PHOTOGRAPHER ALEXANDRA KACHA
Alexandra Kacha is a lifestyle photographer, originally from Austin, Texas, and currently based in Los Angeles. Though her motto is ‘Fake it till you make it,’ it’s hard to imagine this applying to her life or work. (But don’t take our word for it - check out her recent portfolios in our Celebration section.)
In the following interview, Alexandra takes us behind the scenes, sharing stories of her upbringing in Texas, her love for gardening (and its physicality) as well as her thoughts on how some of today’s wellness brands are having a positive impact on women by encouraging conversations around subjects like body hair and masturbation.
INSIDE/OUT: What’s the first sport you ever practiced?
Alexandra Kacha: The first sport I ever (was forced) to play was soccer. My mother had me join a team so she could be involved in the community. I was always a tomboy. I think she tried to get me to stick to something considered masculine (then) to be more connected with other young girls. I was not good. I have never been a ‘sports person.’
Also, I suffer from scoliosis and have metal rods in my back. My breasts were extremely large - so much that I got a reduction about a year and half ago for health reasons. So with the exception of tennis, I have always gravitated towards lower impact workouts. Brisk walking, gardening, hiking, that sort of thing.
And the first one that made you feel confident?
It took me many years of thinking I was not into sports until I discovered tennis. My neighbor was a tennis coach, and he asked me if I would be interested in going to the courts with him. He was also an artist. Sometimes I wonder if it was more him who intrigued me versus the tennis. Either way, it opened up a gateway for me. We started meeting up once a week, we would talk literature and poetry, trade books. I looked forward to tennis and still play to this day.
Was physical education a central element of your identity at school when you were a kid?
I was a loner, I didn’t like sports because of the team element. I used to walk a lot as a kid, alone. When I discovered tennis, my world changed. My coach was an old soul, I credit him with helping my growth with art from a young age.
You are from Austin, Texas and now live in Los Angeles. How would you define the relationship that people in the two cities have with the active lifestyle?
I have been thinking about this a lot. In Austin, people are not so driven. There are so many beautiful landscapes but people often spend more time socializing at the lakes and swimming holes than fully taking advantage of the abundance of nature. For me, it often felt like a small circus living there, no room to grow.
Austin culture is really into drinking beer by the lake, swimming holes, some hiking when weather permits. I used to love finding new lakes.
Los Angeles is very active and yet people actually rest here! They work very hard along with maintaining a physical routine. We moved right next to some hiking trails and I have become addicted. I go to Debs, Griffith and some secret trails by my house.
In LA, I love discovering new hiking spots. And LA has so many types of fitness. I am getting into yoga, ceramics, and gardening. Gardening has changed my life. Composting has changed my life. Growing my own food has actually been...blowing my mind. Gardening is more active than most people realize, by the way! I began community gardening here at a local museum. We donate all of our food to the local women’s shelter. I spend over 15 hours there a week. It has become my safe space. We grow everything you can think of and all through a 1920’s gardening system (due to the museum).
What are your favorite brands or products?
I wear a lot of sustainable linen or second hand clothes. I am slowly trying to become a minimalist.
Tell us about your lifestyle rituals.
I hike almost every morning. I am very connected to my home life. I like to make a plant based breakfast, some matcha, finish up emails, and go hike. I have slowly been getting to more intense hikes which makes me happy. I use exercise to fuel me for my afternoon photoshoots.
What trends do see happening in the wellness world?
I am beginning to see a trend of acceptance of body hair. I don’t shave, so this movement means a lot to me. Lots of wellness brands are normalizing things in a way that influences the rest of the world. There are so many inspiring women running these brands and aesthetics; they spotlight really interesting topics, resulting in positive discussions regarding body hair, anal sex, dildos, masturbation, self care and so on.
What is your relationship to travel?
I travel alone for work a lot. Weddings, commercial shoots, or doing mini photo tours that bring me to a city, alone. I love being alone in new places. It is sad, exciting and independent all at the same time. I am usually working so much, but I do try to check things out a bit as well.
A destination on your wishlist?
Japan. I am going with my fiancé next May and am very excited about it.
Do you feel that your community is more online or in real life?
I am part of both.
What role does music play in your life?
Music is a big part of my life. My fiancé is a composer (he did the music to Stranger Things). Music fills our home at all times. It fuels me in the morning for shoots, pushes me to work out harder and creates a harmony for my subjects when I shoot. I could NEVER do a photoshoot without music.
Are exercise and self care the new social/nightlife?
I hope so. Drinking and partying are over. Take care of yourself and strive for your goals.
Do sports or physical activities impact your eating habits?
Not so much. I try to eat clean always - this is really important to me. I am vegetarian and mainly cook plant based meals. If I don’t eat well, I don’t want to work out the next day, or my body punishes my mind.
Do you have a motto?
Fake it till you make it.
What does empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment means everything to me. I love doing boudoir shoots - women who come to me to do a shoot for their partner ALWAYS say ‘I feel empowered, I feel like I am also doing this for me’ halfway into the process. It makes me smile so fucking big. The more empowerment we feel, the more connected we are as women in community, politics and socially.
Tell us about your work as a photographer and how it relates to feminism and empowerment.
For a long time I sought out subjects, primarily women, to do stories on, or follow them in some way. For a long time I focused on sex workers, mainly people in the dominatrix world. I got in pretty deep in Austin - there is a huge community of sex workers there. Within a year of doing that, more people began coming to me, queers, polyamorous couples, couples who wanted to be intimate in front of the camera, people wanting to document their transitions. By the time I was ready to move to LA, I had a full time boudoir business. I like to think of myself as boudoir for the freaks. In the best and nicest way possible. I find my job to be all about empowerment. I am your personal cheerleader, I am the person you share these intimate hours with. I figure out who you are as a person, and pose you in ways I feel will embrace you later on.
10 TIPS, RESOURCES AND TOOLS
1 app: Co-Star
1 podcast: I love murder podcasts like Serial
1 blog/site: The Full Helping - Her food blog is absolutely amazing
1 food address: Imperfect Produce - I order my conventional produce here, it is otherwise thrown away for not being ‘perfect’
1 beverage: Matcha Love
1 inspiration: Minimalism
1 woman we should interview: Amy from Wildflower Sex
1 book: The Stranger by Albert Camus
1 object: My Chakrubs
1 place: The Women’s Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles