Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Blake Little moved to Los Angeles in 1982 after graduating with a photography degree from Seattle’s Central College and became part of the vibrant 1980’s LA Art Scene. His outstanding artist portrait series, which included David Hockney, John Baldessari and Ed Rusha, lead to commercial assignments in the entertainment industry and began his career.
Now based in Los Angeles, he is best known for his ability to intimately capture the energy and personality of his subjects. His skills as a portrait photographer have garnered him a reputation as a favorite amongst celebrities, international publications, and corporate clients, having worked with Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Cruise, Aaron Eckhart, Marcia Cross, Colin Powell, Kevin Spacey. k.d. lang, 50 Cent, Iggy Pop, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, and Jane Lynch among many others.
To explore the idea of “Preservation” Blake captures individuals of varying ages, backgrounds, and body types covered in gallons of honey. “The honey has a way of diffusing the personal qualities of the subject often making them unrecognizable and democratizing the individual with universal iconic qualities”, Blake describes. Visit his website www.blakelittle.com for more of his works and don’t miss out the interview below. You can purchase his book here.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am a artist / photographer with a focus on people, humanity and the human figure.
Whom do you look up to?
Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Nadav Kander. All their work has been a big influence.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
I had a shoot with Tom Cruise early in my career. That shoot was a milestone that launched of my career.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
Artists, both historic and contemporary especially those that do figurative work.
How did your photographic career start?
I started doing portraits of artists and nudes when I first moved to Los Angeles. Those portfolios led to work in the entertainment industry.
What made you want to become a photographer?
I was studing science at the University of Washington but despite my success I had no real passion for it. I switched majors to Communicaton and then dropped out to enroll in photography school. Once I was in photo school, I knew I had found passion.
What was your favourite project and why?
Preservation is my favorite project because it is new and it brings together all my experience and skills to culminate in one project.
How do you define creativity?
Creativity is the combination of elements put together in a way to make something new.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Follow your gut and your heart without compromise. Take the time to understand what you need to say and refine your point of view.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
Perception. Sometime you can feel limited by how you are perceived or what you have done in the past
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Believing in your vision and point of view will always leads to the best outcome In the end.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion of photography?
I could say world peace, but world peace is problably not a realistic possibility but I would trade for that.
All images © Blake Little