Serena Reynolds

Tell us about yourself.
I’m Serena Reynolds and I’m a photographer and filmmaker based in New York City. I’ve always been image obsessed so it’s always been apart of me.

What is beauty to you and how do you define beauty?
That’s a hard question. I think beauty can be defined in so many ways, but I think just having a good heart [is beautiful], as simple and cliche as that might sound.

Do you prefer digital or film? Why?
Film 100% . The colors.

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue photography occupationally?
When I was failing school pretty bad and was terrible at sports. In high school, those things were pretty important in the world I lived in.. I kinda was like “F this, I’m gonna apply to art school,” and I did.

What were some of the most valuable classes or lessons you learned with regards to photography and art?
I went to Parsons for photo and I think the one great simple advice was to make honest work.

You tend to gravitate towards female models. Why is that?
All females hold a great sense of power and mystique, but I’m changing. I’m working on a script about a teenage boy, so I’m delving into a whole new world.

Rachel Trachtenburg has received quite a bit of traction after several features on Rookie Mag and other sites. You even had the opportunity to shoot her. How was that experience? What was the inspiration behind that shoot?
Rachel is amazing! Such a wise and wonderful person. Ballad Of was doing their “summer of love issue”, which was 60s hardcore, so we just totally flew with that for the day.

Tell us about your family.
Family is super important to me. My mom is my most stylist crazy twin/best friend and my dad is a writer/genius, so I’m pretty lucky.

Dear Margaret is a film directed by you. Why did you want to create this great little film?
It’s a spooky story I thought that would be a fun project for my first film.

Who are some photographers that you think are doing it right?
I am kinda blown away on how many teenage girl photographers there are. I think it’s so awesome, so all of them! But also I really love Michael Hauptman‘s work.  He has an amazing book. 

Based on the whimsy and ethereal aesthetic in some of your series, is it safe to say that The Virgin Suicides is an inspiration for you? What do you think has had a particularly large impact in the shaping of your own photographic style?
That movie influences me, haunts me, inspires me fully. It’s a beautiful film. I”m super inspired by films in general for a lot of my photographic work. I reference film stills all day and that totally shapes my work entirely.

What are your favorite locations around New York?
I love the store Love Adorned, East Village Books, and getting away on the weekends.

What songs are on your personal playlist?
Flicker / Son Lux
Sweet Dreams / Marilyn Manson
Omanko & Kristine / Sky Ferreira
Wicked Ways / Eminem w/ X Ambassadors
Lithium / The Polyphonic Spree

What are three things most people don’t know about you?
1. Hanson is my favorite band.
2. Mice are my worst fear/enemy.
3. I hope to join a ghost hunting club one day.

For more of Serena’s work, check out her website.