From super beachy shoots to magical bohemian stories, Los Angeles based photog Bryan Rodner Carr has shot numerous lookbooks for some of our fave Cali based brands and boutiques. If you frequent T.C.H., you’ve most likely seen a number of his beautiful work. We got the chance for a mini one-on-one interview sesssh, where he talked about his inspiration, how he got his start, his local fave food joints, and more. Peep below:
Q: There’s definitely a sense of free-spirited, California vibe in your photography work which we absolutely adore. How would you describe your style of photography? Where do you find inspiration?
Ahhhh thank you, I think my style actually varies quite a bit and sometimes can be hard to pin down just based on what type of shoot I’m doing. When you are working with clients, you are kind of a filter through which you bring their style and vision to life. I’ve shot for a ton of LA brands and companies so a lot of my work has those free spirit Cali vibes, which I really love. I think my own personal aesthetic is a bit darker and more real life almost documentary.
As for where I find inspiration, it’s literally everywhere. From the music I listen too, the movies I watch and the places I travel. I’m always taking photos in my head whether I have a camera or not. As I’m driving or walking around I’m always looking at perspectives, lines and light on structures. DTLA has some of the most amazing light and reflected light in the city, it’s beautiful. I also really love studying others work whether it’s in magazines or books. I think taking in as much as you can is good thing.
“I’m always taking photos in my head whether I have a camera or not.”
Q: We’re curious to know how it all began – how did you get your start in photography?
Honestly, I think it can be dated back to my parents getting a divorce, oddly enough, and the boxes of family photos that were divided up. I just remembered my father really wanting to keep all the photographs, I was pretty young but I think that’s when it occurred to me how important it is to document, record and freeze moments of our lives. At some point my dad gave me his 35mm pentax and I started shooting, once I got to highschool classes were offered and it’s just always been a part of who I am.
“I just remembered my father really wanting to keep all the photographs, I was pretty young but I think that’s when it occurred to me how important it is to document, record and freeze moments of our lives”
Q: You’re based out of LA – are there certain things in the city that has influenced you? What makes LA a special place for you?
I grew up in Kansas City, went to college in Chicago and have lived in LA for 10 years now. I get to travel quite a bit and every town I visit is like a blank canvas, I get really excited about exploring and shooting new places. Having said that there is nowhere like LA, the light is just different here. There is a David Lynch quote I really adore about this,
“I love Los Angeles. I know a lot of people go there and they see just a huge sprawl of sameness. But when you’re there for a while, you realize that each section has its own mood. The golden age of cinema is still alive there, in the smell of jasmine at night and the beautiful weather. And the light is inspiring and energizing. Even with smog, there’s something about that light that’s not harsh, but bright and smooth. It fills me with the feeling that all possibilities are available. I don’t know why. It’s different from the light in other places. The light in Philadelphia, even in the summer, is not nearly as bright. It was the light that brought everybody to L.A. to make films in the early days. It’s still a beautiful place.”
Q: Do you have a favorite shoot that comes to mind from all of the shoots you’ve done?
Well the first shoot I ever did for Mate the Label really stands out, I met my wife that day 🙂
Q: What was the craziest thing that’s happened on set? That you’re willing to share of course…
Idk if this is “crazy” but on a recent shoot in Kauai, we were all over the island and it was just pouring rain the entire time. At one point the rain became relentless, we were stuck on a muddy hill with no traction and the car sliding down towards a river. There were a lot of emotions happening but luckily a local came to our rescue and towed us out. The model and crew were amazingly optimistic and everything worked out wonderfully in the end.
Q: Film or digital?
I shoot both and love both but there is nothing like film.
Q: 5 things to pack for a shoot:
about 5 cameras
a good hat
and I’ve started packing a change of clothes since I was drenched by a huge wave a few months back on a shoot
Q: 5 tunes currently on replay:
I’m bad with actual song titles but here are some albums I’ve got on repeat
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face
Blood Orange – Freetown Squad
Calvin Love – Superfuture
James Supercave – Better Strange
and anything Drake or Michael McDonald
Q: 5 LA food joints you recommend:
This is tough cause I have so many, I’ll keep it just to my immediate neighborhood of Silverlake:
Night + Market Song – Street Thai (get the pork toro)
Pine & Crane – Taiwanese (the shrimp wontons)
Sopressata/Ohana Poke – sandwiches and poke bowls/burritos (all of it)
Bowery Bungalow – Mediterranean (that lamb sammy tho)
Las Glorias – Mexican (Shrimp Tostada)
I started a new TRAVEL section on my website where I’ll be posting 35mm film from places I visit.