Paige White started her career in 2000 on the streets of San Francisco; photographing portfolios for aspiring models, which led to the opportunity to shoot several different fashion lines for designers in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Her unique and mysterious styling set her apart from the standard bright lights and white backgrounds so often seen in commercial fashion photography. In 2003 she was asked to show her work at the San Francisco FB and she jumped at the chance to showcase her art. The FB gallery show led to multiple exhibits in the San Francisco area. In 2008 Paige relocated to Dallas Texas where she continued to shoot commercial photography but felt limited and so she decided to return to school, wanting to capture and explore her more artistic side. Since then she has been awarded a scholarship at Collin College, invited to be part of a traveling show and has several upcoming exhibits that will showcase her new work.

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I was designing websites for models/actresses in 2000 and they all needed photos for their website. In my ego driving Paige self, I thought, I will go buy a camera and take them myself.. More money for little ole me. So I went out and bought a Nikon F100, having never operated a camera before that, I was really excited to see what I had shot until every roll that I developed came back …Blank. But I persisted, and finally after I made myself somewhat read the manual (something I am not good at) low and behold images started appearing on my film. It was a great day when that happened. My visions of grandeur had begun.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I shoot with two different cameras, a Canon EOS1D and Canon EOS 1D Mark III, they are my children and need constant love and attention. If I don’t have my finger on the trigger they will cry out for me until I do… God help me if I ever have children, I’m not sure who would get fed first.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

It’s strange really, when I’m driving I might see some rundown building or rusty whatever.. and that’s what begins the process in my head.. then the concept .. then the person I want to use for the shot…Most of the time, my vision and final product are not the same… go figure.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, and end up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

I feel the proper answer should be yes, I struggle.. but fortunately or unfortunately, I am selfish, if I don’t get to shoot things that inspire me, I get cranky.. I need that creative outlet, it’s a part of me and I stopped ignoring it some time ago. Yes, I have to pay the bills, and yes, I have to take care of my clients. However, I am no good to them if I’m not feeling creative. That is why they hire me.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, commercial, etc..)?

A few years ago, I would have said portraiture and commercial, but now, I am loving me some conceptual…anything dark, moody, run down, falling apart… that’s what gets my juices flowing these days.

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

I don’t know that my style is unique, its all been done before…ah! Maybe that mine is better? (I’m kidding of course)

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

My grandfather was a mortician for 30 years. He was a huge man, with a huge personality. Their home was attached to the mortuary with empty caskets lining the walls, I would have loved to document his life, his work, the whole embalming process back then, it would have been gory, disgusting and fascinating all at the same time.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

ooOO…well… lets see….right now it would have to be Haiti or Africa, I’m drawn to very sad circumstances, death, destruction and the feeling of hopelessness. But that could change from hour to hour.

what’s your post production process?

Ahh, you want trade secrets! I’m a Photoshop/illustrator junkie… there, I said it..

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

I’m easy and don’t ask for much… maybe a Hasselblad with a digital back? Yummy!

Who are your favorite shooters and why?

I’m in love with Gregory Crewdson. His large elaborate cinematic scenes inspire me. How he brings his images to life and the story he allows us to create in our head is exhilarating.

What has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

I would have to say I have a few, the first being that I was hired by a large clothing manufacturer in San Francisco to shoot their line which was a huge break… that turned into a 6 year gig. However, my most exciting moment was when I got a phone call from Microsoft, I was like… “I finally made it”. I was jumping all over my office yelling “OMG OMG OMG…!”

editors note: I asked Paige to elaborate on this because I knew you’d wanna know and here’s what she said: “Microsoft called me to cover the NBA All Star Games – shooting the staff and the players when they would come for interviews, it was very exciting…after completing that gig – I have been asked to work for them during the Super Bowl next year..:) Of course I said YES!”

Which shooter would you like to see interviewed by next?

Byrd Williams IV – what a story he has to tell, Four generations of photographers. He is an amazing man and inspiring teacher.

What’s the soundtrack to your life (or …your favorite music to listen to while editing)?

I need something upbeat yet a little funky.. I love hard house, house, hard soul, trash disco. Anything from the 70’s helps me edit for hours …I can listen to Rappers Delight over and over and over again…

What’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

Dive bars, sushi and Thai restaurants – not necessarily in that order. It’s different here in Dallas, in San Francisco there were endless possibilities.. in Dallas it isn’t quite as eclectic as I would like, but I still find the occasional fabulous place where I can relax and just hang.

Best chow to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

Chili Cheese Coney, easy on the onions and a Cherry Coke from Sonic… that makes me really cheerful. (It’s the little things).

Your favorite photo by another photographer?

George HurrellSimone Simon” 1936 What an unbelievably talented man he was.

Has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

If anything it has grown, the endless possibilities, the exciting new clients that allow me to be artistic and still get compensated. That’s the icing on the cake. Not to mention going back to school. Being self taught really limited me on my knowledge, but now I’m learning and discovering new ways to shoot and loving every minute of it.

Do you have a favorite / lucky item of clothing, outfit or uniform that you like to wear when shooting an important assignment or project?

I have this really sad pair of slip on tennis shoes by Ed Hardy… I don’t know if they will make it much longer before I have to bury them… I think I’m already in mourning over the thought. I purchased 3 pairs because I knew this day would come, I should really start breaking them in.

What’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

I was born on the cusp…I’m a Libra/Virgo all the way baybie!