LOVE FROM NEW ORLEANS // McKenzie Thompson, Photographer and Content Creator
McKenzie Thompson is a Wonder Woman.
Based in NYC, McKenzie Thompson is a photographer paving her way as a mixed media Content Creator. In establishing the visual identities of her clients brands, McKenzie use photography and film to weave colourful, contemporary narratives.
For this series, McKenzie took our Dharma Burgundy Velvet slip-ons with her on a recent trip to New Orleans; city of european fusion cuisine, festivals and the birthplace of jazz. Inspired by the vibrant metropolis, the resulting images express a radical flavour that showcases the versatile nature of these burgundy beauties.
Article by Alex Birch, Photography by McKenzie Thompson
As a trained photographer with experience working in production and art direction, what first drew you to photography and film? How did you get your start?
As a child I would try to replicate the art hanging in my childhood homes, and because I was the only child interested in the arts, my mom really encouraged me to explore my creativity. My father is the world’s most practical human being, and he really instilled in me a desire to be successful in whatever I did, so I tried to find a balance between those two ideals. That lead me to study photography in an applied arts program in college. I think I’ve really come into my own since moving to New York and getting involved with some of the projects I’ve worked on.
You have a very impressive portfolio of work with a number of really exciting brands. Can you tell us a little about how you approach each project? Do you tend to have a concept in mind from the start or do you play off the product as it reveals itself to you?
Each project is so different - some clients approach me already knowing exactly what they want, and others want me to take the creative lead (which I love!). I really just try to draw inspiration from what is important to my clients, then find a creative way to bring that to life. When shooting in a studio, I usually spend way too much time concepting before I even pick up my camera. But when I am shooting on location, I’ll often let the location take the lead and inspire me.
Playing with film and photography, you achieve a beautiful balance between movement and still life. How do you like to use each medium in you work?
When it comes to film and motion, I love working with subtleties in movement, timing, sound. I love the challenge of bringing all of those elements together to create an ambiance. With still photography it’s totally different. One thoughtfully crafted moment can sometimes communicate the same level of feeling as a 2-minute film. I enjoy playing with both mediums to really explore all that a subject matter has to say.
McKenzie wears our Dharma Burgundy Velvet slip-ons
You took our Burgundy Velvet Dharma’s with you on a trip to New Orleans. Can you tell us about the city and what drew you to the area?
My love for food, color, music, and spirituality drew me to New Orleans. It just seemed like the perfect recipe for me! Being in the French Quarter feels like you’ve been transported to another world, one where all of the best parts of multicultural heritage blend together in a beautiful, rich gumbo.
Talk us through your some of your favourite images from the trip. Did you have a narrative in mind from the beginning or was it a more spontaneous approach?
My narrative was simply COLOR. The burgundy Velvet Dharmas are a STUNNING shade IRL [in real life] so I really just wanted to play with color and I knew New Orleans would deliver. The image with the apple came about because each morning I would steal a cute little apple from our hotel’s continental breakfast and carry it around for a midday snack. By the end of the week it had become a token of my trip and I figured, why not incorporate it into a few photographs? Another fave pic is the Dharmas in front of the periwinkle wall. Color for the win!
What does being radical mean to you?
To me, being radical means YOU DO YOU!