This is my bedroom which I sometimes use as a workspace. Here you see a yellow backdrop which was Maryanna Cassanta’s journal entry that I blew up for a photo project for BULLETT Magazine. Some of my favourite cameras: Cannon A1, Pentax k1000 and my Hasselblad. I was doing major organization of my film where I was labelling them so they’re a little easier to find. I have to go through every single film negative to find specific photos I want to print or put in my photo book. Shooting on film is very complicated! The photo of the wigs and green bubble wrap is an example of crazy things i save to inspire me.
Maya Fuhr is a photographer based in Toronto, Canada. She captures the uninhibited side in her subjects with cinematic depth. Known for her work with VICE, BEAT, TOPSHOP and NYLON JAPAN.
FROM YOUR DESKS: How do you work?
MAYA FUHR: I work as a photographer in fashion, music and documentary. I bring 3 or 4 cameras on each shoot with a chill team and a calm and stress free work environment. Once my film is developed, I spend a lot of time categorizing my negatives or making folders on my laptop desktop. It’s an easy way to select my favourite photographs!
FYD: What is your favorite sentimental object at your workspace and why?
MF: I keep a photo of my Mom and Dad in the 80’s kissing on the beach close to my work space.
I approach it as a conversation through the lens.
FYD: What is your favorite or most required work tool?
MF: My Hasselblad C500 which is being repaired right now 🙁
FYD: When did you start playing around with a camera?
MF: Apparently when I was a little girl. I was shooting a lot with a digi cam in high school but I didn’t get a film camera until I was 17.
FYD: How do you approach photography and your subjects?
MF: I approach it as a conversation through the lens. I like to get to know my subject on the surface before I shoot them, but a photograph captures their soul and freezes the moment at the same time.
FYD: You shot a series entitled Garbage Girls for Vice – is there a method to being this messy or is the mess for artistic display or show?
MF: I certainly don’t think there’s a “method” to being as messy as those girls are. Most of them are artists and just don’t really care about being clean or what people think about them.
A photograph captures their soul and freezes the moment at the same time.
FYD: What seem to be attracted to taking snaps of females and color. What draws you to this?
MF: I definitely have a colour pallet that I like to capture. Pastels, mustard yellow, dusty pink, pale blue, etc. Colours really impact a photograph and add to that warm feeling that you sometimes get when looking at a painting or art in general. I see paintings and photographs as similar art forms, so why not choose pretty colours to help provoke a feeling. I take photos of males, but most of my photos are of girls. I like the female mystique and the ways that we express ourselves with make up or fashion. Most of my ideas come from simply being in a location or scenario, myself. I sort of use models as an interpretation of myself. Girl power!
FYD: What do you love about fashion?
MF: I love that fashion is self-expression. It affects your mood, the way others treat you, standing out or blending in. It’s ever-changing! I am NEVER bored by fashion and if I’m bored with life in general I’ll just put on a crazy outfit or search for a new “fresh” item.
FYD: What films, cinematography or art direction have inspired you?
MF: When I studied film I was really into French New Wave and Italian Cinema. A movie like Le Mempris with Bridgette Bargot is really inspiring in terms of cinematography and colour pallet (very similar to Wes Anderson’s colour choices). I like Woody Allen, Harmony Korine, Spike Jonze and Terrance Mallett and (obviously) Wes Anderson. A couple of movies that really inspire me aesthetically are Pink Flamingo (John Waters), Enter the Void (Gasper Noe), Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders).
I like the female mystique…Girl power!
FYD: If you were curating a show of your favourite photographers, who would you include? Which photos would you include?
MF: I’d have a photo show with works by Guy Bourdin, Sally Mann, Jeurgen Teller, Gregory Crewdson (see below: Untitled (beckoning bus driver), William Eggleston and Cindy Sherman (see below: Untitled No. 122 (Angry Blond) ).
FYD: These days it seems everyone dresses up and walks out the door wanting or expecting to be photographed. Is there any more spontaneity in fashion and appearance anymore?
MF: I don’t really photograph people who give me the impression that they want to be photographed. I kind of do the opposite where I find the person in the room who isn’t obviously fashionable. There’s no spontaneity in something like Fashion Week where everyone is strategically curates their clothing but snapping photos at parties or on the streets is different. I’m lucky because there are a lot of second-hand stores in my neighbourhood like Salvation Army & Value Village- so even if I take a while to get ready and leave the house, I sometimes stop in there and spontaneously purchase something and change my outfit.