Growing up in Southern California, fashion photographer Sasha Eisenman was immersed in the culture of surfing, the beach lifestyle, and the freedom that comes with it. He began taking photographs from a young age with his mother’s old Nikon 35mm and documented his friends and their adventures during frequent surf camping expeditions down the desert coastlines of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. His photography is known for its loose, natural, and somewhat romantic style. His work has appeared in countless magazines, such as iD, Teen Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, and Glamour. 

In 2008, Eisenman began work on his California Girls project, and over the next several years created the images that would become his first photography book set to come out  October 2014.


Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sasha Eisenman and I am a photographer primarily. I also direct some short films and videos from time to time.


Where is your workspace?
I live in Silverlake and work at home a lot. I also have a property in Joshua Tree, CA that serves as a sort of film set often for my work and as an inspirational escape when needed.

What made you turn to this direction?
I studied Film Making at UCSD, but an early stint as a model and a chance meeting of Bob Richardson made me aware of fashion photography and redirected me on to that course back in 1999-2000.


Was this always your dream job?
It’s pretty close to my dream job. I think my dream job would be to not have to have a job at all.  Then I would still do this but just for sheer pleasure and not have to worry about it in terms of a career.

How much of the week is work, how much is play?
It’s probably about 50/50, which is pretty great, but when you are self employed and work from home it can be tricky to know when to step away from the work. There is no set schedule, no real end to the work day, and there is always more work that one could do.  But why kill yourself, moderation in all things.


What has been the most exciting thing you have done with your work, and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?
There isn’t really one thing that stands out as being the most exciting, there has been so many exciting things.  Having my CALIFORNIA GIRLS book published is pretty exciting.  Some of the trips that I have gotten to go on for work have been very exciting, like traveling to Lamu, Kenya for the NY Times Magazine, or getting to go to Tokyo and even the Galapagos Islands.  All of those things have been very exciting, and also all of the funny people you meet and work with and the funny situations that one gets into along the way.  A dream situation that I would like to find myself in would be to do a shoot with a fantastic budget, aboard a large sailboat, while traveling throughout the Greek Islands, shooting a great model like oh….perhaps, this gal I know…..Chelsea Schuchman.

How do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration from my own life.  Starting with the wonderful trips that my parents took me and my brothers and sister on growing up.  Memories of being on the beaches in Baja or traveling through the Mediterranean from Italy to Greece and  all the way to Israel.  (My dad was an Archeiologist)  I kind of take those memories, and others, and  rework them into the shoots that I do.  Not specific events, but just the way the sun felt or the way the sea felt, the way the light reflected, it’s a feeling that you then try to infuse your photographs with by re-creating a similar mood.  That and of course like everyone, I get inspiration from films, and old magazines etc etc.  But memories and stories are most important to me.


How do you define your personal style, work and clothing, etc.?
I almost always dress as though I am at the beach, and thankfully I don’t live in a cold place, I never would want to, so for the most part I can just wear my shorts.  Which are shorter than the ones most guys wear.  I hate those long clown-like shorts.  I like a short that is at mid thigh, not at the knee, and not because I am trying to be in the 70’s (although I wouldn’t mind), but because it’s far more comfortable and utilitarian.  Especially for surfing.  But other than that, my style is pretty classic I would say.  I love color though, mauve, pink, orange, red, green, blue.   I like plain tshirts in the day with a cord walk short, and stripy button up shirts in the evening, with a pair of white jeans.  And I definitely DO wear white well past Labor Day.

What’s something someone may not know about you?
Well one thing that some people might be surprised to know, and it surprises me too, is that I am now a good builder and carpenter. I didn’t know how to do this stuff at all before.   But since I have had my property in Joshua Tree, my friend out there, Randy Stonebraker, taught me how to build decks.  And now I have built several, and once you can build a deck you can start building all sorts of things, like fences, etc.  I built one deck around a refurbished Airstream trailer, that now serves as a guest house, and then added another portion of deck to it that supports a sort of dunk tank swimming pool made from a large steel stock tank.  Its great for cooling off in and it looks fantastic.  Beyond that…. My dad wanted me to be a tank commander or a fighter pilot, but here I am taking pretty pictures instead.


Anything else you would like to say or for us to know?
I’m an Aquarius, my birthday is January 27th, please send presents, thank you.

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