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Lauren Kai Quartey; Color Theory

Production / Direction

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

LQ: Well, I guess I identify with the term ‘artist’ because for me everything is perceived as an art form. I try to live my life finding the beauty within everything and taking everyday life experience and interpreting it into something I can eventually put into my art.

Why Photography?

LQ: Originally, my interest was solely becoming a fashion designer so I moved to Los Angeles with the intention of going to college to get a BA in design. I went for two years and then realized that 1. School wasn’t for me. and 2. Photography had more of my interest. I think I fell more in love with the process of photography.. The instant gratification of seeing the results of what I had just worked so hard on. Whereas, in design it’s a way longer/tedious process and patience is KEY!

Do you feel your work has a specific style? If so, how would you describe it and how long did it take to develop?

LQ: I’ve been told my work has a style that allows for it to be differentiated which I’m always happy to hear. When I look at my work, I see this softness that is exhibited in almost all of my work... When developing my style I wouldn’t say that’s what I was going for but somehow my work just turned into that. Which i’m not too mad about I believe the softness is a direct reflection of myself.

What are some goals for your art and photography?

LQ: Hmm, I really enjoy making photo books and working on specific sets that give a feeling/tell a story. I would say I would love to travel and create art to share with the masses that teaches them something and provokes a feeling. Honestly, I would consider this any photographer's ultimate dream.

What makes a smooth and successful shoot?

LQ: Smooth sailing! Lol! I love for everyone I’m working with to feel comfortable and happy. I try not to make shooting feel like it’s a job for anyone that’s involved (unless that’s what is appropriate for the particular shoot). Good music, good conversation, and fun makes a beautiful shoot for me! And of course, being able to connect with my subject but this is usually no problem if the set is comfortable and inviting.

Was there any inspiration behind this specific shoot?

LQ: Often times I’ll get inspired by a photo that I see in a magazine or online but for this shoot first thing that came to mind when looking at model and friend Elaine was to play with color. We spoke about doing a beauty shoot so I figured why not do a story showing how the color spectrum works with her skin tone.

Has your photography and art in general had any influence over your everyday life?

LQ: Yes, of course! As I said before being an artist allows me to interpret things entirely different.  Although, life can be tricky at times I love taking my experience and turning it into art.

Any other mediums other than photography interest you?

LQ: I grew up loving drawing and painting. I used to have an obsession with horses when I was younger so I started drawing them when I was 5 or 6 and the practice turned into a love for drawing in general. Also, used to play violin and dance - I’d love to pick up both again.

If you could describe what the experience of shooting with you is like in three words how would you describe it?

LQ: Effortless, Enjoyable, and … Magical (lol).

Are there any other photographers/artists that inspire you?

LQ: Andy Warhol, Gordon Parks, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh, Yayoi Kusama, Sally Mann, Dorothea Lange, & Mario Sorrenti.

Dream collaborators?

Celine, Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim, Acne, i-D, W, Vogue, and I would love to shoot something with Solange and of course, Frank Ocean… I love, love, love Frank Ocean.

If you could be doing anything after this day what would it be?

LQ: Traveling the world, shooting beautiful photos/making films, and eating amazing food.