Q: What does a typical day in the life for you look like?
A: I really enjoy getting up around 6 before the canyon is waking up outside. I have an hour-by-hour schedule I try to stick to after that so I can balance my time between work, school, and whatever I’m interested in at the time. I like cooking for myself and recently started jogging. Most of my days are spent keeping to myself, I’m a homebody.
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I’m passionate about a just world, about reading, and spending time outdoors.
Q: How did you get started in the world of photography?
A: The story could not be less interesting. I was in school for a few years studying plant biology but dropped out because I needed a break. Within a week I was starting to travel and shoot regularly, and felt that I should lean in. I’d never wanted to be a photographer and wasn’t necessarily drawn to art either. Photography felt like a way to communicate something about my experiences traveling to people who weren’t there, though it took me a few years to figure out what that was.
Q: Have you faced adversity in your life or career? What have you learned from that?
A: For so many reasons I feel lucky to not face much adversity. I will say however, there have been a number of jobs where I was treated differently than male colleagues and photographers. This manifested in lower pay, less room for negotiating creatively with clients, and feeling like I wasn’t respected by some men on sets. Another challenge I’ve had is because I often keep to myself and don’t network in the LA art scene, which is typically how a lot of people get work and make connections. Imposter syndrome and being a bit of a hermit keeps me from putting myself out there.
Q: What are some things that you are grateful for?
A: I’m grateful for everyone who’s taken a chance on me or given me the reigns on a job. I’m grateful for the time and mobility that allows me to be a photographer and for the free time I have as a result of that. I’m grateful for springtime when the flowers bloom and life feels invigorating. I’m grateful for the friends that hold me close.
Q: One of our brand mottos is “Keep it Casual”. What does “Keep it Casual” mean to you in your own life?
A: I’m trying to embrace a lifestyle and wardrobe that I can climb a tree or fence in anytime.
Q: How do you stay inspired?
A: Reading non-fiction books consistently inspires me because I love learning. Traveling also keeps me inspired, as it breaks me out of my routine and I’m also a deeply curious person. My friends also inspire me a lot, they’re all painters, chefs, ceramicists, herbalists, teachers, farmers, mothers, you name it. I put them on a pedestal and see them as role models.
Q: Are there any publications or online journals that you venture to for inspiration?
A: Jacobin, Ill Will Editions, The Sun.
Q: Socks or no socks?
A: The 40+ rolled and organized pairs of socks in my drawer says it all.
Q: Do you have any plans or projects that you are looking forward to in the future?
A: Mark my words I will make a book before my time is up, but I’ve been encouraged to do this for years and am taking my sweet time. I’m also looking to pursue some international art residencies to develop my skills as a writer as well as printing color photos in the darkroom.
Q: What’s one piece of advice, encouragement, or challenge you’d love to leave our readers with?
A: What you choose to do for work or where you choose to live does not need to be forever. You can rediscover yourself and life many times over, there’s very little permanence.
Q: Where can our readers find / follow you, and what would be the best way to support you?
A: I post a lot of my film work on my Instagram (@moristeele) and also on my website where I also offer prints, www.molly-steele.com. I'm excited to head into the new year post-pandemic with work on the horizon. I love shooting editorial journalistic projects, travel projects, weddings, a little bit of everything.