Sita Kaylin’s photographs are at once eerie and erotic, sensual and spooky. She most often sets her gaze on the female form, creating surreal portraiture where instead of relying on Photoshop, she manipulates the camera itself to haunting effect. Her projection series (including “untitled,” above) takes this physical process a step further, with Kaylin slipping out under the veil of dusk, projecting her works onto industrial sites and abandoned spaces, creating entirely new images, moods, and meanings.
What is your earliest memory of realizing that you wanted to take photos and/or that you connected to photography as an art form?
i started taking pictures when i was maybe 8. in fact, all of my childhood pictures were taken by me. i have always loved photography and then just before high school i became obsessed with fashion photography. when i was 14 my mom got a nice 35mm camera and i would trip around taking abstract images of buildings, anything that caught my eye. i was always pulled to angles and off center.
How did you go about learning your way around a camera?
mostly i’m self-taught. i bought my first professional digital camera from a friend and he gave me a quick lesson. he was very knowledgeable and had a great, practical way of explaining depth and exposure.
What is your go-to camera and/or set-up and why?
i use my canon 5D as my test (really, it’s my light meter) and then i shoot with a manipulated holga.
Do you have a preference between film and digital, and if so – why?
i prefer film. i make more unique, one-of-a-kind images with film.
What do you hope to express, share, or do with your photography?
i really just love making interesting and beautiful images. i like adding to environments.
Who is a photographer that inspires you – living or dead – and why?
i like chas ray krider’s work. it’s sexy and has a dark tenor.
Can you describe a time someone has expressed to you that they’ve been affected by or connected to your work (and link to the photo, if possible)?
i don’t want to sound like an ass, but i have been lucky in that my work has been extremely well-received and loved. i am praised quite a bit. i’m just happy that people enjoy my work. (i also have a horrible memory.)
What is one nugget of advice you’d give to someone interested in pursuing photography, whether as a passion or profession?
shoot what you love and think outside the box.
Please link to one of your favorite photographs (i.e. one you’ve taken) and share the story behind it.
angela’s bear is from my first series using a holga. the series was inspired by the words of mark ryden. i wanted to create beautiful and eerie photographs like his paintings. none of the effects were done in post.
All photographs by Sita Kaylin