“There is the death and rebirth of yourself from adolescence to maturity”, says Los Angeles based photographer Dustin Hollywood. His editorial I Am My Own Love, shot in The Angeles National Forest, documents a girl shedding her innocence and becoming a different version of herself.
Dustin first picked up a camera 3 years ago, and has always been drawn to shooting fashion. He says that in general, he is inspired by the portraits of Richard Avedon and the dreamy photographs of Paolo Roversi. “His work inspires me because of its ethereal beauty and natural focus on his subjects”, says Dustin.
I Am My Own Love is about the death and rebirth of ourselves, the different stages we as humans experience as we go through our lives. The forest that provided the location for the shoot is similar in the deterioration and regrowth it experiences as well. Dustin says that he was intrigued by the book and film Into The Wild, a story about a college graduate who destroys his identity and gives away his savings account to spend 100 days in the wilderness, escaping the norms of society but eventually causing his death. Dustin was also inspired by the beauty of model Laura Via, “I think the human female form is the most beautiful piece of nature ever created, a pinnacle of evolution and combined trial and error. I tried to use the least amount of outside influence, i.e. spectacular clothing, make up, design, accessories, etc. to try and show you how natural beauty can outshine even the most put together frame”.
Dustin explains that he likes his shoots simple, and keeps the parts involved to a minimum. “I like to shoot solo. Usually it’s just me and my subject. I don’t like artificial light and strobes, etc., I think it makes the photos look too put together and fake, that’s not my style. I like natural light and surroundings”.