Caleb Coppola


My first awareness of photography as an art and craft came from finding a photo book on a shelf in my parents’ room, In Search of the Monkey Girl, which my uncle, Randal Levenson, published about the last of the circus freak shows touring America in the mid-70’s before they disappeared completely.  It struck me, even at such a young age, that what he had done was make permanent -or as permanent as can be done- a world that was fast disappearing, and he did so with his own stark style using large format equipment, which itself hearkened back to an earlier time.  All of this fascinated me -the black and white prints, the bulky camera gear, the intense subject matter.  I began my first curious forays into shooting shortly thereafter, and started in earnest shortly after college.


After years of shooting and experimenting with equipment and styles, what still motivates me is essentially unchanged:  Capturing a moment of interest or intrigue, whether it’s staged or candid, and teasing out, through composition, lighting, or stylization, that essential aspect which brings to the mind more than just what the eye may at first see.  Whether it is a mother calming her baby, or the unhurried pace of an old man’s walk through the cemetery of his ancestors, or the confrontational yet inviting gaze of a fashion model into the lens, I always desire to distill the suchness of the given moment.