Cassidy Turner

Sep 12th, 2017

Cassidy Turner

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Cassidy Turner is a 25 year old photographer from Los Angeles, California. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Photography from Bard College in 2014, she now lives and works in New York.

Tell us about the works that we’re featuring

These photos have culminated over the last few years. Some images are from a larger project while my most recent work has been a result of spontaneous shooting in my day-to-day. I have a small film camera that I carry with me and it lets me feel like I don’t constantly need to be making one specific project. I’m most interested in shooting fluidly and catching moments that unfold without inserting myself too much. I learn the most when I can be a quiet observer – this helps me to create images that feel evocative of some emotion.

Why did you start taking photos?

I’m an extremely sentimental person and have always collected and kept objects that are attached to a memory of mine. When I realized that photography allowed me to document my life and have physical proof of these experiences, I felt like I found an outlet for this nostalgia.

What was the worst reaction you have had to your work?

I once was told by a professor that my work was too romantic, but I’ve learned to embrace it as a positive. I hope to make work that makes people feel something, so I’ve come to terms with this one!

Has your work ever gotten you into a dangerous situation?

When I was a senior in college, I was working on my thesis project in upstate New York. I was shooting by these train tracks next to the Hudson River when this dog started running towards the oncoming train. Luckily I was able to act quickly and grab his collar before he got too close. After I did so, he followed me around for a bit and I managed to take his portrait. In it, he’s wistfully staring out at the water like a human, and looks thankful that I saved his life!

How does social media affect you and your art?

Because Instagram forces you to see what every other person in your field is working on, it’s easy to feel that you aren’t making enough or doing enough. It’s comparative by nature which can be both negative and positive – I do find it amazing that I can open Instagram at any moment and see images made by people all over the world. It makes storytelling effortless and I feel lucky to have access to that. It’s also helpful to have immediate feedback on a picture – I find it really interesting to see what people hit “like” for compared to when they don’t. It’s a solid platform for testing ideas.

How does technology affect your work?

After shooting primarily with film throughout college, I made the jump to digital only because I thought that I had to. When I did this, I noticed that I lost touch with the inherent “magic” quality that I loved about photography in the first place. There’s something really special to me about waiting to get film back and then being surprised by photos that I forgot about or remember in a different way. Alternatively, I’ve found myself grabbing for my iPhone instead of my digital camera when I travel. The immediacy of shooting on a phone almost trumps the “better” quality of the SLR. I don’t mind this – it means that I can move more freely without a heavy camera on my shoulder and it’s becoming harder to tell a difference between the two!