Issue One Feature: Caiti Borruso | Photographer

Issue One - October 17th 2012

Caiti Borruso

Who am I?
     “I am a photographer currently living in Brooklyn, NY and studying photography at Pratt Institute. I am obsessed with photography and cameras and I am quiet and I am passionate almost to a fault. I never know how to answer this question.
     I am a girl in love with people, with people-watching and people listening and sometimes, most of the time, I forget to participate because I’m too busy absorbing. I think people think I’m disinterested or bored or feel left out but I honestly don’t. For a very long time I thought I would be a writer (and a lawyer) but I think I’m happy that neither one of those worked out. I am a morning person. I love mornings and I love morning light, so much more so than evening light, and gray days with the smell of rain and right now I’m wearing fuzzy socks.”

     “I don’t think my inspiration is something concrete. It’s pretty fluid. I mean, I’ve been inspired by a lot of things. There’s a sort of long-running series I have, called “home,” and that’s influenced by personal things going on in my life and obviously I left for college in August, which has been a big stressor in my life for the past two years. I have a couple of series I’m drafting up right now and they were both inspired by phrases I heard in my digital cinema class. I’m really excited for them – I just have to find time to shoot in between all of my schoolwork.
     Since I arrived at college I’ve also been going to a lot of museums and being inspired by that – I feel like every time I go to a museum I feel really inspired and influenced and only think about that for a few days and it definitely influences what I do. I write down a lot. I saw Taryn Simon’s exhibit at the MoMA and then heard her lecture at Pratt, and I found that to be really inspiring and helpful. Rineke Dijkstra’s lecture was also incredibly inspiring.
There’s also a group of photographers on Flickr I really admire – Alexis Mire, Mike Bailey-Gates, Tara Niami (who also goes to Pratt!), Lauren Randolph, Valerie Chiang, Sandy Honig, Parker Fitzgerald, Patrick Joust, there are so so many. And of course the masters, I really like Arbus and Elliott Erwitt and Ansel Adams and there are just so many. I always forget when I have to make lists or say things on the spot. I feel like I grew up with a lot of the photographers on Flickr – even if I was perhaps on the outskirts of that large group, everyone was just there at the same time and it was really influential and I feel grateful to be part of the generation that I am.
     Books are also a really big part of me, reading is so important and I always feel this great big rush of inspiration after reading a really good book. And just getting out there – going for a walk with a camera, it’s so important to just go out with no set plan sometimes and notice things, because you become numb really quickly to comfortable environments and stop seeing the beautiful things. As far as human beings, my mother is inspiring simply because she doesn’t give a damn and she’s strong even though she doesn’t think she is. She rarely lets me photograph her.“

Why are you so passionate about photography?
“God, that’s a hard question. I love it. When I talk about it, I get so excited that I start saying six or seven things at once and try to explain everything all at once and I get so into it that people get intimidated or confused and someone asks me one simple question and I could talk for an hour. It’s the one thing that makes me feel like myself. I’m not a very outgoing person, but I find it so much easier to be outgoing or to talk to strangers when I have a camera with me. I feel like myself. Photography just makes me feel so at ease, it lessens my anxiety and it makes me feel confident and purposeful the way most things don’t. Why? Because it’s tangible. “

Do you plan photoshoots?
“Yes and no. I have a notebook full of lists and ideas, and I have another notebook dedicated to writing. I mostly plan out fashion shoots or series, but I don’t normally plan out self portraits or portraits. I write down the names of people I want to photograph. When I feel comfortable, I ask if I can photograph them, and we walk or go somewhere and I just take photos. That’s pretty simple. My process is just in my head. I write everything down. I scrawl everything down, and no one can ever read my handwriting. And then I sketch out really awful rudimentary sketches that no one understands, and I bring the notebook along on a shoot if I sketched it out and wrote everything down, and then I forget about it halfway through and just kind of go on instinct and that’s basically it. If I feel like I need to shoot self-portraits, I grab my tripod and go out and shoot self-portraits and that’s it. “

Where do you want your photography to take you?
“I want to photograph people, and I want to be happy. Other than that, I have no idea yet. “

Follow INK & ARROWS:    twitter // instagram // tumblr // facebook // issuu