Samatha West - Woman of Bliss And Mischief
When we feel comfortable, we’re allowed to be ourselves. Our shoulders drop, we smile wider, and we get closer to the authentic connections that were all craving.
Looking at these images of photographer Samantha West I’d like to think it was our cozy new sweats that brought this level of ease to life but, in fact, it’s a natural abundance of comfort that she’s been honing for many years (but, hey, the sweats didn’t hurt either!)
We asked her to get on the other side of the lens in our new Studio Sweatshirts and Sweatpants and share her thoughts on knowing thyself, how humor and sincerity can go a long way, and how caring for our future selves can be easily found in the freezer.
What we’re you doing 5-10 years ago before working as a photographer?
I have been shooting professionally for over a decade, but I have worn many hats in the years prior (and during and still do!) From plus size model with Wilhelmina as a teenager, to office administrator, to personal assistant to an infamous jazz musician. Life has many twists and turns, and the winding roads are all part of our personal sagas.
How do you get the best out of your subjects?
Talking to them - Taking time to pause and engage. Even the most different people can find a way to relate to one another outside of their comfort zone when they are given a moment to be themselves, whether through a brief bought of laughter or finding a common connection in a place you’ve both been.
Humor and sincerity are powerful...
What are your most important creative tools?
Imagination, curiosity, desire for knowledge and growth.
Top 3 photography tips for us non-pro’s?
1. Learn to shoot yourself, take self portraits. I really believe that you are your own best subject - learn who you are through shooting - a photo is always a self portrait, after all
2. When behind the camera, don’t expect something of someone you would would not be able to give yourself - whether that is vulnerability, confidence, joy, etc...
3. Pay attention to light, paint with it, it is a never ending gift.
All that matters in the end of the day, is a good eye - Expensive equipment is overrated.
What was the last really great thing you ate or drank?
"On a regular basis - my morning cup of coffee, I truly enjoy my daily rituals.
The last great thing I ate was the soup I made - a big batch of roasted cauliflower, carrots, curry paste, onions, and various spices, blended together with with coconut milk, veggie stock, and fresh cilantro. I love to cook and making things to keep in the freezer for my future self makes me happy!
What’s your best memory in sweatpants?
I never really grew up wearing sweatpants outside of sports at school, however odd that might sound!
Living out West has introduced me to the brave new world of leisurewear, which I am easing myself into…but boy oh boy do, I appreciate the perfect sweatshirt… Don’t even get me started!
Samantha wears our Studio Sweatshirt in Heather Grey and in Bisque, our Studio Sweatpants in Heather Grey, and vintage denim.