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Bailey Rebecca Roberts

Photographer + Director

Los Angeles, CA




Q: What song do you play on repeat?

A: "Eternal Light" by The Free Nationals.

Q: What's the best way to start the day?

A: Bike ride to the beach, flat white, beach walk, and an ocean swim.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?

A: My life changes so much every year that it’s hard to say. That said I’m really looking forward to soaking up time with my loved ones and also I’m looking forward to finishing a solo show I’ve been shooting.

Q: What is the most impactful project you've worked on and why.

A: I don’t think I can really pinpoint just one. Every picture I shoot impacts the next and shapes who I am. I think my real goal is to cultivate a way of being as an artist that leaves people better in its wake. I hope to share inspiration and connection and I aim for that spirit to permeate all my work.

Q: Which art/photo exhibit that you've seen has impacted you the most?

A: I’m always deeply inspired by small exhibitions. I’m amazed by solo artists that have an idea that they bring to life and share with an audience. It takes SO much to pull that off and I have deep respect for that process. That said, if you’re hoping for a specific show - there are two that come to mind. One was an exhibition called Image Gardeners at the McEvoy gallery in San Francisco and the other was a recent curation at the Getty Museum of works from the Kamoinge Workshop.

Q: What mystery do you wish you knew the answer to?

A: Hmmm. Well, I wish I could more fully experience perception. Like I truly think that we are only using a portion of our brains. I wanna light that shit up! I’m so in love with the sensorial experience of being alive but I believe that so much of how we think, feel, see and experience is shaped by what is valued as relevant in our current moment of civilization. I’d be so curious to witness what we could perceive if we weren’t limited by contemporary influences. For instance, an indigenous person in the Amazon is going to have a level of perception that I totally can’t relate to or understand. I think a whole world of mystery would be opened up if we could integrate the nuances of human experiences that are born from different cultures and ways of life. I realize that’s a difficult thing to explain in a small paragraph, but perhaps that’s why I’m interested in photography, it gives me a small excuse to broaden my senses by being open to garnering small insights into the parts of the world that I don’t understand.

Q: What are some things you had to unlearn?

A: Disempowerment and impatience. I think often it can be easy to get stuck in a mindset of frustration when things don’t seem to be going your way. Within the last few years I’ve really internalized a philosophy of accountability - what I give is directly correlated to what I get. That empowers me to understand that I can truly create the life I envision. I realize that my ability to say this comes from a place of extreme privilege; I’m safe, I’m healthy, I have food on the table, I am alive at a moment in history where I’m able to claim space for myself as a woman in society and more specifically in this industry. That said, privilege comes with responsibilities and I really feel that. That responsibility becomes my motivation to keep pushing and building. Even in the face of occasional failure, I am committed to building a life and sharing my voice in an authentic way in hopes of making a positive impact.

Q: What fictional place would you most like to go?

A: Oh man, my fictional place is real, I want to go to New Zealand. I’ve been there before but it reminds me of being home in Hawaii when I was a kid. I’ll know I’ve made it when I can figure out a way to live there.

Q: What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

A: I think something that has really clarified for me recently is priorities. In my 20’s I moved through my life like a shark, I never stopped and I ended up paying the price for that. My gas tank was empty. Now, it’s really clear to me how valuable it is to stay tight with a small core crew and to be very judicious with your time, your company, and your routines.

Q: What book impacted you the most?

A: The Wayfinders by Wade Davis - it discusses the value of indigenous knowledge as an integral part of human existence and really highlights what is at stake as the world turns towards a more homogeneous global society. Truly my favorite book and I would highly recommend everyone read it.

Q: What risks are worth taking?

A: Travel, failure, jumping off cliffs into the ocean.

Q: What do you spend the most time thinking about?

A: Oh man, right now I've been thinking about my career a lot. I've been really navigating striking the balance between building a smart business as a photographer and still staying in touch with my passion and childlike spirit of inspiration. I also think about New Zealand a lot lol.

Q: Best and worst advice you've ever received.

A: Best advice - Slow and steady, it’s all coming to us. Worst advice... hmmm maybe I just ignore that stuff but nothing is coming to mind.

Q: How has your work evolved over the past few years?

A: I think I've really stepped into a phase where I can imbue my work with my spirit. Whether I'm shooting personal or commercial work, I feel like I'm more grounded in my workflow, a clearer vision, clearer leadership, and clearer purpose.

Q: One thing you can't show up to a shoot without - Besides a camera ;)

A: My playlists - Afrobeats, Reggae, Indie, and Folk. A real rollercoaster of vibes.


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