October 17, 2018

Five Questions with Aundre Larrow: Photographer

Brooklyn-based photographer Aundre Larrow got his start when his high school theater teacher gifted him with a Minolta Srt-101 film camera. As a teenager, he honed his skills taking portraits of friends and loved ones. He still shoots portraits—“My work has always pursued the truth that can be found in portraiture,” he says—and today his practice also includes shooting editorial and lifestyle content for clients.

Check out some of the “stories” in pictures on his website. Then come get inspired by him in person when he joins moderator Tanner Christensen on the panel at In/Visible Talks 2019 in January.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“It’s still kind of a mystery to me. But I love it for that reason, always being able to allow it to find me, challenge me, and permit my disorganized chaos and neurosis to meet in the middle and allow me to create. I have embraced it more and more each passing day, but I couldn’t just whip it out on command, you know? I just create when I feel called to or the opportunity to presents itself to me.”

How or where to you find inspiration?

“I firmly believe that the people in my life aren’t there by mistake. Everything they are passionate about, every little story they tell me, goes into a never-ending centrifuge of my ADHD–laden mind where I listen for patterns and humanity and see what stays in my head for days. I always start my creation based on conversations with others, because my work is supposed to be for others.”

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

“Making enough time for myself to be thoughtful and thorough. I get so excited to share and be apart of things, I forget how valuable time is and that I should protect it. So I need to say ‘no’ more to make sure the stuff I am saying ‘yes’ to can be properly fleshed out.”

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

“I believe I am still realizing it. There are times I create something and am in awe of it. Not because I did it, but because this thing went from a nugget of an idea into something real. Every time I do, I am reminded of a quote from musician Jon Foreman about creation: ‘Experience is all I have. I equate songwriting with archeology. Every day you dig. You dig into different places within yourself—even finding places that you’ve rarely been. And buried within the soil is song.’ It’s something I will never quite get used to and am unbelievably grateful for. I never really had an epiphany moment. I just keep learning, or at least that’s what I am hoping for.”

What drives you to create?

“I want to do something that makes people stop and listen. If we, as humans, are a ‘we’, like we allege, then the mark of our greatness should be the elevation of many viewpoints. I am just trying to do more of that, to make more things that make it easier to see people beyond ourselves as complex, powerful, and flawed individuals.”

BONUS ROUND: What’s on your current playlist?

“III. Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auernheimer]” by Childish Gambino, “Devil in a New Dress” by Kanye West, “Wants What It Wants (Blackwatch Remix)” by Andrew Belle, “Summer Friends” by Chance the Rapper, “A Comet Appears” by The Shins, and “Pothole” by Tyler, the Creator.