Woman Crush Wednesday: Alex Kromer
Shot on film, Alex adventures into the wild in the Orbit Matching Set.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where did you grow up, what did you study, where do you live now, how long have you been doing yoga, what kind of music gets you into the groove, whats your favorite stone, whats your sign, etc
I grew up a landlocked Midwestern girl in Wichita, Kansas and have been dreaming since about 5th or 6th grade of being a California surfer girl. It was all around the time the movie Blue Crush came out, I remember reading my Teen Vogue magazines and the first time I saw a 2-page Roxy ad in the front- I tore the pages out and put them on my wall and knew that was what I wanted to do with my life haha. From then on I had entire walls in my room covered in tear sheets of my favorite ads, pictures, and brands that I want to shoot someday.
Kansas doesn’t have the ocean or the mountains, but I was lucky enough to get to travel with my parents quite a bit growing up and have always had a passion for the great outdoors. I actually lived in Canada for a few years with my parents as a young child so got a big dose of the Rockies (mountain range) and this was also around the time of Disney’s Pocahontas (who was and still is my favorite Disney Princess); I just wanted to be Pocahontas- exploring nature and loving every little rock and tree and creature lol.
My favorite summer job I had back in Kansas was working at the Bartlett Arboretum 30 miles south of Wichita in Belle Plaine. It was a beautiful historic Arboretum (glorified tree garden) that was started in the 1800s, maintained by the woman who taught me both acoustic guitar and high school geometry haha. I mainly did groundskeeping, watering, weeding, trimming, etc, but also was a hostess for events out there like weddings and garden parties. I really just loved getting to be surround by beautiful nature and get my hands dirty, I feel its extremely true what they say about gardening being therapeutic and soothing.
I love where I live in Los Angeles now, just a short bike ride from Venice Beach, and a short drive from PCH where I love cruising up and down the coastline, and of course dipping into Topanga and Malibu. Although I love swimming, hiking, biking, and exploring, just in the last year or two I’ve really begun to embrace meditation, and I love being able to explore new and old hiking trails to find the perfect grassy meadow to sit in, or even pull over on the side PCH to sit on a stone with cars whizzing behind me and clear my mind. Overall, nature is where its at for me!
How would your friends describe you?
Funny, I hope! Really silly, and they would definitely use the word sarcastic, although I prefer the term facetious haha. I’m an Aquarius, and I think sometimes we can be hard to pin down or know what we’re thinking, but at the end of the day I always want the best for my friends, and any sarcasm is always in good humor.
What projects are you working on right now?
As of late I’ve been shooting a lot of live music with my aesthetic being entirely on film. I’m currently working on the album art for a band’s EP release on vinyl- which is really cool because I love the old school vibe of vinyl and film, and am hoping to get to work on more album art opportunities in the near future! Music is also really big in my life, I love all genres of rock, and am really excited to see how I’m able to weave both music and fashion together in my photo career.
What's your morning routine like?
Depends how busy I am, but whenever I have the time I like to wake up and ride my bike to the beach where I like to focus on my breathing, meditate, watch the waves, and run on the sand if I’m up for it. Sometimes I’ll just ride my bike all the way up and down the beach bike path, and on rare occasion I’ll get my surfboard out and paddle around, but I’m not very good at it.. and also a little scared of the ocean haha.
How did you get started in photography?
As early as 4th or 5th grade I loved disposable cameras and would always take at least two on school trips and summer camp, and then in 9th grade I took my first photo class which was a black and white film class where we got to develop everything ourselves in the darkroom. My dad had an old Canon AE-1 from 1981 that he let me use for the class, and I fell in love with it! It’s still my favorite camera to shoot on today. In the class we had to go outside and take pictures but we weren’t allowed to leave campus, so I would take pictures of my friends leaning up on the old classic cars in the parking lot, and those were my beginnings in fashion photography haha.
What is your favorite type of photography to shoot?
Travel Film- Lifestyle/fashion in a cool location, on my film camera. I’d love it if that’s all I shot for the rest of my life!
Who is your dream model to work with?
I would say I’ve gotten to shoot a few of them already! River Johnson, Brittany Hoffner, Sophie Seymour.. but a real dream would be to shoot Zippy Seven or Lilah Summer 😍 Something about those California blondes lol
What is your dream campaign to work on?
Like I mentioned with Roxy being the brand that really inspired me from a young age, if I had to choose a brand I would actually say Billabong (Zippy and Lilah are both ex-Billabong girls!) but really any lifestyle/surf/skate/swim brand like that in a tropical location on a remote beach. The dream campaign for me is really just getting to travel somewhere like Tahiti or Maldives and convey that feeling of lifestyle through my photos that makes the viewer think “I wanna be that cool girl!” Moreso than “I want that cool girl’s bikini.” That was the mindset I had that first inspired me from those Roxy ads, it was a feeling of, “I don’t always have to be this Kansas girl, I can leave and travel and be a California surfer babe if that’s what I really want!” I want to inspire people to get out and explore, discover, expand, and evolve- albeit through fashion photography haha.
What's your favorite way to treat yourself?
I have two routes for this one! I either like to put on an amazing outfit that makes me feel great, go out and buy myself a drink, walk around and window shop, - but I will admit I also like to treat myself with comfort food and not be hard on myself about it. I love a Friday night Netflix n’ Chill date with myself 😏
What's your fashion vibe?
Western Bohemian in the Spring of 1969 😜 I don’t feel myself if I’m not wearing colors or prints- no all black looks for me! I also LOVE thrifting
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
So hard to choose! I’m always accessorized, so maybe I’ll narrow it down from there. I think my most sentimental accessory I wear every single day is a Serpentine ring I bought from a Native American jeweler in Santa Fe. I can’t always remember the healing properties of Serpentine, but the jeweler put his personal stamp on each side of the ring band, bear claws, which he told me represented strength and courage. At the time I had just moved to LA by myself and was having a hard time with my confidence, but I would always (and still do) remember “Strength & Courage!” every time I put it on :)
What's your strongest trait?
They call me Thorough Thelma at the boutique I work at part time 😂 Because I’m very thorough about leaving no stone unturned, keeping things organized, and I’ve got a bit of a neurotic attention to detail lol. I think it’s definitely linked to my photographic eye which isn’t a bad thing!
Who is your WCW?
Definitely Sophie Seymour, she is my muse over and over again! We love adventuring together and photographing each other, at the end of last summer we went on a really awesome (and somewhat treacherous) hike in Malibu together and were both thinking we really want to team up with an active brand to shoot our adventures with, and just a week or two later Wolven hit us up asking us to shoot for them! Such a radical manifestation! I asked Sophie to photograph me for this interview because it only made sense. She is quite a bit younger than me but she inspires me on the regular, she’s able to keep her creativity fresh and flowing while balancing out being a responsible grown up, something I’m still working on, but she also reminds me to stay in a youthful, fearless mindset 💛