Other Investigations: Trevor Powers

Trevor Powers, based in Boston, talks about his process and practice! Check out his previous post here.

On process and collecting:

In high school we had to keep a visual journal, which is exactly what it sounds like. Writing and words we not allowed, it was place for us to store any inspiring imagery, and also a fun exercise in looking. It was a fantastic way to develop your eye and really start thinking about what kind of images make you feel something, and why. I’m still doing this type of journaling/collecting today, although it’s a bit more refined and includes more of my own imagery and things from my daily life. It’s also taken on a digital facet via Tumblr and image/web bookmarking and archiving.

I also use a 35mm point and shoot and a cell phone camera as a way of collecting and recording moments I find interesting. I don’t know if I find this important conceptually, but I do find it useful in the sense that it keeps me aware of what I am looking at and interesting in seeing.


It’s hard for me to commit to finishing a project. I have always tended to shoot first and ask questions later. A lot of my projects have come from this mode of thinking and making art. That being said, I always have a tendency to have more than one project going on at once, I just might not always know it right away.  I recently finished SLEEP THE CLOCK AROUND, a project based around the idea of documenting a relationship and the ritual of making images on a daily basis. This project ended because of circumstance beyond my control, a sort of happy accident, and I feel good about it. Going to school for photography, at least where I went to school, there was a lot of pressure to be working on some grand, important, and relevant project. Being out of school, it is nice to have that weight lifted and to be able to create images I find interesting and roll with it.

On materials and medium:

I like to create images with any type of camera, but there is something about the permanence of film that is comforting. It was the fear of not remembering someone or something that initially drew me to photography (and art as a whole). In a lot of ways I tend to think about the ending before anything even begins, but maybe that comes from reading too much about photography theory. I think about my work in the future, and try to imagine what it will feel like when I see it in 10, 20, 30 years.  That’s exciting to me.

On research:

For the most part the artists that I look at and keep coming back to are photographers whose work had an impact on me in one way or another, and changed the way I saw the world. A few of them are: Bill Burke, Garry Winogrand, Nigel Shafran and Rinko Kawauchi.


On space and site:

My geographical location very much directly impacts and informs the work I make. A lot of my work is involved with the idea of traveling and using photography as an excuse to go outside, look around, explore. Traveling for the sole purpose of photographic explorations does something my to brain and eye that doesn’t always happen while I’m at home. However, even the work I make while at home in Boston, whether photographic or not, usually has a sense of location somewhere in it (again: forgetting, remembering, collecting).

I think that having a studio space, for a photographer like myself, isn’t necessary, but has the potential to lead to new and exciting ways of seeing and displaying work.  When things you make only live on the computer and the Internet, it’s easy to get a skewed view and response to them. For this reason, I think it is extremely important for photographs to exist in the real world. Although difficult at times, it is imperative for me to see the images I create in print, in my hands or on my studio wall.

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  1. […] recently received an e-mail from Trevor Powers, who we’ve previously featured on Make Space, that announced his new collaborative book with Ginerva Shay. Check it out below and show your […]