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Day 19: Creative Portfolio

Acclaimed LA husband and wife photography team Jeremy and Claire Weiss aka Day19 take us through their life in pictures.

“I am a total romantic about everything, but our work is all realism… so romantic induced realism?  Does that make sense?” murmurs Jeremy Weiss from his LA home. Together with wife Claire the duo are known as Day19, and after an early career encounter with Larry Clark, have gone on to embody the inspirational sunny side realism of LA’s music, art, skateboard and film communities. With a portfolio bulging with awesome portraits of David Lynch, Gnarls Barkley, Jason Lee, Devendra Banhart, Pharrell, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, No Age, Slash, and the rest, Day19 have a celebrated following in the City of Angels. It’s one that dips into fine art through to commercial work (from Converse to Def Jam, Elle, Nylon, Swindle, Neon, Intersection to name but a few) and of course friends, family and their personal Polaroid Project.

Dazed Digital: What was the last photo you took?
Day19: The last photo I took was earlier today on a shoot for The Wire UK, I'm guessing you just call it The Wire? Claire and I photographed Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo and about a million other things. He was such an inspiration we were really lucky to get to spend some time and hang with him. He does so much from scoring movies to making art to doing a segment on drawing on the kid's show Yo Gabba Gabba that we know all about now that we have a 15 month old son.

DD: Was there a tipping point when you decided that photography was what you wanted to do?
Day19: I was a pretty late bloomer in that respect. I never even took a photo class until I was 22. I went to college for a bit for Environmental Science but dropped out to pursue a career as a professional snowboarder. I always took photos of friends but didn't realize it's something you could make a career out of. The first photo I ever printed in Photo 1 class was published in a pretty influential music 'zine of the time called Anti-Matter and I got so stoked to see it printed I knew it's what I wanted to do forever. It is still such a great feeling to see your photos in print.

DD: Has your aesthetic changed over the years?
Day19: When I first picked up a camera I was very shy and shot everything from a distance and didn't really get into the middle of the action. I grew up skateboarding in NYC and would carry a camera in my bag all the time. When I learned to print photos I used to carry around a box of 5x7 prints I had shot and would show them to as many people who slightly cared to look (this was way before the internet so that's the only way I could show people photos I made). We were all hanging out one night when someone pointed out this older guy and said he was a famous photographer (it turned out to be Larry Clark) so I went up to him and asked him if he wanted to see some of my pictures. He looked through about 15 or 20 prints without saying anything and handed them back to be and said "get closer" and gave them back to me. That could be taken a bunch of different ways but I always think about it more like you should get to know your subject and you will get better portraits. That one meeting changed almost everything in my approach to taking photos.

DD: Day19 love LA because of….
Day19: The space, the weather, the people (on the right side of town). We have a big house here in LA with a yard! A yard with fruit trees! We can go snowboarding an hour away, go surfing 30 minutes, and be in the complete wilderness in a couple hours. There's a great art scene here, great music scene, great Mexican food, a lot of greats. Plus, it's 74 degrees and sunny everyday.

DD: Can you talk about the Converse work and Parlour?
Day19: Converse approached us last summer to shoot photos of their top secret skateboard team. It was perfect for us because they wanted really personal portraits of the team members, not action shots. We had a blast getting to meet the dudes and hang out and get to know them all day. I have always loved Ethan Fowler's skating and we got to become friends, it was like winning a contest to hang out with your favourite pros for a day. We all came up with some great ideas for the photos like a free limited edition magazine (Parlour) they now give away for free at core skate shops and we worked together extensively to come up with something really cool. So stoked on what they've done.

DD: What’s your most commonly used set up?
Day19: Any camera with a 28mm or 35mm lens and natural light. That's 90% of our photos. We very rarely shoot medium format, we both really enjoy the quickness of a 35mm camera, and the slowness of a large format. There's no need for anything in between.