Tuesday, 14 August 2012

PEOPLE | Malia James

As if looking back through the misty haze of memory, Malia James seizes the precious moments of life, love and music.

Los Angeles based photographer, director and musician; Malia James is a capturer of moments, nature and the natural. Her photos and films are of those snippets in time, those emotions, those smiles you could never fully recreate. The stolen kisses and out of frame looks.

As well as a photographer Malia crafts in the medium of film, creating short sequences, music videos and documenting bands and events on the road. A third string to her bow, which is also a clear passion and influence in all her work, is her music where she is a member of the Dum Dum Girls. “Each of my loves- music, photography, and directing- speak to my needs as an artist in different ways. Music is such an incredible release and nothing compares to the exchange of energy with an audience,” she said.

Her relationship with the camera blossomed at age nine on a trip to Los Angeles and Disneyland with her grandfather. “I shot something like 15 rolls of film and I remember the photos being very advanced for my age. You could see I was observing the world around me- even at that age,” she said. 
Although not defined as fashion photographer, Malia’s style of creating warm, nostalgic images is one to be admired. Her skill of creating an intimacy with fragments of time is much to be desired in fashion editorial. Malia said: “For me it is, in any way, capturing a moment or a mood. Some photos take you to a time and a place- something very specific. Other times, it's more of a feeling.

“Paul Jasmin once said to me ‘Just shoot your life. Document it all.’” She continued. “I think that was the best advice anyone ever gave me. Shoot and keep shooting. Capture your life because it's always passing you by and it'll never be the same as it is now. Worry about whether people like it later on.”

The 31-year-old, Texas born snapper takes further inspiration from photographers such as Joel Sternfeld, Gregory Crewdson, Larry Clark, Phillip Lorca D-Corcia. The themes are enhanced by the comfort of nostalgic familiarity. “Photography has also been my way of collecting the memories of my life, which are my most treasured possession,” she said.

Malia is regarded highly in the market and, having worked with the photographer, Stylist Saffron Hunt said: “She is a great photographer who sees almost everything in the same way as me, creating evocative images with stunning simplicity.”

Malia’s 2012 is packed full of photo, film and band commitments with Dum Dum Girls playing the festivals this summer and her current work in progress which are a series of short films for the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Further in the future, her plans are to: “Direct films, publish photo books, create album covers, tour the world, write music, fall in love, make a few babies, buy a house near water, travel as much as possible.” Blissful.

To keep up to date with Malia James’s work visit: http://maliajames.com/