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Meet Thayer Gowdy of Thayer Photographs in Ojai

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thayer Gowdy.

Thayer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a photographer/director/designer. I have been named top wedding photographer by Harpers Bazaar in the world for the last few years. I shoot for clients such as Burts Bees, Hush Puppies, eBay, Amazon, Domino and Minted.

When I am not on set, I have a serious love for renovation and design. I am on my third renovation and this one is the best yet! At my current project Rancho Wilder I have extended from inside the home to outside, designing a drought tolerant landscape and hardscape.

I consult direct with homeowners on ways to improve their spaces with my scandi/ wabi sabi vibe that is modern yet comfortable, fresh while still being timeless. I am heavily influenced by natural materials and my love of Southern Spain and Portugal. Incorporating design elements in a functional approach. I collaborate with other designers that want to incorporate my style into their projects, some hire me for my sourcing obsession!

This last spring with the pandemic, I have been capturing the people around me on film while working with local tradesfolk on Rancho Wilder. Embracing local relationships and inspiration.

Has it been a smooth road?
Wow, that a big questions! Success is never a smooth road. Married, divorced, tech boom then crash forcing me to sell my home and move to the country. Buying a 5000 square foot grey gardens then selling that to downsize and shift work/life balance.

Struggles are part of life, in every part of it. If it’s smooth, it’s boring. Just like boring old drywall, I am more into old plaster and stone, I love imperfect.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am known in my creative work for being down to earth, light and airy and authentic.

In my interiors work, I am known for offbeat use of materials, clean design and embracing imperfection, I consider myself to be a present time designer.

I am proud that I continue to be inspired and grow as a creative. I am proud of the relationships I have with the folks I have the great pleasure to work with, my crew, client, agency and cast.

My authenticity and honesty set me apart. I am direct and open, I have my point of view while being flexible and open to collaboration.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I moved to Ojai from Northern California a year ago to be closer to LA and the industry. I wanted to be closer to the place I was working in and reduce the commute. I was living in norcal and would shoot in LA most often. I felt that the city has more to offer me right now than SF creatively.

For me, I need to live in a peaceful place, surrounded by beauty and Ojai is rich in this. I love the light, the landscape and the people. I love the architecture and the design.

I prefer to live someplace that I would travel to on a weekend and drive to the place where I work vs the opposite. I learned years ago that even though it takes a bit more work and planning, this is what fulfills me the most. In turn it feeds my creative mind.

I don’t know if its the best place to start out, but times are weird now, and cities are changing. Starting out and where you are will take on new meaning as this new landscape, we live in progress. The old norms and thoughts are not the same with our new lives. Now I think it’s about how to reach your market and if you can do that from anywhere? Then choose someplace that brings you joy.

Contact Info:

  • Website: thayergowdy.com
  • Phone: 14153094227
  • Email: thayer@thayergowdy.com
  • Instagram: @thayerandco
  • Facebook: @thayerphotographs
  • Twitter: @thisiscampwilder
  • Yelp: @thayerheartsweddings


Image Credit:

Images from story on my in Domino Magazine by Seth Smoot. All other images from my portfolio.

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