Interview: Wiissa


By POND Staff

Photos Courtesy of Wiissa


POND: Can you tell us more about the two of you? What’s your story? How did you meet?

WIISSA: We’re Wilson and Vanessa, and we’ve been together for about 6 years. We met in our hometown, Miami, and moved to New York City together 2 years ago. We’re together basically 24/7!

POND: How did your relationship develop into a photography duo?

WIISSA: We started getting into photography together, especially after Wilson bought me a film camera for my 16th birthday. We started photographing each other and learning the basics of photography. We gradually moved on to taking photos of our friends, and now it’s become much more than a hobby. Since we’re always together, it just makes sense for us to work together too!


POND: Were you two already passionate about photography before you met or has working together fueled it?

WIISSA: Well we both kind of messed around with photo and video before we met, but nothing too serious. I would make funny little videos with my friends that I’d edit together, and he’d be taking closeup macro photos, basic 13 year old stuff. We weren’t really passionate about it until we started working together and making little scenes for our photos.

POND: How would you say you two influence each other when it comes to making art?

WIISSA: We’re on the same page for basically everything. We’ll have one idea together but since it’s two of us, we can take care of more components of the shoot, so it fits that one vision. Wilson’s much better at the technical side of photography and I’m more into the styling and directing, so together we can make something much better than we could alone.

POND: What are you two doing when you're not taking photos? (School, other interests, etc.)

WIISSA: We love going to concerts, we try to as much as possible! But other than that, everything else is pretty photo related! Screen printing our photos, looking at old photography and videos, searching for clothing for styling — we’re pretty obsessed.

POND: There is something really special about film photography, what is it that keeps you only shooting film?

WIISSA: We’re at the point that we can’t even imagine shooting digital. It’s become such a huge part of our style, with its grain, imperfections and memory-like quality. Film is also a lot more fun and rewarding. You have a specific amount of photos you can take, so you
really pay attention to how you’re photographing something rather than snapping away on a digital camera. 

POND: When was it that you realized that this was more than just taking pictures of friends and it could become something professional?

WIISSA: I think it became <i>really</i> real these last few months. We took a semester off of school, signed to our agency, Nouvelle Vague LA, and were part of a group show at Milk Studios. We never imagined ourselves becoming professional photographers, but it’s just hitting us recently that we are. 

POND: What are you two currently obsessed with?

WIISSA: Really random but we’re so obsessed with the show Key and Peele right now. They’re sooo funny!! We watch at least a couple hours every night, which is weird for us because we usually never watch TV. 

POND: What and who are your inspirations? Other artists, musicians, movies, etc.

WIISSA: We have a wide range of inspiration, mostly from the 60’s and 70’s though. Photographers like Joseph Szabo, Hugh Holland and Brad Elterman. We love the movies À Deriva and En Kärlekshistoria, and as far as music, we’re kind of all over the place! Today’s music inspires us just as much as music from the 60’s. 

POND: So many of your images evoke a sense of wanderlust & adventure. Where is the next place you hope to travel?

WIISSA: I’m half Brazilian so we’ve been there together a few times, but I really want to go back and take full advantage of it photographically. As for Wilson, I know he always wants to go to Japan! I’m totally down with that too of course haha! 

You can find more of Wiissa's work here:
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