Carrie Worthen is a Los Angeles based graphic designer can turn the most ordinary scene into something special. She was kind enough to take some time out of her day and answer a couple of questions for us!
Read on to find how how she ended up in LA, why majesty overwhelms her, and more about her wanders around parts of the city that people rarely ever see.
Hi Carrie! Please introduce yourself: who are you, what do you do, where do you come from and what’s the one thing in life you can’t live without?
I’m another female Angeleno, a 20+ year California resident who came from “back east” (that’s the LA way of saying anywhere else in the contiguous US—but my origin was Wisconsin). By day I make graphic design things on computers. Cocktail hour is at 6. Walking happens in the morning. Appreciating food occurs at points in between—I would find it impossible to live without (good) food (literally).
You take shots of ordinary scenes around LA, but somehow you make them very special. Can you tell us the secrets behind capturing photos like that (i.e. editing apps?)
I walk. A lot. I know, it’s LA—they don’t do that here. But I do, and I get bored with the same routes so I’m continually finding myself in places I haven’t been before. The things I shoot may seem impossibly quiet and devoid of people but that really is the Los Angeles I experience: a big sprawling, brightly lit place with a lot of space and very few pedestrians. For me I’ve noticed the the only thing that makes a halfway decent photo is time, giving the place/space enough time. It’s a very hard thing to do but so many things in life need just that.
Where are you favorite places to shoot around LA? It seems like you’re out an about a lot, do you plan to go to these sites to shoot photos or do you just happen to be there?
I don’t like majesty. I’m overwhelmed by it, it’s too big, too powerful, too loud, too perfect. LA has plenty of majesty: beaches, mountains, fancy buildings, shiny people. I want the opposite of majesty. I want to look at scenes you wouldn’t normally spend time with. I don’t want to edit, filter or change these things and I don’t set out to discover them—when I have tried I’ve failed spectacularly.
Can you tell us a little more about thirdthing.com?
My partner Ben Pope and I have been doing graphic design, web development and branding work as Thirdthing for 17 years. We’ve done a bunch of fine art photography book design projects (Taschen, AMMO Books) and websites for photographers which means I spend my time thinking about the photographer’s voice, photo editing and photography in general. Being around so much photography may have unconsciously sucked me into mobile photography and now has set me on this course of trying to find my own photographic voice in other formats.