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…
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.
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:
All images copyright Perri Cassie.