Sunday, January 3, 2010

Q&A: Photographer & Artist Angelina Fitzgerald

I first met Ange at a local concert- I think it was my pals the Boys named Sue- at a now-closed bar on Greenville ave. Since then, I've been impressed with not only her photography but all around creative drive and how she brings people together and has so much energy flowing. She's very cool and it's about time everyone knows who she is and what she does!

Q: What got you into photography and what has kept you interested in it?

Ange: I've always been really interested in photography and at school, I studied it (film) but then my Minolta got stolen and I lost interest due to lack of gear and just getting busy with other stuff, like moving to Seattle. I was reunited with (digital) photography when a guy I had a crush on put his camera in my hands on a weekend road trip to Austin... it's been a love affair ever since (with the camera, not the guy)
for me, I shoot to get to the editing process. there's nothing better than a full memory card and a free afternoon with nothing to do but edit my heart out w/ the National radio on Pandora in the background. I adore looking at what I've shot, adjusting it slightly (if necessary - cropping/lightening/darkening is mostly all I do) and then moving on to the next image. I'm totally addicted to the whole post production process and would be the happiest of camera campers if that's all I did every day, all day long.
I love looking at the photos I've taken in the past, and reliving that moment, emotion, energy... that, for me - is the whole point.

Q: What would you say to someone who says that photography is just luck and opinion, that no one person can say what is a good photo or not?

Ange: I guess I would agree that "photography is in some cases just luck and opinion". who said that? you?
I think everyone has their own idea of what a good photograph is, much like any art form - its all subjective.
people have different tastes and that's what makes Art so interesting. it's also fun when you click with someone who has the same taste as you.

Q: What sort of camera and gear do you use and why? Do you have a favourite camera and why?

Ange: I shoot w/ Dex, who is a Canon 5D. mostly because that's what I learned on. Dex has a bunch of cool lenses that I swap out but I'm partial to my 16-35mm wide angle. I just acquired a Yashica-A from some friends who collect vintage camera gear, and this camera I am totally unfamiliar with, know not the first thing about it, but I'm really looking forward to the medium format film photo field trip adventures I plan to have with it.

Q: What is your favourite subject matter and why?

Ange: as far as genre, I like shooting pretty much everyone and anything when it inspires me. lately I've been shooting mostly for hire and it's become work and something I have to get through so I've noticed that I don't have the passion nor desire as often to shoot just for fun when I have the time, probably because I've been kept so busy shooting for other people, I've found that I maybe need to give it a rest for awhile.
I definitely have to be feeling it and when I do, I like street shooting and am not really into having everything all planned out. I sortof fly by the seat of my pants and like to see what happens. I will say that I definitely prefer getting people in my shots most of all. love shooting musicians and bands. and kids. I'm more of an on location than in studio type of shooter.

Q: Do you have any favourite photographers?

Ange: I have so many favorite photographers. take me to the bookstore and I'll make a beeline for the photography section every time.
Sally Mann, William Eggleston & Andreas Gehret are just a few I'm obsessed with at the moment.

Q: what sort of bands/artists do you enjoy? Guilty pleasures, please!

Ange: listening to music is like breathing.
one band that I am enjoying right now, (as I type this even) is the Rogue Wave on Independent Lens.
The Boom Boom Box is my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE local band right now. they are so badass and brilliant. "I take my medicine. I have my uniform on" zomg. I just love them. I love them so much that I'm a little bit intimidated by them and when I saw their show at the doublewide last night for Cha Cha's bday I couldn't bring myself to speak to them or ask them if I could take their photograph. what a nerd, huh?
other musical artists I am really inspired by: Iron & Wine, the entire Garden State soundtrack, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ryan Adams, Nada Surf, The National, Beck, Tegan & Sara, the Decemberists, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Sufjan, the Musettes, the French Kicks and so so so many more. I could go on for many more paragraphs here.

visual artists: I'm a huge fan of Michele Mikesell's work and my daughter Sage Ryan's artwork is ridiculously amazing too. My nephew Jack just turned 8 and he is a really fantastic artist...he has a gift. oh and check out Gigi Bio out of BKLN NY - she does amazing photo collages. Gustav Klimt.

Q: What other artistic pursuits do you have other than photography?

Ange: artistic efforts I'd like to pursue other than photography: I'm looking forward to fine tuning my screen printing skillz. I want to master photo transfer to canvas/wood/fabric. I'd also like to become a fabulous seamstress and make my own clothes. I want to get better at making shooter straps out of recycled bike tire tubes, it's an ongoing merch project for
I want to weld metal. one of my dearest memories is of sitting in my grandfather's workshop and watching him weld together stained glass window panes.

Q: tell us about your relationship with bicycles.

Ange: let's see...what's the deal w/ my relationship with bicycles? I love biking. I wish Dallas had a better relationship with bicycles. I have a personal relationship with Clyde, my ride who is an ultra cool blue cruiser I picked up on Craig's List. He has a bell and a basket. we're uber cool. jealous?
I really would love to see a culture in Dallas that is more bicycle friendly. I lived in Seattle for 5 years and it's very different there.
I really prefer a more urban city, that's more dense, where you can walk most places or bike, where public transportion is the norm.

Q: What sort of plans do you have for the future? Anything fun and
exciting you're working on?

Ange: some of my plans for the future include a photography teaching trip to Laos/Thailand/Cambodia, spending more quality time in Brooklyn and Manhattan with my beautiful daughter, Sage Ryan. and continuing to live/laugh/love/learn in general. my relationships w/ my family and friends are most important to me in life.
I've got 2 shows coming up in December that I'm babbling about to anyone who will listen:
my pal Clint & I throw an art party every December and called COLLISION. this is our 3rd year and we're really excited about our musical guests, the FELONS and the HAPPY BULLETS playing this year. We've also got a fantastic lineup of local artists exhibiting some awesome work to benefit Arts Fighting Cancer. it's Dec 5th, from 7-midnight at Rorschach Gallery @ 518 West Davis (in Oak Cliff near the Bishop Arts District, across the street from Gloria's Restaurant)
Art Conspiracy is turning 5 this year and this is my second year as volunteer wrangler/coordinator. we've got 150 artists coming in to build out their art onsite and then we auction it off on the evening of December 12th at 511 West Commerce, Dallas TX.
I'm SO excited about the amazing line up of music we've got scheduled, including:
The Crash That Took Me
The Boom Boom Box
Telegraph Canyon
it is going to be so rad - last year was a total blast and this year is going to be even better.
more info can be found at benefitting resolana.
I invite anyone who wants to get involved to contact me in order to help out.
we've got lots to do to get the rough warehouse space ready for ArtCon5. we're building a stage and we also need people to help out the night of the event 5pm-midnight. contact for details.
other areas of interest:
I don't watch much television, unless it's some kind of documentary on photography, or the independent film channel.
I used to be addicted to the food channel. I love to cook.
I love going to the movies. LOVE IT. but not the normal kind, mostly art house cinema. indies. sadly, not much time for it recently.
oh, and my friends and I are in a camera gang called "Drive By Shooters" and we used to regularly go to brunch on sundays and then off on photo field trip adventures. we really need to start that up again. I miss it.
I love to read. I wish I had more time to read. I love books. I usually carry a book (sometimes two) w/ me where ever I go, just so I can read if I ever find myself standing in line somewhere. or stranded in traffic. someday I want to own a library or a bookstore.
some of my favorite books:
Kiss My Tiara & Hypocrite in a white poufy dress, both by Susan Jane Gilman; Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman; The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro; Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken; Dude, Where's My Country by Michael Moore; At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard; The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; 3 by Julie Hilden; Pink Slip by Rita Ciresi; Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt; Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel; Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio; Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier; Geek Love by Katherine Dunn; Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll; Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak; Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole; Lucky by Alice Sebold; Dry by Augusten Burroughs; Naked by David Sedaris; Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck; The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides; The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank; Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel; The Sexual Life of Catherine M by Catherine Millet; Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azur Nafisi; The Hours by Michael Cunningham; Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White; The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger; On the Road by Jack Kerouac; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher; The Liar's Club by Mary Karr; The Abortion by Richard Brautigan; The W Effect (Bush's War on Women) edited by Laura Flanders; The Complete Kama Sutra translated by Alain Danielou; Cad, Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor by Rick Marin; Diet for a New America by John Robbins; Henry and June by Anais Nin; Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf; Strip City by Lily Burana; A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers; Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell; SPELLS by Matthew Green; House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski; Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss; Total Yoga by Tara Fraser; Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie; Lyle and the Birthday Party by Bernard Waber; Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney; The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed; At the Cafe Splendid by Terry Denton; How Georgina Drove the Car Very Carefully from Boston to New York by Lucy Bate; Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, Girls Poker Night by Jill A. Davis

other than that, in general, I'm a big fan of bringing people together for a good cause. usually art and live local music are involved.
I'm for hugs.
and no drama.
so in closing, I am all about reading, writing, art, books, films, photography, live alternative music, liberal politics, tarot cards, cooking (the new radio station, KXT 91.7 rocks btw and has changed the quality of life in Dallas so drastically) and promoting a creative and cool camera culture in my community,

please tell your readers to feel free and stop by my website, and contact me for any shooting they might need done...I'm currently booking holiday portraits at a discounted rate and my calender is filling quickly.

also, everyone needs to visit the metropolis for DFW photog nerds RIGHT NOW. it's a little photography blog my my friend Andrea Roberts & I started, Andrea also happens to play bass for the Happy Bullets. She's a photography nerd, I'm a camera gangsta. we make a good team. (rhymes with metropolis) is everything photography, all of the time, we've got scoop on local photo exhibits and shows, national photography news, daily pix chosen from our flickr pool, ( interview every friday w/ a photographer ArtStar, project snapshots, photo field trips and so much more. stay tuned, because we'll be taking it NATIONAL very soon, eventually WORLDWIDE. Do you think they're ready?

Q: Do you have any funny or crazy stories you'd care to share with us?

Ange: ok yes, I do have this funny story but it might be the type of situation where you maybe had to be there to think it's funny?
like, it's hilarious to me but it may not be to anyone else.
but I'll tell it to you anyway.
so my daughter and I were staying in NYC, in the theatre district and it's winter, february, FREEZING COLD. like, you wear tights under your long johns and jeans over that and then a long coat on top of all of it. she was getting rundown and a little bit sick so when she was on break from rehearsals she always wanted to go around the corner to this asian place that had really good hot and sour soup.
so we go in there one day for lunch, and we order and I sit down w/ my spring roll and she goes back up to the counter to get those little crunchy things that go on the top of her soup. only, the thing is... the people working behind the counter CAN NOT for the life of them figure out what she needs. she is trying to explain it and saying "chips? you know, those crunchy things? that go on top of the soup?"
and they aren't understanding her AT ALL and they are holding all these different things up, hoping one of them is right and saying, "what? you need napkin?" "toothpick?" "water?" "cracker?" "cup?" and she keeps saying "no! chips! crunchy? on top of the soup?" and looking over at me helplessly and I'm laughing so hard witnessing all of this that i'm crying.
and I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard.
we still, to this day, laugh about that until we're both crying. it's good. she's so fun. she's my favorite person in the universe.
our dog, Jane Louise, is our 2nd favorite.

Find Ange Fitzgerald using one or more of the following ways:
Ange F. Does Photography
All photos © Ange Fitzgerald