Just before the world seemed to change so suddenly, we had the opportunity to talk to Shadow, a photographer who aims to show the colorful misfits of the nightclub scene in Denver, Colorado. After spending her young adult life immersing herself and fully supporting her peers in the scene she had taken a long break from the fantastical world of Denver at night. When she returned she was aghast at how things had changed, her once punk world full of garage kids seemed to have been muddled with mainstream media. As she delved deeper though, she began to recognize the once vibrant energy she felt when she was young and made it her goal to preserve these moments that she now recognized as precious.
Shadow, what inspires you?
The quest to find the most interesting, beautiful, colorful people possible. If I find them, I’ll never be bored or boring.
What made you start taking photos?
My recent project “Shadows Gather” was started from a whim. One night I decided to go out meet some friends at a popular nightclub called Milk in Denver, I brought along my first Instax Mini camera I had purchased just that week and spent the whole night drinking cocktails and taking photos of everyone I found beautiful at the club.
From the first night… I gave a photo and took a photo. I wanted to keep the photos of everyone I met, so I could remember them… but I also felt that would be highly stingy if I didn’t give them something for their memories in return. So that’s when take a photo, give a photo came to play.
I do remember every interaction that I have with people I photograph. I only take photos of people I think are personally interesting. Sometimes someone will criticize upon first look that a particular subject is “basic”; I remind them that although they aren’t particularly interesting looking or fashion wise that night, I found that person so beautiful that I needed to save that memory. It’s not just about the photos… it’s about the interaction, the party, the doorman, band, performer…. It’s a memory worth saving. If others find it interesting, then all the better. I’m here to entertain and be entertained.
How do you feel about photography today?
We have access to so much great content in the photography world, everyone is a photographer. I love that I’m able to connect with creatives all over the world and share my content to international audience with a few clicks it’s uploaded to Instagram for the world to see.
I’ve found myself drawn to photographers that are lesser known, perhaps because they aren’t shooting for any other purpose besides their passion and love for it.
What’s your go to camera and why?
I have a few Fuji film Insta-x Mini’s, my favorite is the 90 Neo Classic. The Neo classic looks nice, it’s black and it’s the only one that doesn’t look like a toy. My only complaint with the Insta-x instant cameras is the flash. I pair my camera with the lighting my iPhone case in low light situations. Almost all of the photographers I meet try to sway me away from my iPhone trick, but I prefer it. I just have limited space in my dainty little club bag; film, lipsticks, lotion, sanitizer, extra camera and I need to hold my cocktail.
What aspirations do you have for your art?
I’ve been working on my first art show, a solo show at Lane Meyer Project (DEN) in May. I’m still pinching myself that I’ve been given this opportunity. I really just want people to see my photography, whether it be online, in an art gallery or perhaps a purchased piece in a private home or establishment. I want the world to see the beauty I see in Denver and in the nightlife.
What are you aiming to express in your photos?
I’m just out having a good time, hanging out with friends, meeting new people and taking photos. Taking a snapshot of what I would consider the best part of their week. The time they have been looking forward to, that moment where they can be themselves and enjoy their friends, cocktails and socializing. There’s a self-expression that happens only in the nightlife…I’m capturing that.
Thank you for reading!
Go follow @shadows.gather
Photos of Shadow by @davidartdonnell