After a year of contributing her eye for photography to our in-house editorials, we sat down with Aysia Stieb to talk about her role within our brand and some of her favorite moments on the West Coast. Aside from her words, we rummaged through our archives to highlight a selection of photos that defines the empathy of Stieb’s work. Traveling state lines from San Francisco to Las Vegas with just the request of a brewed coffee, Aysia has established herself as a photographer that bleeds caffeine and passion. Breaking in deeper, her humorous personality reflects most portraits she can be found in and her adventurous spirit as an optimist. On-boarding as the youngest of the bunch, it’s hard to believe that she can rival the experience that charters our staff but she has, indeed—and brilliantly so. Having photographed editorials thousands of miles away from our home, Stieb now joins us in the East to continue her work and perfect her life’s goal.
Read our full conversation below:
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
AS: Let’s see… I’m a California girl, a young photographer, and a coffee-enthusiast. Currently, I’m student in Baltimore at Maryland Institute College of Art where I’ll be studying photography and all other forms of art for the next four years. I’ll say I’m a freelance photographer, but at this age I’m really just trying to discover how I like to spend my time and therefore how it ascertains my future. I have dreams of owning a coffee shop or two based out of San Francisco, living with both an English and French bulldog near Ocean Beach, and photographing editorials for my favorite lifestyle magazines. All of my aspirations as well as current infatuations are what influence my daily life thus my photographic work.
How would you describe your wardrobe?
AS: Always comfortable and appropriate, men’s workwear and Americana-inspired, with all the right amount of girly hints. Yes, I have a great love for men’s clothing. I love the simplicity of each base article, but then individualized by small detail, quality, and how it’s styled. I like incorporating that into my style; wearing certain signature pieces of clothing like cropped trousers, a neckerchief, or hat, that is varied each day by the detail and way I style it with more girly items like patent leather shoes or a dress. I always mix random thrift store pieces which I sometimes alter by dying or cutting, with quality classics that will last me a lifetime.
Tell us about an editorial you will never forget.
AS: There are too many good times associated with all things I shoot for TIC! Traveling is always memorable and shooting on the beach is something I always come back to. But one I will never forget is shooting the band Portugal. the Man in shirts from The Cuff Shop. I’ve been the biggest fan of Portugal. the Man for a very long time, but the singer and lead guitarist John and I began to talk a little over a year ago always ranting about men’s clothing and jeans. One of the many times they came through San Francisco we decided to meet up and do a small shoot at a coffee shop near the venue The Independent and at Alamo Square Park, with a beautiful view of the city. The shoot was very easy-going, but the entire fact that I was able to chill with and photograph one of my longtime favorite bands is honestly like a dream come true.
In your work, there’s many captivating landscapes that you include. How do you find these locations?
AS: They’re my home! The majority of the locations I shoot at are surrounding my Northern California home, all within an hour drive. I live right below beautiful mountains completely covered in vineyards and just minutes away from the Russian River or beach. It’s also a short drive directly into San Francisco, which holds some of the most beautiful landscapes in the midst of a large city. Other landscapes are taken while traveling down to Southern California during the summertime, either on a spontaneous road trip with my friends or the annual trip to Coachella. I’m incredibly lucky to call such an inspiring and diverse place my home.
As a photographer, is there anyone else’s work that you admire?
AS: I always find new photographers every week whose work I admire, in addition to the classics. Usually they are current working photographers who are doing what I want to do, so I always find inspiration in their lifestyle as well as work. But right now I’m really into Jody Rogac, Wolfgang Tillmans, Seishi Shirakawa, Stephen Shore, Merlene Marino, and always Man Ray and Lee Miller. Also, I’m currently surrounded by so many magnificent artists all the time while at art school, it’s easy to find a fellow peer whose work I really admire.
What are your thoughts on the use of film in today’s digital era?
AS: I believe as a photographer, one must know how to thoroughly use both film and digital. I love film for certain reasons and digital for others, it’s all about what’s preferred for the process of making pictures, rather than what the end product is. When working, certain processes and aesthetics may require film, while others might work better with digital. I wouldn’t say they are interchangeable, but definitely necessary to know how to utilize both. Personally, I love both. I shoot digital for most of my freelance work to get a quicker final product that can be put through multiple platforms easier. I shoot a ton of film for personal work and documenting my life. I love shooting with instant film in my Polaroid land camera, it feels almost like a combo of film and digital because you get such a quick picture that is still candid with uncertainty.
An variety of Stieb’s work can be sought below:
Note: All photographs in this feature may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the proper citation of Two Inch Cuffs.
Be the first to share your thoughts by using the form below.