T&B EXCLUSIVE: Kodi Lane & The City of Angels
Tea & Biscuits was recently given the great opportunity to chat to 26-year old, LA fashion photographer Kodi Lane. He talks about his inspirations and growing up to give us an insight into the journey that lead him to photography and film…
T&B: Hey Kodi, thanks for taking the time to chat to us! First off, tell us a little bit about yourself…
K L: I grew up in a small town in Canada, and eventually moved to Los Angeles. I never really planned to be a photographer, it just kinda happened. I moved out here thinking I’d start some kind of rock band but I don’t even remember the last time I picked up my guitar. I was led into photography when I was filming a video project with a friend. I was always inspired by fashion. I remember moments from my childhood where I was so mesmerized by the ‘Fashion TV’ channel. It was also the photographs in Vogue that intrigued me- in my younger years I was quite puzzled by them.
T&B: Do you know exactly why they puzzled you; Did you know at the time?
K L: I didn’t really know at the time. I was just like what is going on with these photos? I couldn’t grasp the concept as to why I marvelled at them. Later on I learnt about things like Photoshop, editing and design. It stopped puzzling me as to why those photographs looked different than the things in my photo album.
T&B: You can really see the influences from both the ‘Fashion TV’ channel and the images in Vogue in your work. You seem to be mesmerized by the mystery of the female form…
K L: I definitely think the female form is the most attractive and beautiful thing. No car, architecture, artwork, song, or any man-made thing will ever top it.
T&B: I feel there is this sensuous mystery that is flattering to the female form, which is evident in your work. Tell us, how would you prepare for a photo-shoot?
K L: I don’t really prepare. I just go as I go and do the basics like charge my battery packs, make sure my film is fresh, the lenses are clean, and all my equipment is working and in order.
T&B: So besides women, what else inspires you?
K L: Youth Street Fashion always inspired me, like teen cults and musicians. I like the way they expressed their individuality through style and clothing. Old Sci-Fi and fantasy movies are also on the list of things I got inspiration from, you know like: Mad Max, Dune, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Terminator, and Back to the Future. Especially Terminator, and Back to the Future. You could say that watching movies is one of my favourite past times.
T&B: Are you big on sci-fi and fantasy movies? How would you incorporate these genres influence in your work?
K L: To be honest I’m not really into sci-fi per say, although I do like the clothing in the movies. I am not an alien, spaceships or robot man! I drift more towards the fashion aspects in these movies- mostly the ones that have really inspirational futuristic trends. I like the idea of incorporating them into modern styles. I especially dig 80’s movies and it’s definitely something that has inspired me in the past. I’m sure everyone remembers the hover skateboard, the pump Nikes, and oversized sleeves. Then again, I’m kinda getting over it though. Previously I’ve wanted to start a rock band… I’ve moved on, people change, things grow. It’s always good to keep in mind the things that once fuelled you. I’ll keep them around and I’m sure I’ll make use of them again someday.
T&B: Are there any photographers/artists that you admire? People you look up to and think ‘that’s where I want to be in time to come’?
K L: Not really, usually I see someone who has a good technique, design or formula that I would try to incorporate into my workflow but I’m kind of too busy inspiring myself. I know some talented people and it’s really enjoyable to see what they come up with! I try not to compare myself to them because they don’t have the same ideas as me, or my exact passions. That’s the one reason why I started getting into the arts. I would always think “I want to watch a movie like this”, or wear something like this, or see something like this, or “wouldn’t it be cool if this” and “this” and “this got together and it turned out like this”. I have too many ideas! A thing that would frustrate me is seeing something that wasn’t satisfying. I would then want to change or add to it to make it a little bit different. It was really discomforting to see how something could be better but not having the ability to change it. That was something that encouraged and drove me to where I am now. I thought, “I guess I just have to do it myself” because nobody else did. It was merely for my own enjoyment; I hoped to reach out to others who shared similar interests, tastes and passions. I really enjoy what I do.
T&B: It’s great to be doing something that you love! So what’s next? Is this is it for you? Or are you aiming for world domination?
K L: When I wanted to make music I went and bought a guitar, and plucked the strings every day until I figured out how to play it. Then it was computers, so I played with every key and command until it figured out how it worked. After that I guess I bought a camera and did the same. I’ve always needed a way of expressing myself. As long as I have that, it will draw my future for me. In a way I feel that I’m already exactly where I want to be. I have the things that I always wanted to have and I’m really happy working in the environment I am right now. I don’t really plan where I go next. It’s always been that way, but I can say for sure say that I’m pretty content. As far as I’m concerned I’ve already made is as far as where I want to be in time to come. ‘Hey I’ve already made it!’- I don’t think many young people can say this.
T&B: What would you recommend to these aspiring, young people?
K L: If you take things as they come with confidence, everything will work out eventually. This is probably one reason why I don’t really prepare before a shoot. When it comes to creativity, there is always an element of mystery. Things happen in the moment and you have to be waiting for it. It’s kinda like fishing.
T&B: Awesome! You mentioned you were doing filming projects with a friend before this and it’s eventually what lead you into photography. What kind of things were you guys up to?
K L: It was just a short film, and it was more or less one of my first performances as a cinematographer. It was challenging to work under another director. I like to lead when I have ideas because that way I can finely tune and fix elements that need to be removed.
T&B: We checked out some of your videos on Vimeo and do like the way you’ve edited so that each frame transition runs smoothly into another. You certainly are good with cameras, Any future projects in this field?
K L: I have a lot more Fashion & Film projects planned. There’s so many opportunities, especially since I live in LA. I have one specific project in development right now. I am very excited for it. I’ll be working with some great actors, stylists and models. It’ll be along the lines of ‘very gritty, intimate and emotional,’ I’m looking forward to depicting this adventurous story by means fashion, emotion and beauty. The project should be finished in June, and I’m sensing already that it may get a good response. I’m going to keep a lot of it a secret for now, but at least announce that “Hey I have started working on something and It is epic.” :P