Shapes

BLACK AND WHITE KICK: A Q&A WITH MEREDITH ADELAIDE

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Meredith Adelaide is a model, photographer, musician, and all around talented person based out of our humble little city of Portland, OR. Her name might sound familiar to you because she has photographed and modeled for us on several occasions (including our Unif PDX pop up lookbook and photographing on our most viewed lookbooks, Double Vision). We sat her down and picked her brain for all the things we’ve been longing to know and what makes her so awesome! Read below:

NAME: Meredith Adelaide
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon
FAVORITE BREED OF CAT: Savannah (for those who don’t know, click here)

You’re one of those amazing rarities – a jack of all trades – how did you first get into modeling and photography?

Thanks for your words. I picked up photography when I was thirteen as a hobby. I used to photograph myself for my boyfriends and blog at the time, and then I started shooting my friends under the ever-so-inticing business name, Glamour Shots by Mer. They were not glamourous, but I had business cards. Everything was always 50% off, but I never charged anyone.

Modeling is something I had always wanted to do when I was younger, but at the time I gave in to pressures of my peers telling me I couldn’t (even though my mom was always supportive and for it). I think I just wanted to feel pretty to my friends back then, but I waited until I moved to Portland years later to see if I could go anywhere with it as an art form. I’m glad I did. I feel like I would be a completely different person had I started young–I would have had a completely different mindset and I probably would be much more insecure today.

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One of your strong suits in photography is the editing – our lookbook that you shot, Double Vision, was one of the first times we really got to see you play around with images like that – what led you to branching out into new forms of editing?

I get really bored seeing the same looks all the time. I think that part of being a good photographer is knowing what to edit and paying attention to all the details. For Double Vision, I wanted to try editing in a way I had never done before (as I do all new projects) and because the set up for it was fairly straightforward I aimed to approach the final product as anything but. I need my edits to be seamless in order to feel good about it. I could have spent more time on those photos, but I think that’s true for everything I’ve done.

You said that the ‘Black White Kick’ project was really about finding yourself and your niche – where do you think this will lead you in the future for your modeling and photography?

As a model I’ve gained confidence and new ideas about how I can approach the art. As a photographer, I’m understanding movement a little more.

My intention for both, however, is to begin to work for more and more designers. As of that first collection, I’ve now three clients. Branching out bigger after these in hopes to travel further.

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Where did your inspiration for the project come from?

My closest friends and I were all experiencing the same insecurities and self-doubt at the time, so I decided to experiment with my past hobby of photographing myself. I wanted to learn what I personally needed that I wasn’t getting from my jobs. I wanted a project that had no deadlines and no one else to rely on so there was no stress or restraints. Something for me. I had just rented my first studio and I started opening up to feeling beautiful in front of myself. Black White Kick was a really liberating experience. Therapeutic.
As far as why I chose to shoot in black and white: There’s just something about b&w in my life right now that makes a lot of sense. I can find the mood much easier within myself sans color. I needed to see the shadows and light at face value. Man, it’s a trip modeling and photographing at the same time!

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Do you prefer doing it all yourself or collaborations?

Well, I’ve only done the self-photography work by myself at this point but that’s because I always end up naked one way or another. I’m always into collaborations, though! I can see myself working with light technicians, stylists, and designers prior to shooting, but I plan to photograph myself in private for the time being.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

There’s a man in Brooklyn, New York by the name of Cory McAbee who happened to write/direct/compose/star in my favorite film, The American Astronaut. He’s in a 2-piece band called The Billy Nayer Show that I saw in Portland a few years ago at the Woods before it closed but I didn’t talk to him because I didn’t know what I would say. How do you tell someone you admire their sense of self, ask of their hopes and goals, tell them your own, and see if you would be a good match to collaborate with in a setting where others are vying for their attention? Not my preferred place. Anyway, I really want to be directed by him because I feel he would bring a version of myself out that I haven’t seen yet. I also want to be in a music video for his and/or my own music or just work on something together to see where our brains go. A big ol’ collaboration of multiple art forms. I feel like we’d jive, but who knows?

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What are your favorite types of projects?

Challenges. I love when someone gives me something with boundaries and I have to create within them. I equally appreciate free rein, though, and feel I can successfully match what someone’s going for even if they don’t know what it is yet.

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How do you come up with a concept? What’s your process?

Folders and folders of inspiration photographs and artworks are a part of it. Listening to music makes me visualize moving pictures of which I try to re-create stills from. Sometimes hearing people speak and their inflections gives me ideas that blossom into something bigger. I go through these thoughts and images at the start of a new concept and I begin to hone a singular mood/vision from those. Once I’ve finished shooting the images, editing is what ties everything together.

Is there something you’re working on at the moment that you’re really excited about?

I am actually working on a personal music project with music video concepts. It’s a really, really slow process right now as I’m in another group that’s beginning to tour and I’m waiting for my equipment to arrive, plus I’ve other jobs I’m taking on, but there’s no rush. Stoked about it, though!

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What’s one thing you’re dying to try professionally? Personally?

I am just aching to travel to Iceland to shoot for personal use and to Europe to model. I don’t have contacts or the money right now or else I would go in a heartbeat. Both places are calling my name and I have no idea why–I just know I have to follow the feeling.

All images from Meredith’s project for
Solestruck, called ‘Black White Kick’

Keep an eye out for a special lookbook project coming soon from this talented lady.

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One Comment

  • on December 16th, 2013 - Ryan said:

    Wow great interview. Especially like the 5th image of the shoe/floral knockout. Make more please.

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