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Meet Gretchen Lanham of Twink Photography in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gretchen Lanham.

Gretchen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Sedona Arizona and moved to Los Angeles 14 years ago to pursue art. When I was in high school, I would bring my grandmas 35mm Olympus to concerts and shoot entire shows from the pit. I so badly wanted my photos to be in Metal Edge or Circus Mag. We didn’t have a photography class, so I spent my time in art, drawing and making collages of supermodels from Vogue. I also got really into films from the 60s. I believe that sparked my interest in fashion photography and thought if I could somehow combine everything, that would just be IT! I am constantly looking at something and thinking of ways to improve how it’s perceived. Shooting, styling, and editing. I like to be a part of it all.

Another passion of mine is saving cats and kittens from the streets of Los Angeles. We have over 3 million homeless cats in this city alone. They are the most euthanized in shelters and have it extremely rough out there. I began volunteering with a rescue called Luxe Paws and learned how to TNR (trap/neuter/return, which saves lives by reducing the number of kittens struggling to survive on the streets. I’ve loved and connected with cats since I was a child, and that’s never stopped and never will. I feel like we all have something to give back, and if I can spend a few nights helping these kitties that have in turn, saved me so many times, then I am happy to do what I can. I owe it to them.

Has it been a smooth road?
The challenges in photography is taking a model or artist and capturing them in a way that’s true to my vision and the subjects character, and also a unique take on what they’ve already done in their careers. I want to give something they’ve not done before, but perhaps they’ve always wanted to, artistically.

When it comes to fostering and trapping cats, the challenge is not having your heart broken constantly. I have to stop and remind myself that I am part of a small rescue with about ten people, no facility, no funds, and we are doing the best we can. I’m hoping by spreading awareness within the community about TNR, that others will also step up to lend a hand. I am grateful for the people who do reach out and chip in for medical or purchase items on our wishlist. We can’t do it without the support of the community.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Twink Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a photographer who specializes in shooting musicians, artists, and models. I like providing artists an outlet for expressing themselves through my photos in a way no one has before.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the constant creative buzz that’s happening all around. You really get a sense of it downtown. It’s all about art. So many people in my neighborhood are so talented and I find it really inspiring to be around. We’re a family of misfits all willing to help one another out.

When I was young, I used to have to jump a fence to just hang out in the cemetery, but here, you can lay in the grass with a bottle of wine and watch your favorite film at the cemetery. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I love taking people who have never been. I love that I can walk down the street any night of the week and catch a metal show at the 5 Star. Los Angeles is filled with so many hidden gems and so much history, you can’t help but be energized by it.

We also have the best food! I can find something vegan nearly everywhere. Beelmans, the bar next door is completely plant-based and I don’t realize how spoiled I am until I’m out trying to eat outside of LA. If I had to pick something I truly disliked about living here, its the traffic. At the same time, I get it. We all want to live here. It’s fun.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos by Gretchen Lanham, Photo of me with the kitten by Lauren Amante

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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