Grace Scuitto Photography

Grace Scuitto Takes Us Behind The Lens Of Her Magical Photos

In her series of multimedia works, Grace Scuitto—artist, photographer, and creative director—explores the capacity of photography across beauty and fashion. Originally born and raised in Oregon, the Los Angeles-based creative’s work is easily recognizable through a combination of color, composition, and dreamlike atmosphere.

The lighting and tone of Scuitto’s photographs lend a heightened sense of imagination to the worlds she creates through her lens. “Art of all forms quickly became a vehicle for my storytelling,” she tells us. “It was my escape from the world I had very little interest in participating.” Among the several notable names that appear across her portfolio, Grace has snapped familiar faces like Sab Zada, Meghan Wiggins, and Deja Monet, as well as brands such as CGI, Gelbsy, and Lurelly to name a few. Not to mention, the photographer is no stranger to stepping in front of the camera, often giving viewers a glimpse of her individuality.

Scuitto’s latest editorial series sees the photographer exploring the visual and artistic representation of zodiac signs through color, wardrobe, and casting. Pisces, creative directed by Grace and styled by Nikkie Cortez, symbolizes two fish swimming in opposite directions with accents of white and black completed by aquamarine. Meanwhile, Leo emphasizes warmer hues such as red and orange, hinting at the sign’s zodiac element and symbol. “My approach is fairly intuitive, however, my ideas begin with a deep dive in search of visual references across all mediums,” she says.

As the photographer continues to explore new heights, Grace Scuitto joins us in conversation as we chat about her early artistic influences, how color informs her work, being intentional about who she collaborates with, and more. Read on for more.

I would love to know your backstory story and how you arrived at this chapter in your work. Looking back at some of your photos from 2017, the themes and creative direction are drastically different from now.

I had a pivotal moment amid a major burnout period where I was urged to look in the mirror and remember “why” I created it in the first place. After some deep exploration, I unearthed a newfound motivation to just create regardless if it’s something I could monetize. I gravitate towards an experimental style that is always evolving and pushing me out of my comfort zone. As an artist, I find it important to remain curious and passionate. 

Talk to us a little about your early artistic influences, where did your passion for creativity come from?

I give a lot of due credit to my father when it comes to my passion for creativity. He really enforced the idea that life is only as riveting as your mindset. In which he would demonstrate that a pebble on the beach could be a character living in a world of its own. It occurred to me that creativity is truly a form of alchemy. 

I grew up in a fairly isolated small town in southern Oregon—population of roughly 800 people—which prompted me to think outside the box and use creativity as a means of entertainment. I am grateful to have had parents that cultivated a very accepting and open-minded environment which nurtured my creative spirit. For example, they would allow me to take up common spaces in the house for weeks at a time in order to complete my projects. These projects were always taken seriously and were never considered a “mess”.

The influence of everything around you really shines through in your work. I would love to know how you came to use the color palette that you do. What is it that draws you to the deep rich colors that often appear in your work?

My relationship with color is wavering although, I have been very drawn to deep and vibrant colors due to their ability to portray energy and mood. There’s a psychedelic element present in my work that I represent through abstracted shapes and saturated color gradients. I want the viewer to feel as though their reality has been distorted and exaggerated. 

Elsewhere, you’re currently working on a zodiac-inspired series of photos. How do you determine the art direction that goes into each respective sign, and what inspired the collection to begin with?

Yes, I am currently working on a zodiac-inspired series. I plan to release “Scorpio” in October so stay tuned. I work alongside my creative team in order to depict each sign by the way of their symbolic nature. Each symbol is abstractly represented through diligent styling, appropriate color palette, and a well-suited talent. Every aspect of this series is carefully determined in order to adequately feature each respective archetype of the zodiac. 

Among the several brands and creatives you come across, how do you practice being intentional about who you work with?

When it comes to the people I choose to work or collaborate with I often check in with how I’m feeling upon inquiry. I will proceed if the collaboration feels in alignment with my brand’s visual direction and personal values. Ideally, the brands and creatives I align with value the art of storytelling and the creative process.

Tell us about stepping in front of the lens more frequently—is it something that you’ve always felt comfortable doing? How does it feel being the subject of a photo versus the one taking it?

I have created a sort of alter ego as a way of feeling safe on the less familiar side of the camera. In which case required some exploration of my personal style and letting go of self-limiting beliefs. I’ve always felt more at home behind the lens and in control of the creative, however, being on the other side has been fruitful to my confidence and how I choose to show up in the world. Being the photo subject has also lent perspective and compassion for my subjects as it can be a very vulnerable position. As the photographer, it is your responsibility to cultivate an environment where your talent feels seen and heard.

Beyond that, we’ve seen the emergence of many photographers and creatives in the art space thanks to social media and the Internet. Are there any other photographers, past or present, that have inspired you? 

Some photographers who have inspired me are Tim Walker, Steven Meisel, Hugo Comte, Shaun Mendiola, and Jack Bridgland.

Thus far, your journey has been exciting to watch, and the evolution of your work has been just as phenomenal. Where do you see yourself in the near future?

I could see myself exploring the world of 3D design and finding the space where I can merge my 2-dimensional worlds with 3d elements. I strive to create worlds in which are boundless and I find that 3d provides endless possibilities.  

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