Q&A: Michelle Groskopf


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? The path of least resistance. I do things that come easiest to me. That causes the least friction. I used to struggle with so many complications. It’s easy breezy now. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Misogyny. What is it that interests you about photography? It’s been a great tool for getting to know myself. It’s helped me pay attention to what thrills and interests me, from large themes to the tiny details. I also love the thrill of street photography. Getting as close as I can. I’m a creeper. What is the worst thing about city life? Not to brag about LA but it has all the charms of a city and a ton of easy access to really stunning nature. I could complain about the traffic but I actually love driving. I keep a fishing rod in my trunk. My car is like a giant purse. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Russia with my girlfriend Sasha Tivetsky. She’s Russian and I just love the culture she’s always sharing with me. Also Australia. Can I crash on your couch? What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? I grew up hearing my family speak of ghosts as if they were neighbors. When I was 7 and my grandfather died I begged him not to come and visit me. I told him he’d give me a heart attack. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Neurology. Especially Bio-Neurology. Back in NY I used to produce and develop science television and had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s greatest neurologists. It’s one of my favorite topics.

What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? When I became an American Citizen. It was a full on show with thousands of people waving flags and crying. It was very emotional. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Zoo Keeper although I’m very against unpaid labor. How often do you take other people’s advice? Other people complicate simple things. Describe a personal hell. A corporate office where everyone is super savvy and two faced. I’ve been there. It’s ugly. Which living person do you most admire? Bernie Sanders. What a Mensch. Fingers crossed. On what occasion do you lie? Your baby is adorable. What was the last crime you witnessed? One time I was sitting in a car at a red light. It was nighttime. A couple was crossing the street arm in arm and following behind was a man who seemed somewhat crippled and misshapen. He creeped up behind the couple and pulled a wallet from their pocket. He immediately straightened as if a new man and walked quickly past them into the night. I probably should have honked. What is the best way to educate yourself? By doing and then doing it again and again. What is the next book you want to read? I’m currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, next up is H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Reading is the best.

Ultimate camera? Fujifilm sponsor me already so I can try your X pro-2 in the streets of LA. Please and thank you. Really though. What object do you want? A Quantum Q Flash system and a 1986 Porsche Carrera with the original spoiler. What object do you need? A Fuji X-Pro 2. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? I go to the gym everyday and lift weights. We’re talking about The Gold’s gym in Hollywood. I love it so much. I keep asking them if they’ll let me shoot folks working out but so far it’s a no go. So many amazing characters. Describe a cheap thrill. Photographing people asleep in the park. Getting right up as close as I can without waking them. Creeper. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. I’ll leave that to the journalists. I’d choose my bat mitzvah back in 1988. What a scene. Are impulses more important than consequences? Story of my life. Which talent would you most like to have? Singing. I always wanted to roll up to a random karaoke bar and whip out The Rose. Instead I have to avoid karaoke like the plague. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Trying to teach my old dog some new tricks.

Michelle Groskopf is a street photographer based in Los Angeles. She’s made a practice of shooting the world around her almost daily for the past 20 years. Her themes revolve around tween / teen culture, girlhood and suburban ideology / iconography. Get more Michelle – Website / Tumblr / Instagram.