Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest statement, and you could say so just by observing how Juliette Cassidy speaks through the heart of her photographs: an overload of seduction and elegance, intimacy and sophistication. "Somehow photography got me. I guess 'cause I'm not very good at explaining ideas through words, I needed another outlet to express myself.”
There’s a dreamy sensibility in her pictures, enticing yet intimate, as she confesses getting a lot of pleasure looking at a beautiful image: "Photography is not decoration, it is something much more emotional. As Freud said, beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it." Her world is alluring, confident and refined rather than revealing. There is something fresh, thoughtful and liberating in it, which encourages us to remark our own individuality, embodying all states of emotions. Juliette is not sure about the smartest thing she’s ever done (the title of her Tumblr site), but, very passionately, she explains: “I’ve definitely done a bunch of stupidities in my thus far short life. Thankfully, those impulsive acts brought me to where I am now. So maybe they weren’t that stupid after all…”
How did you get started in photography?
My father is a furniture designer and sculptor. My grandfather was a writer. I guess my creative side stems from them. I've been always amazed by European cathedrals. All those details, styles, history… That's what initially introduced to the world of art. At school, I explored all the fields, from classic mediums like painting or sculpture to the modern ones, photography and video/cinema. When I first started in photography, I was very frustrated because I used to make so many mistakes in the color, black and white darkrooms. I was, and still am, very impatient and a perfectionist.
You were born in Barcelona and grew up between Spain, Boston, Los Angeles… Where did you feel more stimulated? And why?
Certainly, there are places that inspire me more than others. All the cities mentioned above were important in both my creative and personal development. After a few years living in Barcelona, I realized that my work needed a change. I felt the necessity to break through certain walls and redefine my boundaries – long story short: I needed to grow up as an artist and human being. I then decided moved to Boston to finish my degree at Massart, and my time there was very productive; I got very into American street photography from the 50's.
Being my very first time in the US, my eyes were constantly open and I was genuinely and generally curious about everything. I was living in a predominantly black neighborhood, and as an European transplant (and mostly growing up in a white middle class environment), I didn't realize how much being the minority for the first time impacted me until one of my professors asked: "why do you think that almost all the subjects you depict in your pictures are black?” It was then that I realized the impact that culture clash had on me. And more so, how much it affected my work.
Your photographs express a natural and creative approach to fashion. The way models look and pose in your pictures is something you previously have in your mind? Or is it more about flowing and intuition?
I typically have very specific ideas of how my models should look and pose in my pictures. It’s something that has many inspirations, but also very intuitive. I'm very aware of the light, composition, colors, etc. That's something that I definitely plan beforehand. But when you are on set, unexpected things happen, sometimes all at once, so you have to know how to perform when these unexpected things happen – that's when intuition plays an essential role.  And then every model has their own personality, of course. Some of them get what's on your mind instantly, for some others it's harder. I try to understand each model's personality so the final result doesn't feel forced.
When you think about a particular aesthetic and location, what are you most attracted to?
Many people think that I'm super drawn to desert-like places. I can see why'd they think that, but the reality is I'm more attracted to plain backgrounds in the studio or a closed place, where you have much more control of everything than outdoors. As far as my models go, I've always been very attracted to unusual faces, specially the ones that are very different to mine. When you shoot, let's say, for a brand, you kind of have to adapt your vision to the client, but even in these cases, I always feel the necessity to depict the youth.
Do you make any difference when shooting masculine and feminine campaigns? Or is it the same code?
Not really. I love androgyny. I love tomboys and boys who look like girls with very delicate features. I direct them all the same way, I don't look at them as different genders. For me, there’s this idea and it happens works the same way for both boys and girls, I don't believe in imposed roles for men and women. And if that’s the case, why should I treat either models differently?
Besides fashion, which other areas and disciplines interest you the most?
It's funny, 'cause I was asked this same question by a close friend the other day. I've always said that fashion has been just a tool for me to develop my creativity, like street photography was back in my days in Boston. The truth is, I used to create my own outfits and looks for my models in the studio when I was still an art student in Spain. I guess fashion has been always an interesting field for me, however, it wasn't until a few years ago when that industry really caught my attention.
I'm also extremely passionate about psychology. I'm kind of an obsessive person with my ideas. The way I reduce the anxiety and let the ideas flow is to understand why they get stuck in my head to begin with. I can only get these sort of answers from psychology. On the other hand, the world of dreams is very important to me as well. I usually remember what I dreamt the night before. Sometimes dreams are able to tell you things that you can't or don't want to see.
How would you define your own photography style? Do you have any references in terms of films, books, music, art…?
I've never thought about it. It's definitely the last thing I care about. However, I do have a bunch of references… A lot of things I get inspiration from. When I was a kid, I watched the Coen Brothers’ Fargo and developed the desire to come to the US. As innocent and naive as this dream sounds, I wanted to meet all those characters from the Coen movies. They were so odd to me, so different…something that I hadn't seen before, except in Lisette Model, Weegee or Diane Arbus's work. I wanted to meet them all in person.
What are you planning for the upcoming months?
I'm always working on projects. Although the month of March is going to be full of rad shoots with very cool brands that I really love. I'm stoked!