“I am an artist-photographer,” writes Alessa Grande in her artist bio. Hailing from Salzburg, Germany, she found inspiration to enter the world of photography from her father. After borrowing his camera, she became hooked on the craft. Since that time, she’s been working tirelessly to explore the creative possibilities that come from standing behind her artistic tool.
We’re bringing you something a little different with this artist interview. We felt Grande’s vision should not only be seen but also heard. The timing wasn’t quite right to get her on Inside the Photographer’s Mind (The Phoblographer’s Official podcast), so we came up with a happy medium. Below is a 14-minute interview we created remotely (thank you, internet)! We encourage you to watch to get a deeper understanding of who Alessa Grande is, what she does, and why she’s exhibiting her series, Vulva.
However, if you’d prefer to read, scroll down to enjoy an overview of what she had to say.
Who Is Alessa Grande?
“Alessa Grande for me is for me is a space where I can create totally free and without any limitations,” says Grande. She’s open about the fact that Alessa Grande is her artist name and that Alexandra is her given name. The Phoblographer loves it when photographers step into an alias: somewhat of an alter ego that allows them to create visions and stories, that maybe their everyday persona could not.
What Inspires Alessa Grande to Shoot?
“It’s easy because photography is my biggest passion,” Grande explains. She says the most important element of photography for her is that she can interact with other human beings. Grande enjoys the analytical aspect of portrait photography. She sees and analyzes how other humans behave and aims to understand them.
Alessa Grande on Not Worrying About the Perfect Shot
If you look online, you’ll notice an almost unhealthy obsession with getting super sharp, clean-looking images. However, it’s doing the artform a disservice to suggest that all that qualifies as good photography is sharp photos. Grande understands this and admits she loves imperfections. When asked why clean, sharp images were not her goal, she said, “The most important thing for me is the moment…” She’s more concerned about documenting natural flowing moments, and even if it’s not super sharp, for her, “it’s the perfect shot.”
On Being the Photographer and the Model
Grande is no stranger to being in front of the camera. She became a model to help understand how it felt. Grande had spent so much time photographing others, and she wanted to understand what it meant to be in their position. However, she admits she prefers being behind the camera because she can have more control over the artistic narrative being created.
In 2020, spending a lot of time on her own due to the pandemic, she created nude self-portraits. At first, she was scared to share the pictures, but she learned to accept herself and love herself. She hopes other people see the work and are inspired to accept and love themselves. “We are perfect creatures, even if society says something different,” Grande tells me.
What Else to Expect from the Video
Throughout the rest of the interview, Alessa Grande talks us through her project, Sisterhood. She explains the premise of the series was to remove all competition and have women come together to uplift and support each other.
We also discuss her up and coming exhibition, Vulva. The project involved Grande photographing the genitals of both men and women as she explored their powerful energy. Grande also has a few words for those who may find her work shocking and controversial.
It’s a fantastic sit-down interview with an extremely talented voice in the artistic photographic space. We encourage you to make your favorite drink, relax, and hit play on the video.
All images by Alesse Grande. Used with permission.