To Remember You pays homage to the inevitability of forgetfulness and the constant desire to relive the past. This group of images solidify what Alexis remembers as a child growing up in Western Montana: the crisp mountain air, abandoned homesteads, freshly fallen snow, the sound of rushing water, and the rustling of tree branches in the wind. By photographing these places, the images act as visual still from memories, they are representations of favourite moments, the ones she never wants to forget. These images symbolize Alexis' love for the stories, the history, and the landscape of this wondrous place.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Ever since I was young, I’ve always found inspiration in the places and spaces I inhabit. Especially places that hold some of my most cherished or heartbreaking memories. Whenever I feel uninspired I look back on my childhood, where my imagination was endless. In doing this, I always find something that inspires me to create.
Describe one of your most challenging moments shooting.
When I lost all my data on a memory card filled with glamour-sunset shots. I was so devastated, I cried most of the day. I didn’t understand why it happened, one second I had the images and the next they were completely gone. I was so upset that I didn’t shoot anything for a couple of days. As the days progressed I realized my camera malfunction was a sign that I was too invested in taking the photograph instead of being present in the moment. This was a huge awakening for me. I was able to recover the photos later, but the whole lesson I learned is something I remember every time I shoot: live in full awareness without letting the camera hinder you.
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done for a shot?
Walked out in the middle of a frozen lake without knowing how thick the ice was. I really wanted to get the perfect shot. I was able to get the photograph I wanted, but I was worried the whole time that I would fall through. Luckily I didn’t, but it was pretty stupid. I went back to that same lake a couple of months later, and parts of it were still covered in ice. I went out a little on the ice and fell straight through, luckily the water wasn’t too deep.
What keeps you motivated/ excited about life?
I am so motivated by other artists and their fantastic work. I especially find inspiration looking at my friends and their artwork. I am always amazed of their creations as well as their motivation. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by such inspiring artists on a daily basis. Whenever I feel uninspired, I turned to those who I am inspired by and find endless motivation to keep me going.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned since you started photography?
To be patient. Creating your dream body of work does not happen overnight. I used to get these great ideas and think that I could create these bodies of work in a matter of a week. I have learned over my time shooting and studying photography that creating a body of work can take years. There is no limit to the amount of time you want to spend on your own projects.
Describe your favourite part of the world (aside from home) and tell us why.
Southeast Asia. I had the amazing opportunity to work in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a summer. It was one of the best summers of my life. I learned so much about the culture as well as a lot about myself. The food was also a highlight! I was so inspired by the wonderful people I met as well as the gorgeous art I saw throughout my travels. I frequently reminisce on the beautiful memories during my time in Thailand.
Who is one of your favourite people to work with and why?
My best friend, Erin Pustarfi. Whenever I need criticism or help with the sequencing of my images, I always turn to her expertise and guidance. She is a wonderful photographer and an extremely talented human being. She has helped me tremendously in my own work and in my life, by inspiring me to create as well as help me through the process of my projects.
What’s your favourite photo (ever / at the moment) and why?
One of my favorite photographs of all time was taken by David E. Scherman of photographer Lee Miller in Hitler’s bathtub. Around 1945 both Scherman and Miller photographed each other in Hitler’s bathtub while they were documenting his apartment. I’ve always admired Lee Miller and the strength she had as well as the remarkable life she lived. I’ve always found this photo an interesting interpretation of the overthrowing of dictatorship and a visual statement to her own victory over a male-oriented world.
How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who helped others find their creative path. I believe the best thing we can do as artists is share our knowledge with other artists, to hold each other up and to help each other through our artistic creations. I want to be remembered as someone who fostered a community like this.