Our feature with second year photographer Heather Reese in Nakid Magazine gives her a platform to talk about her distinct feminist perspective on photographing young women. We got the scoop on what is coming up for this rising talent in photography.
How did you end up getting featured/interviewed by Nakid and what is the series about?
The Editor and Chief , Laura Via emailed me a few months back stating that she had been following my work on Instagram and asked me if I would be interested in shooting a spread for their online publication. She was in the process of launching her first printed publication and was looking for new photographers to join the team. I was so flattered and humbled by her offer. She’s an incredible editor. She saw a potential in my work that I was unable to see myself and she pushed me and challenged me in ways I never thought possible. Nakid Magazine is incredible. They’re always looking for the most controversial and raw topics and imagery to feature and I love to push boundaries. There are so many things in the fashion world that need to change and Nakid Magazine is truly one of the pioneers paving the way. They seek out artist that have strong feminist views and a loud political voice. I’ve now collaborated on four editorials with Laura and will be featured in their print editorial coming out late March.
What have been some of your most fun shoots this year?
Its difficult to say because its been an amazing year and I’ve worked with so many incredible artists. I would say my two most memorable projects were shooting a video for the University of Washington’s athletic department. I was contacted last May by the head coach of the women’s gymnastics team to shoot an inspirational videos for their summer recruitment tour. I spent three days total with the team, following them through their day to day routine as well as classes, practices and competition. It was such an incredible experience and made me realize that I had a true passion for video. Second most memorable project was a video I shot for Nakid Magazine featuring a feminist poem a great of friend of mine and myself wrote last November.
If you were to describe your photo style in two words, what would it be?
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
I am looking forward to working with Molly Goddard and UNIF, two incredible fashion designers out of London. Molly Goddard was named in the top 5 designers to watch for 2016. I love everything about both brands. I have been extremely selective with the artists I am choosing to align myself with in my career and it has been a dream of mine to work with both designers for some time.
I will also be featured on Dazed in March of this year. I’m shooting an editorial with three models in LA. It’s a series called Ethnically Ambiguous on women who are read as racially ambiguous and the concept of the power of “3” which has been a huge part of my conceptual vision lately due to my three sisters who have been the biggest sources of support throughout my career. The photos will be 100% edit free.
In the sports world, I will again be shooting the UW Women’s Gymnastic team recruitment video, as well as videos for the Huskies football team. Sports videos are something I really love and enjoy working on. Beginning in July I will be working on a few music videos with some incredible artists in Seattle that I am really looking forward to as well.
My biggest projects however will be starting in late June. I will be working on a few grant projects that will be featured on Nakid Magazine and various art exhibits. This work is opening me up to a whole new world of photography. Especially in the fashion world I think its so easy to get caught up in the superficial side of things. I have to constantly remind myself of where I came from and what inspired me to create art in the first place. I will be working on three, year-long projects, one which follows seven individuals who are either preparing to go though the process of gender confirming surgery, or individuals who are going through the process of gender transitioning but are choosing to not undergo surgery as a part of that process. I am exploring ideas of gender and speaking out against this idea that male and female are the only two identifiers for humans. The series will feature environmental nude images of the individuals pre and post surgery.
My second year long project will follow seven refugee women who have created political art to voice their disagreement in regards to the treatment of women in their home countries, and for this reason have been sentenced to death and forced to leave their homes and everyone they love. The project will feature a series of nude images of each women with projections of their art displayed on their bodies, as well as a series of images focusing on their day-to-day lives and the cultural aspects of their upbringing that they continue to practice.
Tell us some other places your work has been featured.
I have been featured in Nakid Magazine, Sticks and Stones Agency, Grunge and Art Magazine, Zephyr Magazine, Lula (April 2016), Nylon (April 2016), Zeum Magazine, Bricks Magazine, and Heroin (April 2016)
You can view Heather Reese’s portfolio at heatherreesephotography.com.