The Girl and the Sea
By Sean Armenta
Model: Ashiko Westguard; Styling: Vanessa Michelle; Hair: Gary Baker for Unite; Makeup: Jessica Woods; Jewelry Designer: Nan Fusco; Swimwear Designer: Hush LA
Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your contribution.
Sean Armenta: I shoot primarily beauty and fashion photography, which is the type of work I am most passionate about. I’m fortunate to shoot what I love for work. When I have breaks in between jobs, I self-produce fashion/beauty photo shoots for fun. The intersection of my personal and professional work allows for perpetually adding new content to my portfolio. I think what I love most about my industry is the collaborative aspect of it–several artists of different disciplines coming together to work towards a common goal; the creation of beautiful images.
For this particular shoot, I wanted to add more swimwear oriented imagery to my portfolio. We’re spoiled living in California in that we’re able to shoot swimwear literally year-round. I took this opportunity to create content that I could art direct myself and produce images with my own artistic vision, as opposed to working under the art direction of a commercial client.
As an avid cyclist, I’ve found a lot of my recent shoot locations while on rides. The location for this shoot is right off one of my regular routes. I put together a crack team of talented individuals and off we went to Alamitos Bay, roughly 15 minutes from where I live in Long Beach.
AM: What inspires you most?
SA: This is always a tough question for me to answer because I draw inspiration from so many things–I don’t find it difficult to find inspiration at all, whether it be nature, the city, music, fashion, etc. I guess you could say I love shooting faces the most, and having lived along the coast in three different countries, I do have an affinity for the ocean. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces. There’s something about being able to see into forever when you look toward the horizon, as well as the feeling of smallness in comparison to the vastness and power of the ocean. The ocean puts a lot into perspective for me; how minute we really are in the universe.
AM: What role does Southern California play in your work?
SA: Although I am a Canadian citizen by birth, I have lived most of my life right here in Southern California and it is, for all intents and purposes, my home. It definitely plays a big role in the work that I do. In fact, two of my greatest photographic influences lived in Los Angeles. Herb Ritts was a native of Los Angeles, and he is still one of my most favorite photographers to this day. His timeless, classic, and iconic body of work is something that I strive to produce. Helmut Newton resided at the famed Chateau Marmont in Hollywood for several years before his death, and his provocative imagery of many celebrities from the 80’s through the early 2000’s still remain relevant today.
The laid-back Southern California lifestyle is something that is deeply imprinted in me. There’s a simplicity and a minimalism about it that finds its way into my work. The culture of Southern California can be beautiful and glamorous, but it’s balanced with an effortlessness that doesn’t feel contrived.
AM: What else can we expect to see from you?
SA: I’ve been doing more international travel in the past few years than ever before and it has given my work new direction. Travel is so important to one’s growth not only artistically, but also personally and emotionally. Experiencing other cultures and lifestyles broadens perspective, which is invaluable as an artist. I hope to be able to continue to travel overseas and do what I love.
Sean Armenta is an LA-based fashion and beauty photographer. You can find more of his work at seanarmenta.com.