In Los Angeles, Jared Ayotte is making a name for himself by vividly portraying the music scene with a fresh lens. Through his work, the rising photographer invites viewers into a space where femininity reigns supreme, and each photo carries a pulse of its own. From the memory-laden vintage Polaroids of his youth to the darker, cheeky tableaus of today, Ayotte’s artistry plunges you into both a sensory whirlwind and a reflective pool.
“I was born and raised in a small town in Massachusetts,” Ayotte recalls, “I grew up always dreaming of somehow working in the music industry.” The love affair with music, intertwined with his experiences as an openly gay man, resulted in a magnetic pull towards the powerful and self-assured women in the music scene.
The photographer’s evocative captures don’t just showcase talent either; they weave tales of acceptance, protection, and gratitude. “Women have always felt safe to me. I never felt like I had to worry about being or feeling accepted around them. I could just be,” he explains.
In Ayotte’s photos, there’s also a compelling quality that straddles the line between commercial allure and grunge aesthetics. “I think ‘America’s Next Top Model’ has impacted my sensibilities as a photographer. I love the artificial and commercial feeling that studio photography can produce,” he notes. The 23-year-old’s images play with dark color palettes and textured backgrounds.
It’s clear that with every snapshot, Jared Ayotte challenges norms by bringing a refreshing blend of “fantasy and reality” to the fore. Below, we spoke to him about some of his favorite moments and photos to date.
I shot this photo with my close friend and artist IDALIS. I love working with her because she is down for anything and allows me full creative control to execute my ideas. I have such an appreciation for this image because it was the first time I had a distinct vision of a photo in my head before I shot it. It is so gratifying to see an idea come to fruition exactly how you imagined it. I think this photo perfectly captures the cheekiness that I try to incorporate into my work.
2. Doja Cat on Film
Here’s one of my favorite Polaroids I’ve taken to date. I caught this on the set of a photoshoot with Doja Cat and photographer Jacob Webster back in June. I’ve been a fan of Doja for years now, so it felt like a full-circle moment to actually be on set with her.
I love the pressure that shooting Polaroid puts on me due to the limited number of photos and the high cost of film. The feeling of scarcity is exciting now after becoming so comfortable with the limitless photos that digital photography offers. There’s also something nice about having a physical photo in your hands instead of it only existing on a screen.
One of my favorite photos I’ve taken from the past year. This was my first time working with SNOW WIFE, and I think our aesthetics are a perfect match, as we both have an affinity for dark and edgy visuals. I didn’t have much time to fully flesh out a concept for this shoot, so I walked around my house and grabbed anything I could find that I thought would work as a prop, hence the UNO cards.
I think some of my best ideas are born out of spontaneity. I loved the idea of presenting something as innocent and benign as UNO, a children’s game, in a more grim and devilish manner. SNOW was on board with all of my ideas and just knows how to serve for the camera.
My dear friends Nadia and Delara approached me to do a shoot for Delara’s jewelry brand, De la Vie. They wanted the photos to give mermaid or siren vibes to match the nautical-themed jewelry designs. I’m very fond of this photo in particular because of how I achieved the end result.
We shot this in my tiny garage against a plain backdrop and added the beach environment in post. My Photoshop skills were definitely put to the test with this one, but I think the final product was well worth the 15+ hours I spent editing it. I like that this photo showcases my ability to produce work that is more commercial and fashion-forward. I’d love to photograph a full-on campaign for a luxury fashion brand in the future.
I shot this one for the cover of my friend petie’s song, “Cheddar,” which was released a few months ago. We both thought that any visuals actually containing cheese would have been way too on-the-nose, so we landed on having a rat on her shoulder instead. I love working with petie because she entertains all of my ideas but also knows what she wants as an artist. I think this photo perfectly encapsulates the blend between reality and my imagination that I try to capture in my work as a photographer.