Arts and culture article for Dazed and Confused. Skills: Journalism
Lindsay Usich's photography was born out a childhood spent writing and sketching with her twin sister in Miami. Starting by experimenting with polaroids, Usich quickly fell in love with 35mm film and has shunned digital photography ever since. Although she took some formal photography training as a teenager, she found the sterility of the course stifling and has mostly taught herself during her travels around the world, using her intuition to decide what would work and what wouldn't.
Now at 26, she lives in New York where she spends most her time painting and working on a fledgling jewellery line, after nearly burning all her fingers off learning metal work. The photos on her blog, Born From The Dirt, are an accumulation and result of her travels across the map in recent years as well as intimate moments that she finds beautiful in her everyday life.
Dazed Digital: Describe yourself in one sentence?
Lindsay Usich: Irrationally devoted, situational, subjective, and a complete romantic.
DD: Your work is quite eclectic. How do you decide what to take pictures of?
Lindsay Usich: I don't start out with a concrete idea in mind, although some photos are set up a bit. I begin with a loose aesthetic, the rest is organic. Most of the past year has been split between New York and Los Angeles and these images are a microcosm of the experiences and emotions produced there. The ineffable is translated on a smaller scale so what you are seeing is a layer and a pause.
DD: Your twin sister features heavily in the pictures, what is it about her that you find so inspiring?
Lindsay Usich: For me, the mise–en–scène frequently includes myself or my sister, Ashley. My photography is dictated almost exclusively by mood and I am too impatient to wait for another time, another inspiration. I find her to be the best subject and there is no better moment than the one we are in. I am able to use her image and interchange it with mine which I feel is a luxury. This may be considered complete narcissism, but one can always go a step further.
DD: A lot of your work mixes femininity with a darker edge, e.g the flowers shot at night. What is the meaning behind these pictures?
Lindsay Usich: Femininity and romanticism often go hand in hand with darker, more macabre elements- this is especially true in my everyday life. I do attempt to balance and lend a delicate feeling to what could become dissolute through the softness of say, flowers- even though the reality may be far from. I know the story behind every photo, but that is for the viewer to interpret on their own.
DD: There are also lots of pictures taken at dusk and of sunsets. What is it about this time of day that you like best?
Lindsay Usich: I tend to be repetitive when I am passionate or fascinated with one thing. I've always found the fragility of dawn and dusk to be a cynosure of beauty and elegance. The harsh, hard light of midday is absolutely not appealing to me. Beyond that I'm very nocturnal and primarily am active from from sunset to sunrise.
DD: If you could say one thing to the world through your photography, what would you want it to be?
Lindsay Usich: It would be too easy to say it's a dialectic against digital film. But the eloquence is in the graininess, the unseen details, and what is left for you to imagine.
DD: What is your favourite photo out of the collection and why?
Lindsay Usich: Because each image has been spawned from a true and personal existence, I am constantly refining and redefining my favorite. But I'll know once I'm done.