitting circle.
It's as simple as it sounds. A few days in Doha, then Bangkok; a few more days in the northern mountains of Chiang Mai, and then some more days on the Bay of Bengal. Just me, a Leica, my guy and a bunch of film. Here is what I left with. That's how it goes: you go somewhere, and hopefully when you get back you have a pile of pictures that amount to something. It isn't more complicated than that. You're an artist or you're not.
Pete and Julie met at a baby shower. Yes, a baby shower. The kicker is, she was unavailable. Three years later serendipity kicked in. Pete, still lost in the effect Julie's piercing blue eyes, learned she was single! Not wasting a moment he rang her up.
In Pete's own words, he "was hooked" right away. The sparks were so strong, they become inseparable. As their relationship grew matured, it didn't matter in what order they did things: the baby came after the engagement but before the wedding, and the apartment renovation came before all three, but the dog came first.
Then came the nicest news, a baby was coming! Naturally, when the wedding rolled around, what a wedding it was! 150 guests filled Liberty Warehouse as Julie and Pete said their I-do's during a classic New York City sunset.
Julie was smashing in her custom gown, made especially to fit her 7 month baby bump. It was sea foam green, a nod to the water which ebbed and flowed in the sunset around the Lady Liberty, who watched over them from New York Harbor.
The best part: the first dance included a song about a baby. Perfect.