This week we meet cool girl: Alexandra Gibbs.
As a photographer and producer, this girl boss will inspire you to chase your passions and take some risks in life.
Besides answering these questions, what are you doing right now?
This is going to sound weird, but I have a bag of corn strapped to my face. I just got my wisdom teeth removed and I’m still trying to get the swelling to go down on my cheeks.
What’s a typical day for you?
I always start my day by making my bed (I highly recommend doing this if you don’t already). I make myself coffee before I go out to get good coffee. If I’m not running around shooting, then I’m editing, brainstorming new projects, working on the website or sending e-mails. Sometimes in the evening I’ll go for a long walk, ride my bike or meet friends for dinner or a drink.
You’re a photographer and a producer. How did you first get into both of these areas?
I took my first photography class when I was fourteen years-old. The minute I developed my first image in a darkroom I just knew that photography was going to be my thing. After college, I moved to New York City where I started part time in the Digital Department at Pier 59 Studios. Then I became full time as the Digital Coordinator and Assistant Manager which then eventually lead me to become their Producer. I did that for about three years while I also freelanced on the side.
Being a creative, it’s sometimes hard to find a career that will support you and also keep you motivated. Has there ever been a moment for you when you’ve second guessed what you do because it might not support you forever?
Absolutely! At one point I considered getting out of photography and going to cosmetology school. I quickly realized that being a photographer had become a huge part of my being and that doing what feeds my soul the most is worth every bit of the struggle. I have always been very determined to make it work.
We have young readers who would like to pursue creative driven jobs. Is there any advice you could give to some who are weary about fully pursuing their dreams due to that unknown feeling of financial stability?
What’s life without a little risk-taking? I’m always concerned about my financial stability but I’m also a firm believer that if you truly love what you’re doing, then you will find a way to make it work for your lifestyle. I’m also not against back-up plans.
Who are you listening to (music wise) right now?
Banks just came out with a new album called The Altar. It’s been on repeat lately.
Is there anyone who influences your work?
Sarah Moon. She doesn’t necessarily influence my work, but she’s definitely someone I look up to and have admired for quite some time.
You happen to shoot for Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior. Would you say you’re specific when it comes to taking on different clients? And if not, how do you choose who to work with and who to not?
I’m not necessarily super specific when taking on new clients. It really depends on the project. Ultimately, I just truly enjoy meeting new people, hearing their story and making whatever or whoever I am shooting look and feel great. The best part about being a photographer, and also a producer, is working with someone to organize and capture their vision. I love collaborating.
Where is the best place your work has taken you?
So far, I’d have to say Hong Kong. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time (or it was the jetlag). I think traveling anywhere and calling it “work” is so surreal. It just makes me feel extremely grateful to be out there sharing the way that I see the world, wherever it may be.
When do you feel most you?
Okay, so I have two answers for this and they are polar opposites…
- When I’m in my cheetah print pajamas at my mom’s house in Nashville, sitting on her reclining sofa cuddled up with all three of the dogs.
- When I’m walking around NYC dressed in all black.
What are the top five essential pieces you think every woman should have in her closet?
The perfect pair of black jeans
- A white button down
- Denim jacket
- Leather jacket
- Ballet flats
There’s a lot of talk about whether or not theres a need for a college degree. Many people believe that it’s more possible to have a successful career without a degree, while others see going to college and having a degree as extremely important. What are your views on it?
I know many photographers who are self-taught and out in the industry killing it. I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way to go. I decided to go to Brooks Institute because the school was known to be very technical and having a strong technical background was really important to me. I will say though, the things that I have learned on set and from being on the back end of a shoot as a producer are things I never could have learned on the internet or in a classroom.
If you could get on a plane right now and go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Any must-haves in your beauty lineup right now?
I love how effortless Glossier products are so my beauty routine consists of their Priming Moisturizer, Skin Tint, Concealer and Boy Brow.
What’s the best advice you’ve received, and have you used it?
Someone once told me that I deserve to be happy. I took that as advice and it has become my daily affirmation.
What keeps you driven to keep doing what you’re doing?
The journey. Whenever I reminisce and think about everything I’ve been through up until now, I get really excited about what’s coming next. It keeps me focused and hungry for more.
What’s one song you know all the words to and could belt out at any given moment?
“At Last” by Etta James. That’s my go-to karaoke song.
How do you feel about the term cool girl?
I feel like you are the only person who thinks I might be one!
Digital or Film? Film.
Denim or Leather? Now that’s just cruel to make me pick just one!
Vintage or Runway? A lil’ bit of both?
Glossy or Matte? Matte.
By Plane or By Car? By Plane.
Single Concert or Festival? Single Concert and preferably acoustic.
Hot or Cold? Cold.
Book or Film? Book.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee.
Night in or Night Out? Night in.
Call or Text? Call.
Eyes or Lips? Eyes.
To Love or Be Loved? To Love.
The States or Abroad? Abroad.