We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexa Jae Eyler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexa Jae, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic career because that is always where my heart has been. There are still finger paintings that I made in kindergarten hanging up in my childhood home. Growing up I went to a school where everyone was expected to be a lawyer, doctor, or scientist, and that just wasn’t me. But because of this, there was always an immense amount of doubt in my brain. But in my junior or senior year of high school, we went on an out of town fieldtrip to the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, PA. As soon as I stepped through those doors, I knew that art was the life path I had to take. I took my first photography course in seventh grade, and haven’t put my camera down since. I have always been surrounded by art and music, and by getting to do concert photography it is the perfect marriage of both of my biggest passions. The fashion photography part only came in the past few years, but I enjoy combining the edginess of the music industry along with the fine art of fashion.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a a photographer through and through. But, I specialize in photographing concerts and fashion. I am still at the beginning of my career, and am graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design in May of 2021. But with that being said, I am fortunate enough to have already been working in the music industry. Working in the music industry is a very intense environment and it is all about who you know. Thankfully, I have been at the right place at the right times and have made some really awesome connections. I have been shooting concerts for about six years now, and it has always been my biggest passion. I was lucky enough to grow up around a house that always had amazing music playing like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, and Rush to name a few. So getting able to combine my passion for music and photography is the best thing that could have happened to me.
I like to consider myself quite unique when it comes to the music industry. First, I am a woman, and we all know how male dominated the music industry is. Thankfully, that is starting to change a bit but I do still consider myself fortunate to be where I am. Second, my style of shooting stands out from others. When people look at my photos I want them to think, “oh, that’s Alexa Jae’s work!” I am always defining myself further, but I am getting to that point.
I grew up in sports and am a huge team player and want everyone around me to succeed. I have gotten where I am today with countless hours of hard work and dedication and wouldn’t ever change a second of it. Concerts and photography (wherever that takes me) are my two happy places in life, and I am eternally grateful to get to pursue my two biggest passions for a living.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well I currently go to school in Savannah, GA but am only here for another few months, so for this one we’re going to talk about my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio! It is the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, so I would of course take them to the Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of fame. We have an amazing local scene which I am so thankful to have grown up around, so we would for sure go to several shows. We also have amazing food like Melt Bar and Grilled, which is a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant and insanely amazing, and Condados Tacos, which are absolutely incredible. Walking around downtown is always fun, and there is always something going on in Cleveland.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be the person or the artist that I am today without my high school art teacher, Hank Skladanowski. He was a teacher of mine all throughout high school and formed the ground work for my creative vision. I will truly never be able to thank him enough for all of the countless hours he put into fueling my passion and believing in me when very few did. I was lucky enough to take several darkroom film classes in high school, all taught by him, and those classes and his class trip to the Warhol Museum are absolutely why I decided to go to Savannah College of Art and Design and pursue a career in photography. Every time I go back home, I always try to see him and it is always met with countless laughs and reminiscing on little high school me. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me and continue to do for me, Sklad!
Image of me with camera credit to Chris Goody all other photos are my work