Q&A: Tatum Shaw — Off Days


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Nothing hardcore. But I am trying to work on being more selfish. Life’s too short to not do what you want. My twenties were so difficult. I feel like I lost years off my life during those years. I’m still just trying to chill more. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Desani Water. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Don’t get me started on Q people. What is it that interests you about photography? Photography is like a world within a world. It’s like putting on goggles that show a totally different spectrum you weren’t aware of. What is the worst thing about city life? More traffic, less sky. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Mississippi. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Watching someone talk in tongues is pretty electrifying. I’m still not sure what’s going on there. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Astrophysicist. Those guys take some wild creative leaps. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? My granddad’s funeral Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Florist. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. The William Eggleston photo of the green shower tile really opened my mind the first time I saw it. Either that or that one of RuPaul holding Kurt Cobain’s baby. How often do you take other people’s advice? 69%. Describe a personal hell. Any occasion that plays the song Family Tradition by Hank Williams Jr. On what occasion do you lie? When I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. What was the last crime you witnessed? That time the former U.S. President told a bunch of people to go to the Capitol to “stop the steal” and they were like “Hang Mike Pence!” And he was like “I love you guys!” What is the best way to educate yourself? Become a 22 year old closet homosexual who’s terrified of social interaction, so you stay up till 4 in the morning every night reading every magazine, every book, and watching every great movie, followed by the DVD bonus content with the director’s commentary. I highly recommend it. What is the next book you want to read? Lil Kim – The Queen Bee. Ultimate camera? G2. Most used camera? G2. What object do you want? A nice suit. What object do you need? New eyeballs How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? “Remember that story in the Bible about The Tree of Knowledge?” Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Yeah. I’m new to working out, but I’m proud to say I can finally make the bed without throwing my back out. Describe a cheap thrill. Hearing Steve Winwood’s The Finer Things in the grocery store. Pick a historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. My grandparents have an old photo of a church service happening on the Etowah Indian Mounds in my hometown. I’m not sure if it’s historic, but I’d like to have been there. Are impulses more important than consequences? Sadly, no. Which talent would you most like to have? The ability so speak in public. Or play piano. Or play piano while speaking in public. Never mind, it’s to sing. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? I’ll be in an edit for a very weird commercial I wrote that comes out this July. Then I’ll wonder if my tension headache is a tumor. Then I’ll probably eat an edible and watch 30 Rock reruns.

The name of this series is in reference to two things. The original meaning came from the fact these black and white images were taken in between other color projects. There was no intention behind them, but after lugging around a heavy digital camera, I had come to re-appreciate the lightweight ease and inconspicuous nature of shooting film on a rangefinder. They felt like an aside, or something to do in my free time. But as I rounded out the work last year during the pandemic, I realized black and white felt more attuned to the disquiet and unease we were living through. So this is a little window into my life during the last few years, when everything in the world felt “off.”

-Tatum Shaw

To see more of Tatum Shaw’s work visit — Website / Instagram.