Behind the scenes with photographer Chantal Anderson

With a background in journalism, Chantal Anderson has a knack for telling a story. The self-professed sun worshipper headed south from her home in Seattle years ago and landed in Los Angeles. Her career began taking photos all over the world for the BBC and other news outlets. Today Chantal’s client list includes such mega brands as Nike, Google, Need Supply, Urban Outfitters and Warner Bros. She’s also working on her first book. We have a thing for rad women doing cool things so we had to find out more.

 

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PHOTOGRAPHY? I grew up in a small town on the Puget Sound outside of Seattle, Washington. My father is part Swedish and part Tlingit Haida, and when I was little he would be gone for months at a time fishing in the Bering Sea. My mother, sister and I would take photos and record VHS videos to send to him every couple weeks. In high school I had access to a darkroom, and became obsessed with experimenting with printing styles and tinkering with aesthetic. Today I still have a similar sentimentality with images, and in a way the documentation of my life for my dad continued into adulthood.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS? Everywhere I look. There are things like lipstick on a porcelain teacup in the morning, freckles on my lover’s cheekbones, sunlight through my dusty L.A. bedroom window. But I also am inspired by things I can’t see: outer space, music, the wind.