Sometimes, dedicating yourself to one single métier is not enough.

L.A.-based photographer, director, and cinematographer Suzanne Strong is a great example of someone with the creativty to tackle multiple lanes. She explores new directions and concepts, adapting the medium to the message and not the other way around.

We caught up with Suzanne to find out more about her current projects and what inspires her.


How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Kind creative spiritual badass artist

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

The short film Tales From The Floating World that I wrote and directed was definitely the most challenging project I've worked on. The amount of time that that goes into 11 minutes of footage is staggering. From weekend scout trips in the desert to casting in the city to writing and re-writing the 4-page script plus all of the post production work, supervising the editor, colour editor, music score, and the sound design team, including folly artists, we spent nearly 6 months creating the film.

What is love?

Love is that moment where time suspends and everything is good and right in the world. Your heart fills up and you are overwhelmed and filled with gratitude by the grace and beauty of it all. Love is also puppies.

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

I would definitely play beat-based music that was laced with secret healing frequencies.

I love hip-hop, future bass, R&B, juke and booty music. I've recently discovered the phenomenon of heart and brain entrainment where one's body will align with specific BPMs and tones. Creating compositions where I blend my favourite kind of music with covert healing sounds is my secret dream musical project. It may actually happen, but don't tell anyone.

When was the last time you tried something new?

I tried Tinder for the first time for about a month last fall. I also recently tried uni. There's no correlation between the two of them except that they're both salty and weird. I'm not down with either.

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

I wouldn't say my work is provocative, but rather falls into a dreamy world of emotive beauty. My favourite kind of beauty is the subtle kind. I am inspired by beauty that sits somewhere in your subconscious that provokes a mood of nostalgia and quiet awe.

I've also realised that I tend to mostly cast and shoot people who are either of mixed race heritages, people who are not white or people with more unusual looks. I am multiracial and I realised that I subconsciously love to shoot people who have not been represented traditionally in the media.

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

I would be played either by a young Sade, Olivia Munn, or an alive and young Elizabeth Taylor or Gene Tierney. Title: Tales From The Floating World, which is also the title of the short I wrote.

Any advice for new artists?

Stay true to your vision and yourself. There is no one else who creates like you do. Be inspired by others, but remember that your vision is the best vision. Keep your dreams in sight and keep working toward it, especially when it seems like they'll never come to fruition. Be persistent, focused, stay true to yourself and take risks. I also suggest listening to the podcast, How I Built This on NPR for amazing inspirational stories of creatives and entrepreneurs.

What inspires you?

Los Angeles inspires me every day! Waking up to sunshine and all of the possibilities here in this city is intoxicating. The light here is totally dreamy for visual work and the people I meet are positive and kind and collaborative. Also: puppies.

What is your most valuable skill?

I am super talented at helping people feel comfortable. I intuitively know what people need. This translates into my work, as I always seem to be able to capture people's essence because they tend to feel at ease with me.

What did you dream about last night?

I dreamed that my house was super messy and I noticed that I had stashed a bunch of open M&M bags on the floor near the stove. When I realised that the open bags would probably draw pests, I started to move them--but suddenly this weird white and black worm thing crawled out from behind the cabinet toward the M&Ms. It was hella gross so I just stared at it. And suddenly it grew legs and was a miniature albino tiger that just walked along near the M&Ms minding his own business. True dream story. I have weird dreams.

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

One of my favorite projects is a collaborative photo essay series and an accompanying short film starring Soko for The Work Magazine (pictured at thetopof this article).

My creative director partner for the piece, Katherine Aplin, and I created a heroine's journey through the photos and film clips. We projected video images of wintry scenes onto her and directed her movements through the highlights of a hero's journey as I shot both stills and video. We worked with Tony Bevilaqca to create an original song composition that we listened to while shooting to inspire Soko's actions and also used the piece in the final video.

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

Having my kids! They are amazing, smart, creative, beautiful little humans.

What makes you smile?

Sunny days, music, art, my friends and family, my Chihuahua, and really good food.

Lastly, what are you currently working on?

Right now, I am coming off shooting a bunch of editorials for The LA Fashion Magazine's spring issue, featuring cover model, Gigi Hadid. I'm now in pre-production for a test shoot that I'm art directing and shooting for a dream client of mine.