Artist Takeover: Hattie Watson

This week’s StandardVision artist takeover on the SVLA1 screen at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles features work by Hattie Watson. Watson is the latest of many artists to be invited to take over a two week-long recurring 15-second spot to showcase their work to the public.

We had a chance to ask Watson a few questions, learning about her process and move from in front of the lens to behind it.

Where are you originally from?
Southeast Texas

What prompted your move from model to photographer?
I’ve always taken photos since I was young and was even in Photojournalism in high school. It’s something that just has always been a part of my life, I just never realized I could have a career doing it.

How does that influence the work with your subjects/models?
I think modeling has taught me how to interact with strangers and friends better. Learning to get them to be relaxed and more comfortable with themselves. The two go hand in hand. It’s great to have a view from in front of the camera and applying it to being behind it.

Why portraiture?
Portraits just came naturally. Why does anyone do portrait work? Because you like to try and capture who someone is or even the emotion you are wanting. I do editorial as well though.

Who and/or what influences your photographic style?
Film Noir, Saul Leiter, Peter Lindbergh, Elizaveta Porodina, Man Ray, so many things

Your series “Flight” feels more nostalgic and longing than your portrait work. Your career as a model must take you away a lot – would you say that it influence your photography?
It was definitely a part of it. I was flying a lot and really love the topographical scenes I was seeing. I wish I could do more of it actually because it’s something I really love and being able to see the world from above.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re excited about?
I’ve been working on a series of man. It’s been all kept under wraps really and will probably be something that won’t be seen a lot until way later. I’ve also been looking into the idea of working with mixed medias or collaborating with painters or illustrators.

What advice do you have for people who are just getting started with photography?
Stay strong. It’s a very saturated world of photographers. You have to be a hustler and business minded to make it successful financially. It’s not easy at all but if you are determined and driven it can happen. Try to focus on seeing things the way you wouldn’t normally see them. Embrace the weird and obscure. Be uncomfortable and it’s okay, we all hate our work and never feel like we are good enough. It’s part of being an artist.

You can catch Watson’s work on the SVLA1 screen through June 18 as well as on her Instagram here.