Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Interview with Gabe Ayala

Gabe Ayala Self Portrait
Hello Gabe! Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?
Hey! Sure. I’m Gabe Ayala, and amongst other things I’m an LA based photographer. I co-run Rolling-Blackouts with my business partner Jonathan and I also serve as editor for TYPE/FACE, my latest project. 

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I have a day-job working as a creative manager for a non-profit, so my day-to-day typically consists of typical office and design stuff. I’m pretty glued to my MacBook, usually with several Adobe applications running. It’s more the nights and weekends that prove interesting, which means I’ve officially joined the adult world.

Describe yourself as a child?

Hmmm. I guess precocious and meticulous are two pretty good adjectives. I’ve been into cameras, film, and photography since Kindergarden. I literally used to keep photo albums of pictures I took that were catalogued to my specifications. My hair was insanely curly, and somehow I was simultaneously outgoing and shy. And surprisingly, I was rather considerate for a child. 

Has much changed now that you are fully grown?
Yes and no. I’ve somehow gotten more particular about some things, while learning to let others go. Looking back, I have a clear history of overanalyzing some pretty easy decisions, but it’s inherent to my character so I’ve learned to accept it. I definitely still have the idealism of my childhood but have allowed myself to be hardened where necessary.
 

How did you get into photography?
As I mentioned earlier, there’s always been this innate desire in me to document what was going on around and provide my own narrative to it. Granted, as a kid the stories I was telling weren’t too complex. There was just something about film that intrigued me. The delayed gratification of it. 

And how would you describe your photographic style?
I like to feel like there are elements of both fashion and reality in my work. I like the idea of absurdly spectacular moments happening in real life. It’s difficult for me to talk about my work in it’s totality, frankly because it’s so all over the place. It’s hard for me to compare images shot at events with studio or more narratively constructed shots. At the end of the day, I go by the Tillmans ideology of an image being an agreement between the photographer and the sitter. In those magic moments, both people connect. That is what I aim for with my work. That inexplicable moment of magic.

I’d love to hear a little about your printed zine ‘TYPE/FACE’? Why did you decide to release your own magazine, and what can my readers expect to find within its pages?
Thanks! It really was a put up or shut up moment for me. I had toyed around with the idea for sometime and was really disinterested in what I was seeing the ‘zine sphere. The production level seemed apathetic and the direction was lacking in choice. I say this in my first letter from the editor, but choosing to start one’s own ‘zine is a pretty pretentious thing to do; and I’m okay with that.
 

I don’t feel that I’m doing anything groundbreaking here, but I’m trying not to dumb it down either. I think people deserve quality visual editorials to be accompanied by witty commentary and interviews. As to what you’ll find; an interesting takes on pretty people. Visual think pieces, is something that came into my head but there’s also some top quality butt. 

Issue 3 is out very soon and the theme is ‘Luxury’. What luxurious finds can we expect to find over 100 pages?
It’s actually 72 pages, but still luxurious none-the-less. We’re actually getting a chance to feature new work by one of my favorites, Darren Black. It’s definitely an honor having him in the mag; the editorial he shot is worth the order alone. The styling in this issue is something to look at, and there's some amazing models featured - some even female.

You photographed Colby Keller and Will Wikle for the new issue. Right? That must have been fun?
Yes, that was definitely electric. We literally banged it our rather quickly, but since the only garment on that shoot was a Zana Bayne harness switching looks wasn’t an issue. They’re both great friends and collaborators of mine individually and when paired together there was just a great comfortability and ease that I haven’t experienced with two models before. The chemistry is clearly evident, and they’re both really funny. So yes, it was fun. And Will has given me some great ideas about part two.
Benjamin Godfre by Gabe Ayala for Marco Marco

As well as those two cheeky chappies you have also photographed model Benjamin Godfre a number of times. What attracts you to the boys you shoot, apart from the obvious?
Working with someone multiple times really requires that you have a special type of chemistry. You have to be able to challenge each other and still maintain trust and comfortability. I’m really attracted to people who are willing to take risks.
Will Wikle by Gabe Ayala for TYPE FACE

If you could photograph anyone of your choice tomorrow for ‘TYPE/FACE’, who would you choose and why?
Shit, that’s hard so I’m gonna cheat and provide a few answers. Rihanna and Cara Delevingne would be a dream pairing for me. Just seeing them interact in social settings is so intoxicating. And as far as male models, shoot, it’s hard picking favorites but my top 3 would be Kacey Carrig, Joshua Brickman, and Edward Wilding. I’m feeling all their looks and energy right now.
Benjamin Godfre by Gabe Ayala for Marco Marco

A guilty pleasure you can’t seem to quit?
Probably Taylor Swift. I legitimately love her. 

A song that makes your heart skip a beat?
Not trying to be puny, but The xx - 'Heart Skipped A Beat'. 

Which flavour of ice cream best describes your personality, and why?
Vanilla with sea salt.

Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question? 
Cheating again. What’s something visually you keep seeing that everyone is doing wrong? Second, when are we getting some of your collage skills in the mag Mr?   

I think the one thing I don't like is when a photographer plays it safe.  Whilst I can appreciate that you have to respect your client's identity when shooting for them I don't really care for someone muting down what makes them so great in the first place to fit into a "safe" (not going to offend anyone) industry standard.  A good example of someone who never compromises on his vision and style is David LaChapelle.  And yes, let's go with issue 5 for my ridiculously fierce debut in 'TYPE/FACE'.

So what happens next?
Everything. Of what, I’m not sure yet aside from Issue 4. 

Thanks Gabe! 

To view more of Gabe Ayala's work click here


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2 comments

  1. Wonderful work. Golden Gods are a knock out. These both men are real jewels. Is this issue available somewhere as hardcopy (printed issue) ? Thank you for returned information. Jacques Stoffels of Belgium (y) <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jacques, if you visit http://typefacemag.com/ you can check on their store to see if the printed issue is still available! Hope this helps. xx

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