Monday, April 11, 2011

Shae Acopian Detar: Interview

So a couple of weeks ago I e-mailed the AH-Mazing Shae Acopian Detar of asking her if I could interview her for my blog. When she e-mailed me back saying yes I was so excited I nearly feel out of my chair!!! She is one of my all-time favorite photographers and I really look up to her and her work. She used to own an online vintage shop, but then she decided that wasn’t for her. Then she was introduced to photography and has been doing that ever since.

Seriously if you don’t know her you are missing out! Her work is absolutely stunning and it never ceases to inspire me and she one of the nicest people I have ever talked to...well typed to. Haha. Here’s the interview with the lovely and talented Shae Acopian Detar…

1. How did you get interested in photography?

I had decided to quit selling vintage clothing, and I really had no idea what career path to pursue. Then one day I was snapping street style photos at Fashion Week in Bryant Park for my blog. These two bloggers, Craig Arend of AltaMira, and Karl Edwin Guerre of Swagger 360, were telling me about the tricks of street fashion photography. Karl Edwin showed me how to shoot using the camera in manual mode, and that little gesture opened up a whole new world to me. I started experimenting with my camera and not using a flash, and it was soooo much fun. I instantly switched my blog focus to chronicle my adventures in learning photography. That was November of 2009, about a year and a half ago.

2. Is there a certain theme that you try to portray in your photographs?

I guess my photos tend to have a nod to history in some way, whether it is via clothing or the feel of the shoot. Not too many of my photos feel modern. I also like to make things seem dreamier than they may really be.

3. What inspires you the most/ who are your biggest influences at the moment?

At the moment my inspirations are coming from the likes of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and the early works of Picasso. Paintings and drawings inspire me more than photos do, for some reason.

4. I know that sometimes you take vintage pieces and remake them into something new or you'll sew an outfit specifically for a shoot. What made you start doing that/ how did you learn to sew?

I started re-doing vintage pieces when I was a teenager. The reason was simply that I'd go to the thrift shop and the dress I wanted to buy was too big, or too long, too many busy patterns or the sleeves were ugly.
So I started changing them in small ways to make it how I wanted to wear it. I've been re-designing my clothing for so long that it's just a natural part of looking at vintage at this point. For more involved pieces I take them to a seamstress. I'm actually not very good at sewing. I get by for the small things like hemming and taking things in. A lot of the body suit/leotards I've made are hand sewn as well, which takes days to make!

5. What are some of your favorite type of vintage pieces to shoot?

I love shooting eccentric pieces; very costume-like stuff...but I don't
always have access to that sort of clothing (only on occasion). Shooting ethnic pieces are so much fun ~ all the vibrant colors and involved patterns. Victorian pieces create a very distinct mood and I always love to shoot with clothing from the 1910’s-1940.

6. If you could use any one designer's collections (such as Marchea,
Versace, ect.) for photo shoots, who would you chose?

Hmmm...I don't get very excited about designers of today, but if I could use anyone’s clothing for shoots, I'd raid New York Vintage's amazing treasures they have stored in their upstairs showroom in NYC. I did a video with them and the stylist for Boardwalk Empire, and I have never in my life seen better vintage than this place has. It was blowing my mind.

Thank you so much for your time Shae and if any of you have time be sure to check out her lovely blog! :)


  1. I love those pictures (: looks really vintage !

  2. Thanks for introducing us to this artist!

  3. I love shea! I first met her nearly two years ago through our mutual friend courtney when she lived in new york for a short time. her photos are so stunning