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    Alexander Coggin

    American photographer Alexander Coggin tells Aserica about his work, his inspirations and future projects.
    Photography by Alexander Coggin, Interview by Isa Prieto.

    IP: Where were you born/grow up? Where do you live now?

    AC: I grew up outside of Philadelphia and I now live in London. In between, I've lived in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Berlin.

    IP: What was your dream as a kid?

    AC: I wanted to be a singer and an actor.

    IP: How did you start taking photos professionally?

    AC: I went to school for theatre and after I graduated became sort of stalled - my creativity was, up until that point, contingent on a script, other actors, a director and venue. And I just didn't have that framework anymore. So I started to shoot as a way to feel like I was creating something on a daily basis. But it took me maybe 3 or 4 years before I considered myself a professional and started taking jobs.

    IP: What inspires you when taking photos?

    AC: People and character. Specificity of space. Light.

    IP: It seems that you reduce people to form and texture, typical of postmodern photography. How would you define your photography?

    AC: I would say that it still has a lot to do with theatre. I really value character, both in the shot and in subjects. I would say my best work is of people, when I can operate as a sort of domestic voyeur.

    IP: What do you consciously look for when you take pictures?

    AC: Consciously: light and how I can augment it with my flash. How I can make something pop and exist in a magically realistic place. Specificity, again, is very important to me.

    IP: How do you approach truth in your photography? Your photographs seem heavily edited, so how do you navigate truth in relation to the saturation of the images.

    AC: I enhance what is already there, but anchor the image in the color and saturation of truth of what it looked like to me at the time.

    IP: Your images are colourful and bright, often using a flash. How do you compose colour? And what do you think the flash adds?

    AC: I try to keep an eye out for things that have a specific tonal worldview, or that exist in their own color world. With my flash, it's important to me to add my presence, to mediate the reality, to show things not how they are but by what they could be.

    IP: How do you feel about digital vs analogue photography?

    AC: I shoot digitally. I've no huge opinion.

    IP: What is your biggest dream for the future right now?

    AC: I'd like to put a lot of focus on travelling and finding people, specific spaces, intimate relationships and complex families to shoot.