So my first streetstyle photograph in Paris was of an American. Of course. Lana is from Portland. I just couldn’t resist her rocker chic, and then she turned out to be so cool…I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did.
What do you do in Portland?
I’m a graphic designer and photographer.
What kind of photography?
I do a lot of fine art/editorial stuff, and then I work as production assistant for a commercial studio, doing food and sportswear.
Is that what you studied in school?
Well, I’m working, so I didn’t finish school, and I don’t know if I’m going to. I just started doing a lot of freelance graphic design and photography for a local newspaper, and then I started working for this studio, so school is…kind of a pain in the ass.
Did you know that photography was always what you wanted to do?
How old were you when you took your first picture?
Nine. I’ve always been into the arts. My mom is a painter and a florist. It’s just something that drives me crazy–it just bugs me, I can’t stop doing it.
Yeah. And if I can make money doing it…I just can’t imagine working 9 to 5. I have to do something that I’m passionate about.
Makes sense to me. Who are the photographers that you’re passionate about right now?
I like Sarah Moon. Diane Arbus. Aneta Bartos is a huge inspiration to me.
I can feel her emotion [in her pictures]. I like the ambiance–there’s an ethereal darkness to her photos. And her portraits are very bizarre and dark. I like dark, almost Gothic portraiture and landscape. Her scenes draw you in, [they] make you really feel it. But it’s not a happy-go-lucky kind of mood. It’s sinister and dark.
Are you a portrait artist primarily?
I do landscapes and portraits. I make more money doing landscapes, but I really enjoy doing portraits.
How would you define your style in terms of fashion as well as how you are in the world, the kind of person you are?
Bohemian 60s and 70s. I like clashing everything together. I think fashion’s funny, and that people take it too seriously. [I like to] just have fun with it, and not be scared to do weird things, and wear stuff that nobody else is wearing, and just own it.
And then, in terms of your style of being, how would you describe that?
Independent and strong-willed and fearless. Knowing who I am and having confidence in who I am and what I do. Not being a follower, [but] being somebody who sets an example. A leader.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t sell yourself short. At least from a photographer’s standpoint. Don’t sell your work for really cheap, sell it for more, because then people will think that you’re that much better. Also: Good luck is the residue of hard work.
To see Lana’s work, check out her Tumblr.