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An Interview with Photographer Darian Kayce

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Darian Kayce is a Baton Rouge-based photographer whose work focuses on creating content for businesses. Darian's work evokes a young, carefree lifestyle with warm, desert vibes. From portraits to products, her work is versatile and a joy to follow. A few weeks back, I was fortunate enough to chat with Darian. Read our interview below.

What's your background? Tell us a little about yourself.

I've spent my whole life in Louisiana! I grew up in a small town and then moved to Baton Rouge a little over a year ago once I finished college. In school I studied visual art and photography. I love Louisiana and the community I have here in Baton Rouge. But I am excited to venture out to new places someday soon! 

What inspired you to first become a photographer?

I took a lot of pictures as a kid. I was always using my moms film camera to take pictures of my dolls or my friends. I loved the idea of being able to save a memory and look back on it. As I got into high school, I really started to take pictures and was super interested in photography. My pictures were TERRIBLE. Oh my gosh, it's funny to look back on them. But my parents were always super encouraging and told me that I had an eye for things that no one else really had an eye for. They paid for me to take an online college course at the Art Institute my senior year of high school and pushed me to study art in college. They were always my biggest support team. I don't think I would've thought taking pictures could have been anything more than a hobby if it weren't for them constantly trying to get me to grow in it. 

What inspires you?

I'm so inspired by other people's creativity. I love when I see a friend or a photographer I look up to create something that is unique and beautiful. It makes me want to push my limits. It's so common that I get into this routine when I'm getting hired for photography. So it's nice to be reminded that my job is one where I don't really need a routine. I can make cool things and they don't have to be anything like what I've made before. 

You've spoken about your love for photographing products and brands. Can you touch on that?

Yes! So I started off wanting to be a wedding photographer. When I graduated college I tried to jump into the big wedding world and realized very quickly that I did not like it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE weddings. But I'm not the biggest fan of working at them. My passion is to enhance the creativity of others. I am amazed at how many people in our generation are pursuing a creative passion as a career. They work hard to see their dreams be a reality. I am so impressed by it. So if I can create a job where I'm always working side-by-side with creatives getting to photograph their products, I'm happy. I am constantly inspired and refreshed by the beautiful things I get to take pictures of and the love and hard work that went into creating them.

What's a moment you're most proud of, and what did you do to get there?

When I tried to think of a moment I'm most proud of, all I could think of are the responses I get from people after I've sent them the pictures from their shoots. It's so rewarding to get a response and know that they love the photos as much as I do. That probably isn't the answer you were looking for but that's the first thing that came to mind!

What's next? Dream projects?

I have a lot of ideas for personal projects I want to start working on this summer. I want these personal projects to be more portrait focused and really spark up a fresh love for simple photographs. I also have a lot of plans to focus on color in upcoming projects. You'll have to keep an eye out for the work!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

When I was first starting I wish I would have realized the importance of not comparing myself to others. I think I could've  found out my style a lot sooner if I wouldn't have spent so much time looking at other people's work and tearing mine down because it wasn't "as good." If you want to be a photographer, zone into the things that catch your eye and then find a way to make it your own! Be inspired by others' work and don't get discouraged that yours doesn't look like it. That's actually a good thing! How boring would it be if all work looked the same!?

What are you reading/watching right now?

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately because I haven't had time to sit down and read in a few weeks (SAD I know. I want that to change soon) but I've been listening to Up and Vanished. It's a true murder mystery podcast on iTunes. I don't normally listen to this kind of stuff but I decided to try it out and I'm obsessed. I listen to it while I edit and it makes time go by so fast. I also have been listening to the podcast The Refining Garden on iTunes. It's such a good and encouraging, faith-based podcast. I started by listening to the one on money and it rocked my world. 

Favorite artists in any field, living or dead?

I love Matisse, mainly his drawings. So so good. As for photographers I like right now, I really enjoy Jennifer Griffith. I follow her on Instagram (@griffithimaging) and I just really love each picture. I can tell a lot of thought goes into each image. I also just started following @bodegadude on Instagram. The feed is so pretty. The pictures all very pastel and flow so well together. I'm impressed by instagrams that can keep a consistent feed like that. And lastly, I love Petra Collins. The way she lights photos is so impressive. She did a shoot of Chance the Rapper for Teen Vogue (ugh so good. best of both worlds.)

What are some must-visit spots in New Orleans?

Friend, Freda, Sunday Shop and Monomin are a few a of my favorite cute shops in New Orleans. Defend New Orleans is a local New Orleans brand that you definitely need to check out. The Catahoula Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in New Orleans. They have a cute rooftop and really good drinks. A new hotel just opened called The Drifter; I haven't been yet but I will definitely go walk around soon. Its so retro. And one of my favorite spots to eat and have a drink is Oxalis at Bywater!