I started making pictures in the early 1990’s when I was in middle school. I was using a Nikon FM4, shooting b & w Ilford film, and printing in the darkroom. I was very inspired by fashion photography and would go to the library and rip out magazine pages. Even when I was 12, I was interested in trying to make pictures of things I saw in my head, rather than photographing what I found naturally in the world. I started setting up shoots with my friends. Today, I primarily shoot color film on a 4X5 camera, though rather than working in the darkroom, I have begun making digital c-prints. And although I have become interested in making “straight” images of the world, which I use metaphorically in juxtaposition to my other photographs, I still set up most of my pictures.
Ahndraya Parlato was born in Kailua, Hawaii. She has a B.A. in photography from Bard College and an MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work consists of large and medium format, color photographs that explore the ambiguous nature of reality, often revealing the uncanny or magical in everyday life. She has forthcoming books with Twin Palms Press and Études Books.
Among other places, her work has been shown in The Helsinki Biennale, the International Fashion and Photography Festival in Hyéres, France, at 9W Gallery and at ClampArt in New York City.
Ahndraya is a 2013 Magenta Foundation Emerging Photographer Award winner and was also shortlisted for the 2013 MACK First Book Award.