Last Updated on 01/07/2022 by Chris Gampat
Kristin Bedford joins us on this episode of Inside The Photographer’s Mind. She’s an L.A. based photographer with a keen eye for social realism. Her work explores race, stereotypes, and communal self-expression. Throughout the episode, she shares her journey into photography, how she approaches her work, and her best-selling photo book, Cruise Night. Here’s what’s in store.
Listen to the audio version of the episode below:
Watch the video version of the episode below:
Kristin Bedford on Her Introduction to Photography
Kristin Bedford first handled a camera when she was five years old. Given to her by her father, she began experimenting with photography with a point and shoot. It was an unconventional and often lonely childhood. She was raised solely by her father, hanging out in bars, and spending lots of time alone. At the age of seven, she unknowingly began her path in street photography. She would be dropped off by the school bus while her father was still at work. To fill her time, she would roam the streets creating images, focusing her lens on the passers-by, including prostitutes.
Despite her often tricky early experience, she said people knew her as a photographer and treated her with respect, despite her young years. You can listen to more about her early life by hitting play on the video or audio player.
Kristin Bedford on Cruise Night
Cruise Night is Kristin Bedford’s best-selling photo book. It’s an exploration of the Mexican-American lowrider community throughout Southern California and Nevada. In the podcast, Bedford shares how the book came to fruition, her editing and sequencing process, and how her fast-paced approach to it may have had some publishers worrying. The book has been a great success and took her to Europe and beyond for book singings and talks. Copies are still available, and in the episode, Kirstin shares where people can still buy the book.
A quote from Bedford’s artist statement reads:
“With Cruise Night, I am offering an invitation to question all of these assumptions and stereotypes, and rethink the visual narrative around this often-overlooked American art form. I am eternally grateful to the lowrider community for embracing me and my hope is that these images begin to touch on the subtlety and depth that I experienced.”
On Photographing What Interests Her
What’s clear is that others don’t sway Bedford. She’s a maverick who focuses her attention on what matters to her. We discuss how many photographers today shoot what’s trendy rather than what’s meaningful to them. I tell listeners to take note of Bedford’s journey, as she’s done her thing, not allowing outside influence or trends to mold her identity. And carved out a strong career in photography. You can listen to Bedford’s thoughts on the topic by listening to the full episode.
What Else to Expect
Towards the end of the episode, we discuss Bedford’s future projects. She is currently working on a project that looks at her ancestry, which includes a utopian community from the 1800s. It will be her next big project and one that is still in its infancy in terms of planning and coming together. It’s certainly a niche topic. However, I’m certain it will gather lots of interest once it’s completed.
Kristin Bedford has been one of the more fascinating guests on the podcast. She has her own style and garnered plenty of success because of it. This hour of photography conversation will keep you gripped, inspire you, and educate you. So press play and enjoy. Thanks for listening.
All images by Kristin Bedford. Used with permission.