We had the good fortune of connecting with Diane Cockerill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diane, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My family dates back several generations in Los Angeles so the city is in my DNA. I grew up on the Westside and rarely ventured downtown. While photographing the Atomic Cafe at 1st and Alameda in 1988, the area opened my eyes to the rough, rich and colorful arts district and I kept coming back for more. My husband and I moved to the Santa Fe Art Colony a few years ago so this part of the city has become home and the draw of historic downtown, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and the Fashion and Flower districts provide endless photo opportunities which have rounded out my experience as an Angeleno in a meaningful way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I worked in advertising for 30+ years as a production artist, art director and traffic and production manager. Positions in many Los Angeles agencies afford me the exposure to many talented and visionary creative people. Dealing with concepts, words and images helped train my eye in determining composition, crop and color, carrying over into my photography now.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Visits to Venice Beach and the Boardwalk. Dinner at Geoffrey’s up the PCH with a view of the Pacific. A trip to Getty Villa and Getty Center. Hollywood Boulevard and Musso and Frank Grill, Descanso Gardens and Huntington Library, Rodeo Drive, a long walk along the Sunset Strip, the L.A. River (if I could sneak down my favorite tunnel), tacos in Boyle Heights, Watts Towers, an leisurely drive along Mulholland Drive (the “spine” of Los Angeles), maybe catch a movie at the Bruin or Fox Theater in Westwood Village and grab an In-N-Out Burger after a tour of the UCLA campus. The iconic Observatory, Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown’s historic core and the arts district with a visit to Hauser & Wirth Art Gallery, lunch at The Bread Lounge and a slice of pie at The Pie Hole.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dad gave me my first film camera and as an adult, my husband introduced me to the digital world. Digital became essential to the way I like to shoot. About 7 years ago I shot with a group of women street photographers who roamed the arts district with me and introduced to me to areas I was unable to access (thank you, Cindy Schwarzstein.) Daniel Miller, of Duncan Miller Gallery in Santa Monica, has been a great mentor and source of encouragement for which I am grateful. My husband, Bruce, and I often photograph together and his keen eye and knowledge of cameras has help me tremendously.
Linkedin: Diane Cockerill
all images by Diane Cockerill