Negine Jasmine is a photographer living in the suburban deserts of Phoenix, Arizona. When she isn’t dreaming up eccentric photo shoots or snapping photographs of her friends, Negine is probably quoting the little dancing man in Twin Peaks or practicing music for her latest music endeavor, Deepest Cherry. When it comes to her photographs, there is a tangible world of bright color, mystery and a hint of exposed loneliness.
Where do you tend to find your creative inspiration?
I feel like I am in a constant state of inspiration. I find it in big things and in little things; through people’s gestures, scenes from movies, colorful diners, subtle lights, natural light, other artists, music, etc. I absolutely love playing with colors and creating a photo that is satisfying to look at. Also, I have an obsession for bright colorful buildings/homes. I strongly believe that everyone needs to live in funky looking houses, life would be so much cooler that way.
Does living in Phoenix, AZ play a role in your subject matter and locations?
Yeah, definitely. I think everyone’s environment strongly affects the way they perceive their own life. I find myself being at ease when I photograph here, more so than other states or countries. It’s comfortable and natural to me, plus Arizona’s such an amazing place for photography because of the vast variety that comes along with it. I’ve shot photos in dark forests and have obtained the underexposed, eerie look or in sunny deserts to portray another kind of image. You’re never stuck with just one style here. I feel like that goes for most everyone, though.
What’s been your weirdest or favorite photography project yet?
For one of my first projects, I asked a group of people to sit in their individual cars while doing something specific that any ordinary person would do on their alone ride home. For example; talking on the phone, smoking a cigarette, eating an In-n-Out burger, etc. I remember being in the passenger seat, having difficulty with a borrowed turtle lamp in my knees and my large camera around my neck, hardly sure of what I was doing since I wasn’t used to digital photography. I used traffic colored gels and shined it in my subject’s face saying newbie phrases such as “Pretend like I’m not here. Just think about something and drink your coffee.” The whole thing was weird looking back at it now, I would end up in such strange situations just to take someone’s photo for my class project. Photographing my subject became intimate, I think it made me uncomfortable at the time but now it’s one of my favorite parts of photographing people. There’s a great bond that becomes formed during and after the process.
Where are some of the places you have traveled? Do they tend to change the way you look at your surroundings?
I traveled all along the West Coast this summer up to Vancouver, the road trip was a dream. Stopping in places such as Colorful San Francisco, Sweet Portland, Twin Peaks Seattle, and more. Even though I’m more of a frequent traveler, I still become incredibly astounded on every new journey by how much more there is out there than the little life that I’m used to. There are trees out there that beat my existence by two hundred years, it’s crazy! but amazing! Life is so amazing and photography is one of the most important things because everyone needs to keep an eye out for beauty.
If you could take photos of any admirable inspiration of yours, who would it be?
Oh, this is a tough one. David Byrne is the first person who popped into my mind, probably just so I could pick up some dancing tips from the impeccable man. I also think he’d look great in a leopard print suit in front of dozens of neon lit signs. We’d have a good time.