The Operating System

ART: DESERT RAVEN PHOTOGRAPHY :: Capturing Creators "For the Love of ART"


Desert Raven Photography is a collaborative endeavor between Ashley Garvy and Audrey Helow – a company birthed out of their desire to be continuously making art together.
Garvy and Helow took the time and made the effort to find a way.
To be photographers in an era of relatively open access to professional equipment takes more than just taking beautiful pictures: sitting on the floor of their office and going through the body of photographs for a new project, For the Love of ART, I was astounded by their ability to draw real narrative and character development out of each series of a single person, in a single environment.
I was moved by their ability to capture the process rather than just looking at a “nice picture.” Mind you, these photographs are beautiful as a departure point, yet they manage to evoke so much more. I love how invested Desert Raven’s work is in the creators that they have chosen to highlight.
The following is the first installment in an ongoing project by Desert Raven. We will be keeping you up to date as each installment is finished, so that you can track the arc of this amazing project. Enjoy the work below, and please find the rest of their work at their site. There are more photographs from both sets, as well as so much other great work. I am excited we can share it with you.
From Desert Raven’s Audrey Helow:
For the Love of ART is a project created by Desert Raven in an effort to focus on the photography that fuels us as artists and as people. The project centers around work with fellow artists from different landscapes and mediums, and unity through mutual promotion. In New York especially, it’s easy for artistic work to morph into business. Regardless of whether or not money is made in the process, the pressure to conform for the sake of recognition begins to cloud the waters of original intention.
Each artist featured in For the Love of ART is someone who is doing something that we want to support and celebrate. We hope that through this project we can represent ourselves more purely as artists, teach ourselves to turn back within, and sustain the importance of our individual point of view through expression.

Ashley and I picked up Daniel Rozell at his apartment in Brooklyn around 4:00am the morning of the shoot. He greeted us in his unique rock star attire, accompanied by a fake, but pretty damn good British accent. With all of us running on an average of two hours of sleep, we set off on our way to a secret beach spot north of Manhattan that Daniel had told us about. We arrived just in time for sunrise…at a state park that wouldn’t be opening until 8:00am. Fighting off our disappointment with loud music, we headed to Coney Island for our second attempt, with Dan’s British alter-ego falling asleep in the back seat.

If you were to make any assumptions about Dan or his past, you’d probably be wrong about all of them. He’s his own creature through and through, a character trait which made him really easy to shoot. We apologized for forcing him into the frigid New York water at such an early hour, but the results were undeniably worth it. As with most of the creative folk I admire, Dan can’t be lumped into any one category: musician, song-writer, visual artist, fiction-writer. Mystery is the appeal, and he’s definitely one to keep your eye on. Make sure to visit his blog.

Luckily, there were no hour regulations in Jacksonville, Florida, and our entry to the beach at sunrise with Katie Grace Helow was more successful. It was about 6:00am when we arrived, and to our surprise, the waves were “goin’ off”.  I’m not sure which was more of the dilemma: seeing the waves and not surfing them, or taking the photos without getting the camera wet. Either way, the water was as warm as a bath, and against the morning chill, with the surfers floating on the horizon, we were pleased to start our day off wet.
Anyone who has any knowledge of the music scene in Florida by now knows the name Katie Grace Helow, and it’s no surprise why when you see her play. With the kind of lyrics that make you lean in because you don’t want to miss a word, and her new partner in crime, Zach Lever, on electric guitar by her side, we’re all excited about her new album coming out by the end of this year. It’s her third full-length, and the first to be on vinyl. While her last album was mostly solo, she and Zach will be playing all the instruments on the handful of full-band songs (yeah, she’s a drummer too) on the new album. Like Daniel, she’s a multi-talented gal who you should plan on seeing more of in the future, but for now, check out her website.

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