Guest Photographer: Chantal Anderson
Gaze upon Chantal Anderson’s intimate moments stuck in time that swell up an orchestra of feelings.
Where are you from and what do you love about it?
I’m from the Pacific Northwest but currently living in Los Angeles. In the summer, there are almost too many things to love about where I’m from. After months of flat light and soggy shoes, the clouds part and the days get warmer and the nights long and golden. There are blueberries, huckleberries and raspberries to pick, lakes to jump in, and mountains to climb.
How long have you been taking photos for and how did you get your first taste?
I didn’t remember this until my mum showed me the VHS recording of this moment a few months back, but I unwrapped my first camera on my eighth Christmas. The footage of me opening the camera is mixed in with shots of opening Barbie dolls and crayon sets, politely saying, “Thank you mum, thank you dad”. After I unwrapped the camera I squealed and ran around the room and even unveiled some crazy Janet Jackson moves. I’m lucky to still feel this way about it.
What do you think makes a good photographer?
I’d say someone who moves throughout the world with curiosity, humbleness, and confidence in their own take on things.
What was the last image that affected you?
An image Avedon took in the ’60s of civil rights protests. In the image protesters stand outside of a skating rink holding signs that say, “Put down hate and let’s skate”.
What do you think about when taking photos?
One of my favourite things about making pictures is that when I’m at my best I’m actually not thinking at all – my analytical brain shuts off and I fall into the role of full observer, I’m more in tune with my senses, and I’m absorbed by what’s in front of me, the present moment.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Georgia O’Keeffe. If she was still alive I’d love to exchange letters and drawings and photographs with her.
What’s the one image or moment that you wish you’d had a camera to capture?
The other night I was at the beach right as the sun was setting and smoke from the Santa Clarita fires lit up the sun like a neon grapefruit.
What qualities in a person are most important to you?
Heart of gold. Funny as hell. Loyal and kind. Brave.
What do you love to do when you are not taking photos?
Dancing, painting, swimming in the ocean and cooking dinners for friends.
What is your latest fascination?
I’ve been reading a lot about the effects meditation has on brain function. I try and meditate at least once a day. Often the days I need to the most are when I’m the busiest and it’s hard to slip away, but even five minutes does my body and brain a lot of good.
What do you wish you could make disappear?
Systemic racism would be a good place to start.
What makes you laugh?
Silly dance moves, funny faces, and made-up accents.
What do you have in your sights?
I’m getting ready for a road trip up the coast. It’s been over 38 degrees in Los Angeles, so I’m plotting my escape until cooler weather returns. I’m also in the beginning phase of a book I’m working on about kids living in the east fjords of Iceland.