Meet the New Photographer: Dana Boulos Wishes She Had a Camera Inside of Her Eye

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Photo: Dana Boulos

With a camera in hand since age 7 or 8, Dana Boulos’s big break came in the pages of Vice’s Photo Issue last year. She, along with the five other members of the Ardorous (an all-female collective of creative professionals), were asked to submit their interpretations of a high school crush to the magazine. From the time her images were published, Boulous has worked with Sky Ferreira, Elle Girl Japan, and Ali Lohan, and directed an aggressive music video for Wetrobots + Bosaina, an electro-clash band out of Cairo — marking a departure from her whimsical, light-infused photographs. “The music video’s very visual, and it’s a whole different world,” the 22-year-old told the Cut. “I guess if you had to describe it, it’s like Black Swan meets Alice in Wonderland meets Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” She hopes to work with musicians such as A$AP Rocky and Die Antwoord in the future.

The London transplant, who studied visual communication at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchadising in Los Angeles (where she currently calls home), also makes clothing and jewelry under her Petite Lapin label and co-founded a zine with fellow photographer Henry Fey, called Brainfreeze. Plus, Boulos recently signed with Tandem Stills + Motion, which she hopes will hook her up with the likes of Lula editor Leith Clark, Wonderland’s Julia Sarr-Jamois, and Rod Stanley of Dazed & Confused. (And look out for an upcoming feature shot by Boulos on the Cut.) “I am in love with fashion,” she confessed. “That’s always been my favorite thing. And with art. So if you mix those two together, that’s what you get — this creative, weird world.” Click through our slideshow to see some of Boulos’s work and read more from our interview with her.

Photo: Dana Boulos

On her inspiration:

“I like to observe everything. I just like to stare at everything, and it’s kind of strange. I wish my eye was a camera … It’d be much easier to capture every moment and everything in real life, because you can’t always bring your camera everywhere, you know? Maybe Mac will make something like that.”

Photo: Dana Boulos

On her aesthetic:

“I want to make it look like a dream just came to life. …So it’s a lot of imagination, it’s more fantasy. But dreamy, I guess that’s what I like – that kind of vibe. And when people look at my work that’s the first thing they say: ‘Oh, it’s very dreamy.’ Dream is the keyword I guess.”

Photo: Dana Boulos

On getting started in photography:

“I’ve always wanted to capture every moment. I just hope when I’m older I won’t forget anything, you know? If you’re telling a story to your grandkids, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, where are the visuals? What do you mean? She’s just making that stuff up.’”

Photo: Dana Boulos

On experimentation:

“I’m always experimenting because you don’t want it to be always the same [or else] it gets repetitive and boring. So I’m at a stage right now where I’m just kind of getting into different things that are inspiring to me. …[Photography] is more of an art thing for me – kind of like you’re looking at a painting.”  

Photo: Dana Boulos

On living in Los Angeles:

“When it comes to Los Angeles, it’s very laid-back and very different from my work. With my work, I have to be a little kid again and have an imagination and think outside the box. But then when it comes to location, you have to really scout the right places that go with the whole mood. I don’t like to keep it so L.A. – that laid-back kind of vibe.”

Photo: Dana Boulos

On photography as art:

“I kind of like the ambiguity when someone’s staring at [a photo], trying to figure out what it is in certain shots, [or] how I photographed it, or what the model is doing, [or] what that feeling is going on with that photograph. So it feels like it’s more than just a photograph. There’s something behind it – some sort of story.”

Photo: Dana Boulos

On what makes her tick:

“I am in love with fashion. That’s always been my favorite thing. And with art. So if you mix those two together, that’s what you get – this creative, weird world.”

Photo: Dana Boulos

On her upcoming projects:

“I’m working on a bunch of editorials that are coming out soon, for I Love Fake and Vinyl Riot magazines. Besides photography, I’m working on my own ‘zine. …The goal of the zine is to showcase young, talented photographers, artists, and writers from all around the world.  I also worked with Sky Ferreira on putting together outfits for her upcoming album ‘Ghost’ photographed by Hedi Slimane, which you can see once the album is out October 16.”

Meet the New Photographer: Dana Boulos