Interview with Photography Duo Collin and Jess Stark

Photo: Collin Stark - Cassie Matthews

Collin and Jess Stark are a husband and wife photography duo that have snapped models, rock legends, actors, athletes and more – including the Dalai Lama.

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In turn, you can imagine our excitement when we got to interview them.

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Mick Jagger

Although the pair are based in Los Angeles, they have traveled around the globe to capture that iconic shot. Yes, you can expect there to be some beach photos, but there is also so much more.

We won’t keep you waiting any longer, here is our Otter Ten interview with Collin and Jess Stark…

MalenDyer: Let’s get this question out there straightaway, and we are certain this must be hard, do you have a favorite image or one that stands out because it has special meaning?
Collin & Jess: You’re right, it is hard to narrow it down to a single image. One of our favorite experiences was shooting the Dalai Lama.

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – The Dalai Lama with Jim Carrey and Phil Jackson by Collin Stark

MD: Speaking of that photo, what was going through your mind when you found out you were going to photograph the Dalai Lama? And then, when it actually happened?
C&J: Grateful.

MD: We love the range of your portfolio. Are there any similarities in how you prepare for a landscape shot, for example, compared to an action shot of, say, Lamar Odom?

Photo: Collin Stark - lamar Odom for LA Confidential
Photo: Collin Stark – Lamar Odom for LA Confidential

C&J: We prepare for all of our shoots by having our tools/studio ready to go but not preconceiving exactly how we are going to capture something. Rather, we make the best decision on the spot and allow it to be spontaneous.

MD: On that note, for the snaps of Tatiana Dieteman, there is such a simplicity yet power to the images. Can you expand on what you just shared with us as it relates to this shoot?

Photo: Collin Stark - Tatiana Dieteman
Photo: Collin Stark – Tatiana Dieteman

C&J: In general, our approach is to not overwork our concepts and to leave room for magic and simplicity.

MD: Why did you want to become a photographer?
C&J: Always wanted to be a visual artist. We believe photography is a language that can take you anywhere in the world.

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Jack Novak

MD: Do you have any advice or learning lessons for anyone who is wanting to become a photographer?
C&J: Photography is like all talents, you get what you put into it. Photography is on our mind every day all the time, an obsession that we have built into a business.

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Alice Greczyn

MD: Who is someone you haven’t photographed yet that you would like to?
C&J: Politicians.

MD: Although not a politician, we have to ask – in the Aaron Paul snap – did he come into the shoot with that black eye?

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Aaron Paul

C&J: No, we gave it to him. [said with a smile]

MD: Although you have so many amazing images, one of our favorites is this snap of Rachel Barnes. As she is holding records, it seems fitting to ask, can you recall what music was playing on this shoot?

Photo: Collin Stark - Rachel Barnes
Photo: Collin Stark – Rachel Barnes

C&J: Pandora was most likely putting together a playlist…

MD: You’ve taken a lot beach shots – landscape to swimwear – where has been your favorite location to shoot?
C&J: Positano, Italy, [on the Amalfi Coast] the most magical place on earth.

MD: Speaking of beach photos, do you have a preference: sunrise or sunset?
C&J: Equal.

Photo: Collin Stark - Jessica Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Jessica Stark

Collin’s wife and partner in crime, Jess, wearing Gooseberry Intimates.

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Jessica Stark

MD: Last question – when you aren’t on a photoshoot, what would we find you doing?
C&J: Editing [said with a smile]…never ending editing.

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Joss Stone and Damian Marley

Yay, that’s a wrap!

Photo: Collin Stark
Photo: Collin Stark – Ki Hong Lee by Collin Stark for People Magazine

We know what you are thinking – you want to hire them! Not to worry, we got you covered:

For portrait sessions, editorial and advertising assignments, you can contact the duo via

Of course, if you aren’t quite ready for a shoot (and even if you are), be sure to follow them on Instagram @CollinStark and @JessicaStark.

Until next time…

Featured Image: Model Cassie Matthews wearing a dress from Tiare Hawaii, jewelry from Pyrrha and sunglasses from D’Blanc.