Experience

Portfolio: Alexander Coggin

In today’s portfolio meet a graduate of a theater school who took up photography as therapy and likes shooting people from behind.
Alexander Coggin Age 31

Photographer, artist, journalist. Born in American, lives in Berlin. Published his works in Vice, It's Nice That, iGNANT, and other media outlets.

— I actually went to school for theater, which I still make, and photography was always a medium that was born out of therapeutic interests. Coming out of school, I had a hard time channeling my artistic impulses. With theater, you need to have a text, a director, other actors, a stage. It was hard for me to be working on my own when I was trained in such a collaborative medium. So I began taking photos as a way to offset that and it’s become a very important practice for me.

I’m very obsessed with gestures and hands. Anything that indicates character specificity. I also really like shooting spaces that are a class above me. I love seeing the worlds of wealthy people that prioritize surrounding themselves with beauty. A beauty bubble.

I think my style is candid, or at least I hope it comes across that way. 90% of my best shots are just done with my camera and a hand-flash, so taking them always seems really candid, even if they seem very staged in content.

I love seeing the worlds of wealthy people that prioritize surrounding themselves with beauty. A beauty bubble.

I’m a very very shy shooter on the street. Even my best street shots are usually still-life or, if there are people in them, I usually am shooting them from behind. But, in general, I feel that it’s better to take the photos first and then ask the people if it’s ok while showing them the photograph. If you ask for something before you get it, I usually find the image is really dull and has lost its candid nature.

If I take portraits, they are usually of friends and family. People who are trained to remain comfortable even when I pick up my camera.

I'm a very very shy shooter on the street.

I have my camera with me at all times, and I think that that’s really important. If you see something, say something.

What I love most about photography is how something you shoot can look nothing like it is in reality. When you put four corners around visual facts, you change the nature of those facts. It’s a constant experiment.

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