INDIA EARL - 14 QUESTIONS
Today is our first installment of 14 Questions, our new interview series, and who better to kick things off with than India Earl - our favorite Salt Lake City photographer. India's work is fun, intimate, and real. She has a knack for pulling out the best from her subjects. Enjoy the photos and interview below.
Oh man. So much right now. Mostly feeling balanced between my work life and personal life, which is something I havent felt since I started my photography business when I was 16. It's good to be home more, off the road at home with my dogs, gardening most days, camping most weekends, climbing with friends when its warm, and doing more self care. It feels pretty good to have that balance.
Who were you before you picked up a camera? How’d that moment change the course of your life?
I was 14 when I started shooting, so I was a young teenager growing up in a tiny oilfield and farming town in eastern Utah. I had always had my hand in different mediums, mostly drawing and painting. I remember when I was little all I wanted to be when I grew up was either a grocery store cake decorator or a tattoo artist haha. I dont remember the exact moment I picked up a camera and started shooting, but I do remember going out with my mom's little point and shoot camera into our yard and taking pictures of blades of grass, fence posts, my family dog, and setting up a 10 second timer to take a photo of myself. I remember this afternoon sooo vividly and remembering how I couldnt stop taking pictures. I probably walked around our property and horse fields for hours, even shooting with the flash once it got dark. I remember telling myself I didn't know what I was doing but I didn't care (like all 14 year olds do) and I'm so glad that I just kept playing around with it. I had no idea that it would affect my life as much as it has, and I'm so grateful I have photography in my life now and that I get to share it with so many people I care about in so many places I love so much.
We love your style. What motivates you?
I never know how to answer this question without being completely cheesy, but the biggest thing would definitely be the relationships and energy couples have with one another and those who love them. It's one of the coolest things in the world to me that I can get an inside look into people's lives and get to see how much they're loved. I'm forever grateful to be in a career where I'm constantly surrounded by love and happiness and sunsets and cake. I also am super motivated by nature, particularly forests in the mountains, red rock deserts, and any sort of vast landscape. Earth is just so dang cool.
You document a lot of intimate moments and a lot of high energy moments, how do you get that close to your subjects and how to you get them to let their guard down.
I honestly think this mostly comes down to how well I vibe with my couples. When we're on the same page with everything and feeling really present in what we are doing, it makes it easy to capture people just being who they are. I am really hands off when I shoot as well (as much as I can anyways), not giving too much direction to encourage the couple to just chill and be how they normally would be, not some posed version of themselves standing in front of a cool sunset. I am never trying to force any emotion on them and I think that is something that makes people so comfortable, they can just be rather than "pose".
How do you see your life today as opposed to what you envisioned for yourself as a kid?
I mean I still feel like I'm a kid since I'm pretty young, but I never really thought about the future when I was younger, I was very in the moment and didnt think much about the future. Now it is harder to be present at all times like I used to be with so many thoughts and ideas rushing through my head constantly, always working on new things, meeting new people, planning different projects, trying different stuff, exploring stuff I'm unfamiliar with. Everything is moving so fast all the time and I think I'm constantly battling with speeding up and slowing down as a lot of other people do. Not sure if that's what you were really asking, but thats all that came to mind haha.
Who/What is inspiring you right now?
What inspires me and motivates me is pretty closely knit, but as for artists and sources who inspire me I have a few constants :
A Fist Full of Bolts (obviously)
Where do you call home? Does your location play a role in your creativity?
Salt Lake City, Utah. Absolutely! I'm so easily connected to so many incredible locations like the mountains, desert, sand dunes, salt flats, forests, wildflower fields, lakes, and country roads. It's hard not to feel creative and inspired in such a beautiful area like Utah.
Anyone you’ve crossed paths with that made a major impact on you as a photographer?
Absolutely. There's dozens and dozens that come to mind, but I'll just share others in the industry for now.
Jordan Voth, for being one of the most humble people I've ever met.
You and Melanie, for showing me that what other people think really doesn't matter. Do whatever makes you happy.
Amber Mozo, for never letting what she fears so much and has taken so much from her to stop embracing her passions fully.
Wyn Wiley, for having the so much heart and geniune kindness that I didn't know it was possible to give so much of yourself wholeheartedly to others and still feel fulfilled.
Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community or are you more of a lone wolf?
Both to be honest! I like to be on my own for sure in lots of little ways, like disconnecting myself from most social medias as an example. But I feel really passionate about experiencing the creative community in person. People are just weird online, which is why I avoid majority of the community on the internet. But in person is totally different. Participating and teaching at workshops or mentoring feels so electric and is always an inspiring, humbling, draining, and fulfilling experience. I think there's a line everyone needs for themselves as to what is too involved with the community, and once you find your sweet spot, stay there and give all you have while being respectful of others and your own feelings.
What drives you to keep pushing forward?
Having balance in my life. Giving back to others and my community. Being able to have creative and financial freedom. Doing rad stuff with my friends. Camping with my dogs. Definitely my hobbies and the people in my life.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face?
Feeling like enough, and always wanting to give more than I have to give, resulting in lots of burnout and self doubt. Luckily I've found my ways of dealing and coping with these challenges and I've gone through the phases often enough that I can recognize that the feelings are only temporary and that I'm enough and have to take care of myself before I can take care of others.
Are you happy with your work?
Yeah. I am. I love that it's always changing. Looking back at my work from a year ago makes me excited to see how I'll further evolve as an artist and what will change.
Never. I don't make plan B's, I just stick with plan A and ride it out until it works out, usually in an unexpected way.
Working hard on working less for more, having financial freedom to give back to others, having creative freedom to try new things and mediums and feel fulfilled as an artist, and spending more time with my friends and family and dogs doing things I love.