Ethan Covey is a Vermont-born, Brooklyn-based portrait and travel photographer.
How did your shoot with Emilie go?
Emilie was really great to work with. She’s a Parisian who was living in NYC for a few months. We connected on Instagram and discussed wanting to collaborate. As often seems to happen, it took until two days before Emilie was flying back to France for a shoot to come together. I strive for a really casual atmosphere during shoots—we had a couple of outfits, beautiful natural light, we played some tunes and hung out. The location, in a renovated bank headquarters in Williamsburg, was incredible, as was the assistance of Natalia, who is an immensely talented hair/makeup artist.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
Yes. Photography can be an incredibly honest art form. There is a lot of absurdity in photographing the female form—from hyper-sexualization to heavy-handed retouching. The more that we, as creators, can remove ourselves from those actions, the more we can photograph honestly, beautifully and differently.
What inspires you?
Music, books, friends, faces, landscapes. I’m always being pushed forward by the work of other artists I admire. And, more than anything else, light.
How would you define beauty?
Beauty is anything that snaps me from the speed of life. Be it a look, a scent, a sound—something that stills me momentarily and allows for contemplation of the immensity of our world.
Film or digital?
Both. This particular shoot was digital. The possibilities afforded by contemporary digital cameras are mind boggling. However, there is a romance to film which I’m very fond of. As well as the fact that it’s nice to have photography be more of a tactile experience. I spend too much time in front of a computer monitor as is.
What makes you happy?
At the moment, I’m feeling quite inspired by the swell of attention to, and activism against, the dangers of Trump’s presidency. While I’m horrified by many of the things that have already happened since his inauguration, and fearful of those that may come, I am buoyed by the efforts I’m seeing to catalog these actions and address them in a way that continues the advancement of equality for all. That makes me happy.
What’s next for you?
Shooting, travel, meeting and working with fascinating people. Another year spent accumulating adventures as best I can.