Behind The Shoot: Alexandra Valenti
March 31, 2015

Meet Alexandra, one of the 15 photographers who helped us capture beautiful moments for our spring campaign and commercial. We asked her a few questions about her life as a fashion and lifestyle photographer.

We're obsessed with your work! Where do you find inspiration? 
Well first let me just say, thank you! That’s so nice and humbling to hear! As for your question, I find inspiration mostly in nature. Sky and rock formations, the desert, West Texas, the mountains in California, and so on—it’s all
constantly awe-inspiring.

Where do you feel most at home in your process—being in nature, being in the studio, or being somewhere in between?
I feel most at home in both places. My theory to being creative is about input and output. The input is when you live your life, travel, read, and interact. Then you retreat to your studio and output all you have seen and felt. Once you’ve tapped out of those experiences, you go back out into the world and experience life again. I love being in my studio but I need to be outside, if for nothing else but to go on a run and clear my head.  

Your hand-painted photography is amazing. Can you describe your method?
I get a lot of emails asking me about my process, but it’s not nearly as mysterious as people think—I just paint on a photograph! I think in the age of Photoshop, people are floored you can be so analog about your process. I actually find it far easier and more satisfying to take my time about it.

Austin is a beautiful city to live in. What's your favorite thing about it, especially from an artist's perspective?
What I love about Austin is that so many of my friends are in the creative field: painters, designers, sign painters, furniture makers, stylists. There’s a wonderful sense of community here that I just have never found in any other city I’ve lived in (and I’ve lived in a quite a few places). And that’s what keeps me here.

What are your other interests and hobbies?
I spend a lot of time learning about healthy living—organic foods, cooking, juicing, supplements, and exercise. I run and do yoga and swim in one of the local swimming holes around Austin. I like to be physically active. My life, though, is very much about making art. So there’s a blurred line between work and life. It all blends together.

What artists or photographers inspired you to follow your dreams?
The first few photographers that opened my eyes to the medium were Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, William Klein, and Norman Parkinson. And some of my favorite painters early on were the abstract modernists like Morris Louis, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró. There’s too many to mention but suffice it to say that I knew pretty early in life—around 10 or 11 years old—that I wanted to be an artist and photographer. My father told me that if I woke up every day passionate about my craft, I would be able to make money doing it. And he was right.

Read some more stories and meet the real people from our spring photo shoot in the #SaySomethingGreat section of the blog! If you’d like to learn more about Alexandra, follow her on Instagram at @alexandravalenti.