We had the good fortune of connecting with Sally Davies and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sally, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
I try to work every day. You don’t have to I’m told, but I am convinced I’ve missed something on the days I’m not out there. And even when I started shooting my interior portraits for my books, there is always something you should be doing. Maybe its processing your photos, or filing them, or balancing a budget…there is a lot to do to run a photo business. Luck always seems to show up when I already have everything place.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I went to college for painting. I did a painting major, with a minor in photography. Painting taught me how to look, how to see, how to problem solve in a 2D situation. Formal fine art painting training is not easy. For me, everything I learned about painting, and by that I mean myself, applied in equal measures to taking photographs. I did a fair amount of studio product work years ago (when a photographer could still get a job) to pay the rent and so going outside with my camera hunting for visuals was a great change from the studio. When the bottom fell out of the magazine business, I had no Plan B, and I decided that I would just focus even harder on my fine art photography. Eventually I was showing in NYC at a 57th St gallery and began placing my work in museums.
I moved to the usa to study art in 1983, and I think being an outsider gives you different eyes. For example, visuals that you might take for granted if you were a New Yorker, were astounding to me. Every funky little storefront, every junkie in a cool pair of shoes, every rainy avenue…That stuff informed my work, and still does. As I always say “Either your heart is broken by moonlight on a garbage bag, or it isn’t and you move on.”

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.
I am probably not the best hostess. I am a strict vegetarian and prefer to eat at home, I don’t really drink or do the bar scene anymore, and I have never ever been interested in touristy things, unless of course I am photographing. However, if you are a kindred photo spirit and want to head out and pound the pavement I am always game. I go east coast/west coast these days, so I have things I love to shoot everywhere; from Joshua Tree in the desert, to the streets of the lower east side in NYC. We are all so much more than one thing or place, despite our reputation or branding given to us.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

There is not enough room here to list the people who have helped me out. I’ve been an artist for 50 years and that alone should tell you something. We all keep each other afloat, and I always try to pay it forward- maybe its a kid in college who needs some encouragement or a fellow photographer that needs something I have. Heres a short list; 

Sean Corcoran– Photo Curator at the Museum of the City of New York. His devotion to photographers and urban culture is outstanding. 

Meryl Meisler – a photographer who works harder than most people I know, and has some kick ass books to show for it. 

Michael Ernest Sweet; a photographer in his own right, and a great writer with his finger on the pulse of the street photography scene. 

Claire Jeffreys; another friend of 40 years, an acclaimed documentary film maker who still manages to find time in her busy day to help me edit my books. 

Jim Budman – friend of 25 years. Always making room for new art that he has acquired and helpg out artists that he meets along the way.

Michael DeJong – friend ex New Yorker and artist extrodinaire, who’s work is always inspiring.

Stuart Horodner – old art friend from New York. Hes now a curator at the University of Kentucky Museum. He is an amazing writer who has written forwards to both my books.

Linda Heidinger; friend of 40 years, a painter who now lives in California. Always there to give me a place to stay when I’m in her city and some sound advice on life, art and money. There could be no end to this list.

Website: sallydaviesphoto.com

Instagram: sallydaviesphoto sallydaviescali

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.