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Inside Steven Alan

A Moment With . . . Alice Gao

  • We recently had the opportunity to chat with one of our favorite photographers, Alice Gao. Over the past couple of years, we’ve grown especially fond of her Instagram feed, which she uses to capture the quiet beauty in her everyday life. No matter the subject – whether it’s her morning coffee, flowers from the market, or an afternoon spent at a favorite restaurant, we always enjoy catching a glimpse of it through her eyes.

    Alice and her cat, Avedon

    The last time we checked, you had over 600,000 Instagram followers. We’re sure it’s flattering that so many people are fans of your work, but it must feel a bit strange that so many people are following your every move (at least on Instagram).
    It certainly can feel strange. I try not to think about it too much, but every once in a while I’ll get an offbeat comment or email and I’m like whoa, some people REALLY pay attention. I try not to post anything too personal. Sure, people can get a pretty good idea of my aesthetic tastes, how I enjoy my coffee, and what places I frequent, but it doesn’t go much deeper than that.


    Have you discovered or befriended other photographers through the platform? What are some of your favorite feeds at the moment?
    I have! Some indirectly, but I think the ease of commenting on Instagram has facilitated meeting strangers. I follow many talented folks, but to name just a few, I enjoy the feeds of @bythebrush, @zoosjoos, and @trishates.


    You shoot a variety of subjects, from food to interiors, still life to self-portraits. Which is your favorite?
    Ooh, hard to say. For me, those categories all sort of blend into one. I think of food as still life and interiors as still life. And I even often approach portraits as more of a still life. Being able to portray those categories through my own lens is what’s fun about it.


    Your photos have a beautiful sense of stillness and really capture a specific mood. Who would you say are your artistic influences?
    I think I get inspiration from a variety of artists – from Johannes Vermeer to Edward Hopper to Philip Johnson to the contemporary Gentl & Hyers.


    Your work has taken you all over the world. What were some of the more memorable trips you’ve taken, and is there anyplace you’re dying to go?
    Iceland was particularly memorable. I think my heart nearly burst with excitement from all the beautiful scenery and seeing the Northern Lights. I loved my Hamilton Island trip as well. It was the first time I can remember ever seeing the Milky Way (but I saw it again on a clear night in upstate NY so that’s a much quicker journey, hah). I would love to visit Chefchaouen in Morocco (if you look at @zoosjoos’s stream, you’ll understand why!).


    What are some of your favorite places to take photos in New York?
    I probably take the majority of my photos in my apartment. I love seeing the way the light moves throughout it and knowing when the best pockets of time to shoot are. But for the rest of the time, I enjoy shooting in coffee shops (Cafe OST and Bowery Coffee for example) and my favorite stores (such as Still House and Steven Alan Home ;) ). I also enjoy building facades, particularly in SoHo, though I don’t post that many.


    Are there any photography trends (good or bad) that you’ve been noticing lately?
    Well, I think over-processed photos in general will look dated. And maybe things that are a tad too styled in an unnatural way, but it’s always hard to strike that balance of a perfectly “unstyled” styled photo. So much of photography style is subjective and personal preference, so I’m not entirely sure I have a good answer to this.


    Many thanks to Alice! To see more photos, check out her website, blog, or follow her on Instagram at @alice_gao.

    - Photos courtesy of Alice Gao

    This entry was posted on Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 5:27 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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