Modern Venus

Cara Friedman is a contemporary artist and photographer based in Los Angeles. She experiences life through her interactions with the people she meets, often making them her subjects. Photographing people has become her expression of how she experiences daily moments and she hopes to share the beauty and intimacy of each person with her stories. Her Mamiya 645 is her weapon of choice.

How did the idea for the series come about?

I had recently had a dream about the Venus, it was just this image that was popping into my head. I thought it must mean something so I wanted to create my own modern take. I had connected with Arianne on IG and thought it’d be fun to just get together and shoot something based off this weird vision, so we did.

Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?

I think we can. If the viewer is able to tell that the subject is comfortable and an active participant in the empowerment of the photograph then I think it has a larger meaning then the objectification we are used to seeing in intimate photographs of women. As a woman photographer, I have a large voice in shaping the way I present my women subjects, the moment of working with another woman lets a certain energy become present that empowers us both, something that can come from just women working together.

What inspires you and how would you define beauty?

Many things inspire me, from family and friends to art history, to something I notice in the street or stream past while I drive. I can’t define beauty because it constantly changes based on the moment. Right now to me, beauty is happiness.

Film or digital?

Film always! Shooting with it feels more of an interactive process which I love, it feels like you’re making an object since you have a real negative. The color is richer, and it just sees and images the way my eye sees and images it more correctly then digital does. Plus you get to use awesome old cameras.

What makes you happy and what’s next for you?

Spending time with people I care about, good conversations, puppies, and sunshine. Next, I hope to just keep shooting and making art. Whatever gets me out there!