LA-based photographer and visual artist Raven Trammell
Raven Trammell is an LA-based photographer and visual artist with a fascinating and compelling back story. She uses photography to tell stories and weave narratives. Her work combines photography with special effects. The first piece “Weathering The Storm” from her forthcoming collection The Art of Finesse is now on OpenSea.
How did you get started in Photography?
I bought my first camera from a garage sale when I was about 10-11 years old. My Abuelo actually pulled it out during my last trip home. It was really wild to see! He also had some of my first photographs as well. In High School, I gravitated more towards videography. Then my sophomore year of college is when I picked photography back up and haven’t stopped shooting since.
Since then, how has your work evolved?
I actually started taking photos at a restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI. Documenting behind the scenes of the chefs and what went into making the Thai-inspired street food, Katoi was cooking up. But I document everything.
I had a head injury in college that really affected my memory. Taking photos was a way for me to revisit some of those memories. When I moved to LA in 2015 is when I really got involved in live music photography. The thing about live music photography is it’s so fast-paced.
You’ve got the artist performing, lights that you may have to adjust for, other people in the pit, there’s a lot going on. You usually get to stay in the pit for the first 3 songs to get your shots and then you’re out. That helped me to get used to my camera very quickly. From live music, I progressed to portraits and have been doing more of that as of late.
What are you focusing on these days?
I am focusing on the different stories I want to tell and what the best way to do that is. I am a biracial, queer, androgynous woman, taking up space in places, I was told, I wouldn’t be. I want my art to speak to the kids who are like me.
I want my art to motivate them to pursue their own career with their art. I’m working on a project that I haven’t announced yet or anything but am the most excited about these pieces and this particular story. They’re very special to me.
You are always supportive of your fellow artists. Talk about the sense of community that exists in the NFT community.
The NFT community was one of the first spaces I’ve seen people actively supporting other artists. It’s pretty special. As artists, we tell ourselves that we don’t need others to validate us and our work, which is true to a certain extent. But deep down we all appreciate when others are also enjoying what we’re creating. So if I can help by retweeting or commenting with some encouraging words, I’m all over it.
Can you talk about your creative process?
My process varies from project to project. But most of the time, it starts with some idea in the shower haha. Preparedness is a constant variable among projects though. Whether it’s creating mood boards or zoom calls with clients, I do a lot to make sure the details are right when it comes to photo sessions.
When did you start creating NFTs?
I started creating NFTs in Feb of 2021. I’m still very new to space and learning every day. I’m really enjoying the journey. I did a significant deep dive when I first entered, creating a photographic novel and minting work literally every day.
I’ve pulled back since then and have become more intentional with the work I’m minting. I genuinely see myself creating within the NFT space for the next 15-20 years. I want to be the biggest photographer in Crypto Art and don’t plan on stopping until I am.
How is being an NFT photographer different from, say, for example, a 3d animator?
The 3D animations are absolutely incredible. I am blown away by a lot of artists in the space. I wasn’t even aware of some of the art that was being created. It’s all so inspiring because it’s so amazing but also intimidating. For a while, I wasn’t sure if photography would be welcomed within the space. That feeling is starting to go away now though. At the end of the day, we’re all artists.
Are you considering exploring other mediums?
Oh yes, definitely. I have a background in video editing as well. That’s actually my day job, Freelance video editing for Hearst Media.
In my genesis piece on Opensea, Weathering The Storm, I incorporated some animation and sound design to create an AR experience within the photographic print paired to the NFT, which I am really proud of. But I love the thought of creating worlds and landscapes using 3D software like Cinema 4D and Blender. I think down the line, my curiosity will get me into that software to explore more.