Interviews

Interview with: Perri Cassie

If you have checked out Melbourne-based photographer Perri Cassie’s Instagram feed, you will know that he typically adds a song lyric as a caption to the images he posts (we talk more about that below). Following in that spirit, I thought I would do the same and add a song lyric as a way of describing how I see Perri’s images…

Unfolding, enveloping missiles of soul
Recall senses sadly
Mirage-like, soft blue like lanterns below
To light the way gladly

from Feel Flows – lyrics by Wilson/Reiley (from the Beach Boys album Surf’s Up – for fellow music nerds!). Listen to the track while you are reading the feature and hopefully you will catch my drift…

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What was it that first got you interested in photography?
I used to go to a lot of gigs when I was younger, and I was always jealous of the photographers in the pit and how close they go to be to the acts, so I decided that that was something I wanted to do. So I bought a camera and taught myself, ended up becoming a very prominent music photographer for a while. My landscape and street photography grew alongside that and ultimately took over.

Who or what are your main sources of inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from myself I guess. I draw on what I’m feeling and try to capture that in a photo. My mental health is definitely my biggest muse, photography is a very cathartic exercise for me and I tend to use it as a vice and as a release.

On your Instagram feed, you typically add a lyric as the caption; tell us about that – is it random, linked to the image, a reflection of your mind at that moment in time, none of the above?
Probably all of the above actually. I always have music in my head when I look at things, varying on subject; kind of like a mild form of synaesthesia. I see sounds in visuals. I might have a random song in my head on a day I go shooting, and with the photos I take, I try summarise that vibe in my head onto an image. Sometimes it’s the reverse and the photos I take remind me of album art, a music video, or the vignettes I see in my mind when I listen to a song. Ultimately the captions are always a reflection of my mind and are referential to myself and specific events/people in my life. The caption usually comes first and then I pick the photo to suit it. It’s very self-indulgent.

Is there a single image of which you are most proud and, if so, why?
I honestly don’t think I could choose. I’ve been shooting for so long, and I’ve been proud of a lot of my work. I’ll compromise and pick my favourite most recent image. It’s just a photo of a wave hitting the Flinders coastline – I was quite high up on the rocks when I took it, it was just this monstrous wave that I watched roll from further up the ocean, and I knew when it hit it was going to be special. Luckily I got the shot. It kind of looks like it’s coming to get me and pull me under.

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What is next for you? Are you working on any projects that you can tell us about?
I’ve just come back from New York with a fresh mind and no solid plans. I’m hoping to maybe do a bit more portrait work as I’ve always been more focused on landscapes – but I want new faces to shoot, maybe get a bit more creative than just focusing on a moment or a mood in time. So if anybody out there is a fan of my work and would like to feature in it, get at me.

See more of Perri’s work at:

Instagram

All images copyright Perri Cassie.

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