When we asked Southern Californian photographer, Jaden Byrd, to describe herself in five words, she went with "reclusive, curious, polymathic, supportive, and compassionate."

Now, we don't know Jaden on a personal level, but those character traits are clearly present in her photography. The best photographers do that. They pull from their own experiences to present something unique.

Check out our brief interview with Jaden below, and be sure to head over to her website to find out more about this up-and-coming photographer.


What's the most challenging piece you've ever created?

The most challenging piece I've created would probably be a short film I created, it's called A Summary of: Twenty Sixteen and it was a majorly stop motion film made in under two hours. It circulated around the physical objects and prominent memories I gained in the year 2016. I worked on it alone, and not only is stop motion extremely challenging by yourself, some of the more emotional shots were hard to capture.

If you were in a band, what kind of music would you play?

Probably shitty music. I play a little guitar, and a little piano but totally not well. I really like jazz, so maybe some shitty jazz.

When was the last time you tried something new?

Just a few days ago I started working with using outside variables around a lens to create diffusion and some blockage around the background of the subject. I like it, It's amazing to see what you can do with the most obscure objects.

What's the most provocative piece you've ever created?

One time I took some photos of an ex, shirtless on a bed, easily the most provocative piece that I can actually publicly share.

If a movie was made about your life, what actor/actress would play you and what would the film be called?

If a movie were made about my life, I'd want Chantal Goya to play me, and I'd hope for it to be called Byrd. Because I have a cool last name.

What are the top two compliments you hear from people about yourself?

The two most common compliments I receive, are normally along the lines of, 'I love your hair' or 'I love your photography, what kind of camera do you use/what filter do you use?' Both are ironic because I hate my common haircut and I don't use filters.

What inspires you?

Silent films inspire me, I think being able to share a story without a spoken language is a powerful skill. Body language, composition and directing are all so important in silent filmmaking. Photography ranging from the 40's-90's really inspires me. I think it's interesting to find similarities in old photographers, considering history repeats itself photos do too, however, everyone has their own take on things, and with stylistic differences, you're bound to get a unique product. My family inspires me, my artistic friends inspire me, love and heartbreak inspires me.

What is your most valuable skill?

I'd say my most valuable skill is my ability to learn. I'm constantly wanting to know more. Whether the subject pertains to a medium I'm working with, or an artist I've been looking up to I'm ready to learn as much about it as I can. It goes for anything in my life, I'm a fan of both psychology and science so knowledge in both those backgrounds helps compose/brainstorm deeper work.

What's the best piece you've ever created?

Now the 'best' piece I've ever created I'll leave to public opinion, however, the one I'm most proud of is a portrait I took of my ex-boyfriend. It was from a day I spent with him, and some friends of mine whom I'm no longer friends with. The photo really brings out his freckles, his blue eyes, and it's in really nice contrast with the sunset behind him.

Any advice for new artists?

I get a lot of questions about the cameras I use, and although knowing technicals can be fun it's not important to create a good photo. I use what I use because it's what I have, not because anyone else I know has it. You should focus on learning the technicalities of photos, playing with composition, with lighting, with editing, before you go out trying to spend big bucks on a camera you won't understand! Sure, expensive equipment is fun but if you don't know what you're doing it's such a waste!

What is a movie moment that completely transformed you?

I'm a movie junkie, so answering this is so hard considering there's an abundance of scenes that have high importance to me. It's a Wonderful Life is all around an extremely influential movie to me. I've grown up watching it around the holidays, and each year it became more and more important with suicide and depression being a more personal topic for me. The scene where James Stewart's character, George Bailey, is begging to live again is amongst the most important in the entire movie. Not only does it tie together the plot of the movie, but it's touching to me to watch an actual display of suicidal attempts and regret.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your life?

I'd consider the highlight of my life, would probably be meeting my best friend Lucas. He's someone who has both motivated me creatively, and generally. He's constantly pushing me to be the best version of myself, giving me input on my work, and positively influencing the majority of decisions I make in my life.

What makes you smile?

My Mom, My grandma, my friends, nature, hairless cats, and dogs.

Lastly, what are you currently working on?

Right now I'm working on an ongoing project circulating around the house I grew up in and the people that lived there. I've had the project in the works for about a year and a half, and I have no clue when I'll be finishing it. I'd also like to start a portrait series soon.