get to know our amazing december catalog photographer, chrissy piper!
How did you first get involved with free people?
I had a friend who worked on the team that did in-store installations for Anthropologie. She mentioned that my work seemed perfect for Free People. Soon after that, I brought my book in to meet with Carrie (our videographer). At the time I shot mostly music (my book had portraits of Cat Power, Evan Dando, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul Westerberg, etc.) so we sat there nerding out on music for a long time. Not long after they booked me for my first shoot :)
When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I’d say pretty early on. As a kid my Mom would give me her camera (without film in it) to walk around taking pictures. One day the camera stopped winding. When I went in to ask my Mom about it, she realized that there had been a roll of film in the camera. When the film came back from the lab, there were lots of photos of one trash can, shot from all different angles. She asked me what I was taking a photo of and my response– “I was waiting for Oscar to pop out.” So, I think wanting to be a photographer has always been inside of me.
What kind of camera do you use? Do you always have a camera on you?
The camera I use more than anything is my Leica M4. I love it and for me, nothing really compares. When shooting something that needs a quick turnaround or digital, I use a Canon Mark II or 5D Mark II.
Yep, I always have a Yashica T4 in my little bag!
Who are some of your personal favorite photographers?
There are so many! Always inspired by others– Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, David Bailey, John Heartfield, Sylvia Plachy, Tim Walker.
the photographer at work, shooting our december book.
How was your experience shooting the Free People catalog?
I love shooting with the Free People crew. I feel like Doub (our creative director) and I share a really similar vision of the shoot and it’s just really great (and inspiring) to bounce ideas off of one another. We all worked really hard but had a great time doing it! I also love the girls that were casted for this shoot. They were both very confident as well as (naturally) beautiful.
Is there a particular shot in the catalog that you love most?
I love the center photo of Martha standing in the road. She just looks so bad ass to me!
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a favorite item from our December catalog?
My “style” is pretty much Tom Boy with a few “girly” essentials! There were so many clothes (and boots) on this shoot that I wanted!!!
I can’t tell you how many times my assistant Autumn and I were like “I WANT THAT!” The red leather jacket Martha is wearing on the motorcycle is amazing as well as the black crotchet dress. Oh and I’ll take all of the boots in the catalog!!!
I loved your three records show and thought the whole concept was awesome! What are the three records that changed and/or inspired your life?
Thank you! The Three Records Zine has been like my baby for years so it means the world when people really get it.
Here are my records from the first issue:
Where do you live? What are your favorite things to do there?
I currently live in Los Angeles. Most of my time is spent in bookstores (Skylight and Family books) or the Pacific Ocean (surfing).
here’s some more of chrissy’s work: