Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Cave.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Alex. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a landscape & humanitarian photographer who runs a small printing company and shoots freelance in the NGO/Non-Profit industry. I’m originally from Oceanside, CA, and if it wasn’t for skateboarding, I’m not sure I ever would have picked up a camera.
Early on in my career, I worked at a number of camera shops, rental houses, and photo labs, the latter of which I gained invaluable experience making large format prints for galleries all over Southern California. I was your stereotypical weekend warrior… I’d sneak out a little early on Friday and spend the next two days photographing out in the desert or backpacking in the Sierras, then show up to work dirty and exhausted (but happy!) on Monday morning. Right around this time, I linked up with a couple of interior designers who needed some art that fit a warm-toned desert aesthetic for a home they were designing, and things just started growing organically from there. Today I have a small home studio with a large format inkjet printer and a traditional black and white analog darkroom, where I make all the prints you see for sale on my website
Over the last three or four years, I’ve focused more of my creative energy into photographing more meaningful stories, working with a number international NGOs to photograph projects surrounding migration and accessible education. Earlier this year, I was on assignment in Rajasthan, India, shooting a project on an NGO creating more accessible education for women, and I’m about to head out to Mexico City to document Dia de Los Muertos.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
HAH! No artistic endeavor is going to have a smooth road. Artists face both internal and external struggles everyday, whether it’s showing your portfolio to the public or reaching out to a gatekeeper or having your work pay your bills.
One of the biggest struggles I’ve faced creatively was looking at my work and failing to see any sort of narrative or meaning. Sure, I could go to the mountains and make a beautiful photograph but if it lacks any sort of meaning, then why go through all the struggle in the first place? At the peak of these struggles, I found myself traveling to a number of places that looked cool on Instagram but led to me creating the same exact photograph thousands before me had made.
When I shoot today, I’m constantly thinking about triptychs, i.e., using three photographs to tell a story. Instead of thinking about photographing one location and making an image, I’m far more focused now on documenting a story using just three images. Whether I’m shooting a hike to a landscape location or a rural Rajasthani woman learning to read and write in Hindi, thinking about how I can tell a story using three photographs has elevated the quality of my photography in so many ways.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Alex Cave Printing Co – what should we know?
Alex Cave Printing Co all came about when a designer friend of mine approached me about using a Joshua Tree print in a home she was designing and shortly after, I started selling prints through a few different designer-owned retail spaces. Initially, I was having prints made at a lab, but after a little while I started feeling a need to take more ownership of the work, so I bought a large format Epson printer. Since then, I’ve built up a home print studio where I fulfill all my orders.
- 16×20 – $195
- 24×30 – $225
- 30×40 – $295
- Website: www.alexcaveprintingco.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @imalexcave
All photographs © 2010-2019 Alex Cave