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January 29, 2020

Five Questions with Aundre Larrow: Photographer

Brooklyn-based portrait photographer Aundre Larrow was a fan favorite when he was part of a panel at In/Visible Talks 2019 (watch the video here). For In/Visible Talks 2020, he spoke with us all about “Love and/or Money: How to Keep True to Your Values AND Keep a Roof Over Your Head as a Creative”.

Aundre has spent the last few years shooting editorial and lifestyle content for his clients. He recently shot the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with The North Face, New York Fashion week, and a portrait project about Amendment 4 in Florida.

He says he has always pursued the truth that can be found in portraiture. When we asked him what drives him to create, he told us, “I create to test my limits as a creator and to honor those that entrust me with their story.”

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“It’s one of the few things that feels peaceful to me. It can be made worse with a bad client or a rushed project, but the creative process in itself is so pure. You take all of these wonderful inputs and attempt to meld them with your vision into something new for you. It shows great respect for all your influences and your environment.” 

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

“I never had a come-to-Jesus moment, it was just the only thing that I was both getting paid for and that I didn’t hate. The moment I knew it was probably going to stick was probably when I was working on a gig for a Boston startup called Ministry of Supply. They loved one of my images so much, they used it for their Soho store launch party. It was surreal to walk into a new space that was being christened by a piece of work I made.”

How or where do you find inspiration?

“In others. Through their kindness, their wickedness, their conversation. I trust that the art I create is the result of what the world has given me.”

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

“Tuning out my self-doubt long enough to complete my vision. Or better yet, finding out ways for my self-doubt and unbridled confidence to work in unison to create something balanced. Another struggle for me is when and how to shut down. I find myself constantly in a state of creating, making new contacts or somewhere in between. I don’t know any other way, but this can feel like a maddening hamster wheel of my own creation.”

Who is one of your heroes and why?

“I’ve been thinking a lot about David Foster Wallace recently. He had this graduation speech called ‘This is Water’ that he gave at Kenyon College. I listen to it every few months to try to center myself. The speech is a lovely reminder that sometimes our intelligence won’t save us, but empathy will. This quote always sticks: ‘Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.’” 

Bonus Round: What’s on your current playlist?

“Like It Is by Vince Staples, Sound and Color by the Alabama Shakes, Nikes by Frank Ocean, Toast by Koffee, River by Leon Bridges, We Major by Kanye West, All at Once by Jack Johnson, Fantasy Island by The Shins, Because the Internet by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), and Igor by Tyler the Creator.”