We had the good fortune of connecting with Karli Evans and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karli, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson I’ve learned as a full-time freelancer is to find a way to make the work you want to be getting paid to make. There is often a conundrum for creatives: to land work (especially with big brands/publications), creatives need to have experience – but to gain experience, they have to be given an opportunity to work. To show what you’re capable of, I think sometimes you have to make your own opportunities. Even if it’s just a proof of concept, there is a lot of value in figuring out how to scale an idea and execute it based on time, resources and budget. The savvier you can get at that, the more you’ll be able to accomplish in the long run – and the more credibility you’ll build for yourself along the way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What I love most about photography and film is that they’re both documentary and collaborative mediums. My work often straddles that line. As a freelancer, I like the creative challenge of figuring out the best way to approach a project for a client. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have as human beings, and it’s an exciting time to be working in this field because the digital age (and social media) have completely reimagined what is possible, and made everything so much more accessible. I’ve always been a people-watcher, and in my personal work I’m interested in exploring the intersection of identity, society, psychology and fantasy. My favorite experimental filmmaker Maya Deren once said: “art must become an experiment, like science, and embrace its true potential – a break from realism in order to produce an even greater reality.” I’m fascinated with this idea of using a camera frame, fantasy and visual narrative to explore the human experience, and reveal the dichotomy of our external and internal realities.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tricky one to answer right now with the pandemic, but I’d focus on exploring and eating outside as much as possible! I’d suggest renting bikes and riding around Miami Beach one afternoon, then grabbing cocktails outside at the Broken Shaker. I’d do an art day with trips to see Nina Johnson Gallery, the Gesamptkunstwerk building with Spinello Projects, and ending up on the PAMM patio steps overlooking the bay. I love people-watching in the Design District, and all the midcentury hotels with their iconic neon signs in the MiMo neighborhood. I live on that side of town and love the Citadel food hall + rooftop. I’d also recommend a day trip down to Homestead to for a change in scenery, stopping by Robert is Here for fresh fruit and milkshakes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Yes! Nothing is accomplished in a vacuum and I owe countless people shoutouts, but here are my main three: First shoutout is to Miami New Times, and particularly my editor Jose Duran. New Times was the first publication I started shooting for professionally, and it opened my eyes to everything happening in Miami. I was given access to places and events I wouldn’t have otherwise, and it helped me develop my own shooting style of people-centric coverage, which Jose greatly encouraged. New Times taught me how to pitch concepts and features, how to work on a tight turnaround, and how important it is to develop relationships and stay tapped into the local community. My second shoutout is to Miami’s queer scene, which is the community that first made this city feel like home. I’ve met some of the most thought-provoking performers and artists here, and their work has pushed me to further examine my own identity and artistic practice. Many of the personal relationships I developed blossomed into creative collaborations, which produced work I am not only proud of, but has also majorly impacted the trajectory of my career. My last shoutout is to my favorite local production house Cafeteria Films. They’re a wildly creative group of multi-skilled individuals who can find a way to make any kind of project cool – be it a big brand commercial shoot or an experimental indie film. They’re an excellent team to learn from, and the first I turn to when I have a question – be it about how to quote something for a client, or how to execute an idea for a project. Finding that kind of support and mentorship is priceless.
All photo credits: Karli Evans © All Seeing Media