Q+A w/ Carrot Dog photographer, Jessica Pettway
Bold, bright, humorous, surprising, fun…we could endlessly compliment Jessica Pettway, the photographer behind the Carrot Dog campaign. Jessica’s calming energy and distinct eye helped us bring our vision for this campaign to life! Like by CHLOE., Jessica also pushes the boundaries of what is “appropriate” for food photography. We made a Carrot Dog fly, covered a Carrot Dog in googly eyes and rhinestones, and tucked a Carrot Dog into bed to create a PIG IN A BLANKET.
You can find these amazing photos on our Instagram, on our store windows, and on posters all around NYC! And of course, if you haven’t tasted this deliciously smoky Carrot Dog, stop by any by CHLOE. location to give it a try. We promise, you’re going to love it!!! Order here.
by CHLOE.: Hi Jess! Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself:
Jessica Pettway: Hey! I’m a New York based photographer that uses humor to create fun and provocative images! I specialize in creating playful compositions and surreal environments that toy with the boundaries of nature and explore our desire for the artificial. I also have a shiny and rather expensive BFA in Photography & Video from the School of Visual Arts. Past clients include Sagmeister & Walsh, Publicis Sapient, by CHLOE, Dusen Dusen, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, VICE and Time Magazine among others.
bC: From Vice to the New York Times, to clothing brand SSENSE, we LOVE your work! Tell us a little bit about your background…How did you get started with photography and have you always been an artist?
JP: I’ve always loved doing arts and crafts growing up and then I decided to move to New York and go to school for Photography! While in school I started to hone in on still life, prop styling, and art direction, and now I get to do arts and crafts for a living!
bC: We absolutely love your aesthetic. What inspires you? What kind of world do you aspire to create for viewers?
JP: I’m super inspired by cartoons like Looney Tunes and old album covers from music that I heard while growing up – artists like Teena Marie and The S.O.S. band. I love creating surreal and chaotic, yet peaceful environments to escape into!
bC: You recently shot our Carrot Dog! The photos are incredible and we had so much fun on set. How do you normally do to prepare for a shoot? How much of the artistic direction comes from you versus the client?
JP: I had so much fun with you as well! I begin my process by doing research on the brand, making scribbles, then eventually making a round or two of mockups! For most of my projects I have the opportunity to be super involved in the art direction and hands on with propping on set and it’s a lot of fun!
bC: Do you have a favorite subject to photograph?
JP: I love shooting food (because I also love eating food), beauty (I’m obsessed with nail art and wigs) and I love illustrating articles and stories.
bC: What are your goals for the future? What can we expect to see from you next?
JP: I plan to continue to work directly with brands to tell their stories and have fun with their products on set!
bC: Do you have any mentors? What is a great piece of professional advice you have received or learned?
JP: Liz Renstrom has been an amazing photo editor, mentor and friend to me over the past few years. I have also had the opportunity to learn a lot from photographer Julia Gartland. These ladies are both super generous with answering questions and providing guidance!
Some of the best advice I’ve received basically boils down to not being afraid to ask for what I need and what I’m worth and to shoot what I want to be hired for.
Dream dinner guest? Rihanna.
If you could own any piece of art, what would it be? A Mugler piece or a large print of Diana Ross in Mugler in the 90s.
Last song you listened to? International Players Anthem – UGK & Outkast.
Biggest pet peeve? When people put their entire backs on the middle pole on the subway!
Favorite meal to cook? Seamless.com
Three objects you can’t live without? Bobby pins, hot sauce, headphones.
Favorite place on earth? Any beach!