Autumn de Wilde is a photographer and director best known for her portraiture and commercial photography of musicians.
How did you come to photography?
My father [Jerry de Wilde] taught me. He was a photographer and documented his friends and the scene in the 60s. He was a great inspiration to me. I grew up going through his photos.
I didn’t go to college. I went to a theater school and studied ballet for years until I got too tall. But the whole time I was fascinated by my father’s work as a photographer.
What was the first camera you ever used?
My first camera was my dad’s 35 mm Pentax. When he was sure I wouldn’t drop it he gave me a Nikon FM2.
Do you believe in a higher power, if so, what do you call it?
Yes, I believe in a higher power. It has no name and I like that I don’t know what it is.
If you woke up tomorrow without fear, what is the first action you would take?
I don’t feel that I have a lot of fear, but I do feel inhibited creatively because of financial reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful. I get to work as a photographer. I get to earn doing what I love, but there are so many creative things that I’d like to do that require more funds. And I’m expressing creatively with a lot of freedom, but there are so many ideas that I’d love to explore. So I guess if I had no fear, tomorrow morning I would spend my rent on the first idea that came to mind.
What would you need to have the courage to do that?
A classic patron of the arts.
I want to find that for you.
For what would you like to be forgiven?
I don’t really have any overwhelming guilt. That doesn’t mean I haven’t made any mistakes. It’s just that I’ve learned so much and I wouldn’t want any of my mistakes to be taken away. You know, when I was growing up I was prone to playing it safe. I had to be encouraged to take risks and sometimes that risk-taking created very messy situations. If you’ve made mistakes and you haven’t figured out the good that came out of them it’s a shame because our greatest mistakes tend to teach us the most.
Photographs from Autumn’s father, Jerry de Wilde, taken in the 60s:
And here’s a look at some of our favorites of Autumn’s work: