Shooting Shots & Telling Stories With Anastasia Caulfield

Anastasia Caulfield

What’s your dream and/or dream life? What is it you desire and how are you currently positioning yourself to go after it? Or are you currently living that dream?

My dream is being dreamt! I am living my dream day by day as a student, as an immigrant, and as an artist. I am honored to be currently studying Photography, Videography and Related Media in New York City during this historic time.

Covid-19 has changed the way we live and communicate by emphasizing technology and media. I am living and working as an artist. The truth is, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I feel like I am dreaming out loud. I just need to think bigger! 

When did you know visual work, or what some call visual storytelling, was what you wanted to invest yourself into as you have?

My Dad always had a camera on him. He showed me what a camera is and its potential. From there, I had taken a high school photography class that operated by film. I joined the class at 15 years old. That’s where I became familiar with pinhole photography, and where I first got exposed to darkroom procedures. 

After that, I put the camera down for a few years. I was a junior in college by the time I got back into creating images. This time my photography became digital. During that time, I was studying Human Rights, International politics, gender studies etc. I felt that the best way I could communicate and connect with people was through creative means. This led to me becoming obsessed with photography as a medium. Visual storytelling became a language I could talk to everybody with. 

Have you always wanted to do this work or was it something that called out to you while pursuing other endeavors?

I have always wanted to be creative. I don’t think I could be anything else. My work has certainly evolved and found shape, but my vision has always been there.  Art has always been a safe space for me, and photography has become a means for understanding the depth of what’s possible between people. 

I think that as artists, we are ultimately multidimensional beings. I want to push the boundaries of time by pursuing video as stop-motion photography. I want to create and mix sound more. I think it’s important to push multiple boundaries at one time. 

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I find inspiration on the streets, in conversations I have, and overall in the experiences I have. Art is all around, and I find it inspiring to collaborate and bring a collective thought to the surface. I have found that working with my peers is important. I have collaborated with artists Jay Golding and Justin Francesco to create the group @giowise. Additionally, I have worked with startup @InvitedCoffee, a business that focuses on community building, to strengthen my own connection to the places I go to. 

Reading about artists that came before me also proves to be inspiring. We’re talking  photographers like Gordon Parks, Vivian Maeir, Nan Golding, Cartier Bresson, and so many more. Frida Khalo, Van Gogh, and Cézanne were painters who have inspired me. Lastly, finding mentors has inspired me. Through these different interactions, I have found new people, places, and events to become inspired by. 

What do you hope to communicate through your pieces? Is there an overall message or theme on top of the message from each individual image, or are you not going so deep and just capturing what you feel at the moment?

My pieces are portrait based, but interactive on a community level. I want to question the fabric of high art by integrating visual storytelling as the nucleus of our collective consciousness. High art is us and we are high art. Thus, I want to connect us to each other. In an age where we connect to each other in record time, I want us to connect to the idea that our stories make us recognize universal fears, anxieties, dreams, etc. These themes may help us connect to each other in a deeper way. 

Any tips for a beginner?

Carry your camera everywhere, and pay attention to what you do and why. Finding purpose and meaning is everything. From there, there is only movement and growth. Stick to the course, it takes a long time to do anything worthwhile. 

Connect! Connecting with as many people as you can is necessary for success. No one does life alone. Teams are instrumental. And HAVE FUN! The process can be grueling at times, but find joy during the process! Love what you do! It makes doing what you have to do every day easier.

All Photography by Anastasia

© 2021 The Drty Ones | Anastasia Caufield

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