carlie armstrong of work.place

One of our favorite things is getting a behind-the-scenes look at creative work, so obviously we're in love with Portland photographer Carlie Armstrong's beautiful pictures at her website work.place, where she features an inside view at at the creative spaces of local artists, musicians, designers and craftspeople. 

Carlie answered a few questions for us about the project, her camera of choice, and Portland's tight-knit art scene. If her infectious enthusiasm for her work wasn't evident enough through her carefully shot photos, we're sure reading about work.place in her own words will make you want to check out your local art scene or at least grab a cup of coffee and work your way through her archives. 

Rachel Hays
Where did the concept behind work.place initially come from? And how did you get started?
The concept was originally born from a combination of intense curiosity and a desire to create something like Art21 for those in my own city, on a smaller and more accessible scale. I also really wanted to give a voice to those who have a less self-promoting heart, since soulful work is being made even behind the most secretive of doors.
Emily Counts
Is there any particular aspect of the creative process that is your favorite to capture?
I really love seeing some of the specific and unique materials people choose to use; for instance Evan B. Harris' antique acrylic paints and Emily Count's (real!) gold ceramic glaze. It is always really interesting to discover what certain people hold dear in that way - it gives a more complete context to me when I know the materials people are passionate about and choose time after time.
Timothy Adam Maynard
You take all the pictures for your website on a Twin Lens Reflex, which gives all your profiles a soft and consistent feel. Can you talk a little bit about how you decided on that particular camera? What other cameras have you used in the past or still use today?
I was originally interested in using a twin lens because they offer such a different experience than 35mm cameras, or even other medium format cameras can. Candid pictures aren't completely possible, and each photograph is slightly more difficult to focus and to take, which creates a stronger bond between the subject and photographer; something I felt was important for this particular project. In the past I have truly loved shooting 35mm. I had a trusty Canon Ae-1 which I am currently lending out and I recently started getting excited about 35mm again with the acquisition of a Leica which I feel beyond lucky to have.
Midori Hirose
Just from looking at the profiles you've done thus far, I get the feeling that Portland's creative scene has a very collaborative vibe. Do you think this holds true?
I think Portland is really unique and wonderful in that way, people are always open to the possibility of exchanging work and collaborating across mediums. It's been surprising to see how intensely that holds true, I recently photographed an amazing perfumer whose cards were printed by Keegan Meegan press and who had a series of fancy glass bottles hand-blown by Andy Paiko. It makes the world seem so small and harmonious!
Keegan Meegan Press and Bindery
Are there any other cities' or communities' creative scenes you'd like to get a chance to highlight in the future?
I would be lying if I said my curiosity ended here in Portland, but I think I am content for the time being exploring the bounty of magical artists this little city has to offer. I am really interested in finding art communities and skilled creators in relatively unknown places, as far as major cities are concerned. I have had a recurring feeling towards New Orleans, but I can't say what the future holds, nor limit myself to the possibilities hidden anywhere else.


  1. thanks again, carlie for the interview! :) i love the project so much.

  2. I really enjoyed this interview! Really interesting. And the photos are great too.



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