“Photography started off as a hobby. I began shooting seriously a little more than a decade ago, when my then girlfriend encouraged me to pursue it after discovering some old pictures I took.

She became a muse of sorts and our relationship allowed my creativity to flourish.

I’ve collected around 50 cameras over the years. Some I’ve found while traveling, others at thrift stores. I’m drawn to their antiquity. There’s a lot of information — history, experiences, wisdom — stored in these objects over time, and that’s what resonates with me.”

“These pieces represent what’s lasted over the years, because I can part with anything at any time.

A few months ago, I gave one of my cameras to a woman who was interviewing me. She said she’d always wanted something similar, so I told her to keep it.”

“This belonged to my grandfather. He’d use it to take family photos. My mother gave it to me after he passed away.”

“In order to create the most moving images, I can’t be told what to do. Otherwise, anxiety will creep in, and once it’s there, my whole process is thrown off.”

“Old 35mm cameras like this are gods to me. When I take pictures with them, some sort of magic happens.”

“An old lover gave me this. The camera is Russian, and she is, too. My autobiography title should be Lovers and Old Cameras.”

“I shot the photos for my most recent show, about polo horses, on this camera. I gravitated to photographing the animals after taking up the sport. The images represent a new direction for my work; before this exhibition, I was doing a lot of portraits and still lives.”

“There’s an artistic screw within everybody, and people should have the right to express themselves however they want. If that means someone can post images on Instagram and call himself a photographer, who cares?”


Photography byBramble Trionfo

As told to Anthony Rotunno

Tasya van Ree is an artist and photographer based in Los Angeles.

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