Catch Up with Chelsee Ivan
CUS: Has your location changed since we interviewed you back in 2011? If so, tell us where you are currently situated.
Chelsee Ivan: It has, in early 2012 I moved from Calgary to Toronto and have been here ever since.
CUS: Has this change in location had an affect on your photographic practice?
CI: Oh absolutely, in Alberta I had a vehicle and finding/ getting to an amazing location was incredibly simple. My first year in Toronto I really struggled with the loss of that and shot less. I really don’t like many outdoor spaces in the city in terms of locations, so I’ve had to keep a log in my brain of locations. Friends’ apartments and backyards, parks and alleyways.
CUS: How, in general, has your photographic practice changed since you were last on CUS?
CI: In Alberta, I had the space to be much further from my subjects. I often worked with small figures in the huge landscapes. Now, I've moved closer, focussing on more intimate detail-based images.
CUS: What is your favorite subject to shoot?
CI: People, light, details and colour. And especially when all of those things come together.
CUS: Which camera do you enjoy shooting with the most?
CI: 35 mm point and shoots, currently I’m shooting with a Contax T2. And of course, my iPhone.
CUS: In 2011 you said your favorite photographer was Glen Erler. Is this still true today?
CI: He is definitely still one of my favourites, I’ve been looking a lot to Wolfgang Tillmans for inspiration these days.
CUS: How did studying photography at a post-secondary institution have an influence on your work?
CI: I learned how to work and collaborate with others and it also helped me learn how to take criticism.
CUS: Describe your average day.
CI: I leave the house soon after I get out of bed, I’ll run an errand or take my work to a coffee shop. I’ll come home, make my bed, do my dishes, shower and then I’ll go for a walk. When I get home I’ll work on photo-related projects and make dinner. In the evenings I’ll either chill out or socialize.
CUS: Your dream location to shoot?
CI: I think I could make some nice photographs in Greenland, Iceland and Sweden. In the more realistic future I’d love to travel to the east coast of Canada, or the more northern parts of Manitoba.
CUS: What are your plans for spring? Can you tell us about any news or projects you are currently working on?
CI: I’ve been working on a series of portraits and fruits for a publication and I’m very excited to share them. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to travel to France and Italy in a couple of months, I’m excited to have some new environments to shoot in.
CUS: Do you have any advice for your fellow up-and-coming photographers?
CI: Just keep doing what you do and do it often. Look to other photographers for inspiration but try not to veer towards the trending styles if that’s not you. Trends will pass.