Meet Angela Kohler

Angela has always loved pictures. After receiving her BFA in photography from Brigham Young University, she moved to Los Angeles, where she teamed up with Ithyle Griffiths, working as a commercial director and advertising photographer. They have shown in film festivals all over the world, including the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase, GenArt Film Festival, FLUX at the Hammer Museum, and more. Angela lives in Los Angeles with Ithyle (they’re also married), two scruffy dogs and her baby boy, who was born soon after her shoot with Passerbuys.
Top, Gap

Top, Gap

on her morning routine

Every day is different when you are freelance (and when you are about to have a baby!) So the only thing that is constant is a hot shower (but I hear that’s going to change too once this little monkey arrives!)

on starting her career

I have wanted to be in the visual arts since I was a kid and I am so glad this is my career. I started with a BFA in photography and moved to LA to learn through assisting. These steps helped form my career into one where I do a variety of storytelling as a commercial director and advertising photographer. My partner and I (who is also my husband) shoot and film all over the world and meet so many interesting people. I love it.

on working with her husband

We started our collaboration when we were dating, and it’s a funny thing, being in a relationship and working together. Sometimes I would cringe thinking about how badly the whole situation could implode. But from the beginning we just viewed the work as being on the same team and driving toward the same goals. We have a lot of respect for each other creatively, so sitting down to hash out an idea is when we have the most fun. Every crazy (or mediocre) thought is a way to get to the next good idea. Sometimes we have little mini competitions between us, and who knows if that is healthy, but it sure makes each of us improve in different ways and when it comes right down to it I think that it is really lucky to work with your favorite person.

I am obsessed with art books. Right now Georgia O’Keefe is such an inspiration to me. I saw a big show of hers at the Tate in London and was so motivated when I walked out of there, ready to create on my own terms. ‘Memories of Drawings’ lets her talk about her process. I have a steady rotation of art books that surface and then reshelf though the year. It’s like finding an artist all over again when I get a thick coffee table book out and leave it on the table for a few days.
— on one of her favorite books

on what she loves about her job

We are always in new environments, whether traveling to countries we have never seen before and working with cultures that are foreign to us, or even just being in the states and creating work that is outside our comfort zone, there is a lot of creativity that comes from problem solving in those situations and working with a cluster of people that you really trust. I am constantly impressed by my team and love being surrounded with people that are smarter and more creative than myself, and that is often my favorite part of my job.

on her creative process

Personal work is key. Making things, even if they are just for practice or for yourself, really help you work out visual problems and open up new ideas and ways to create. Not everything is going to be the best the first time around. And it shouldn’t! That is part of the process. For me, knowing that you may have to work on the same creative problem again and again to get it right helps you view those tests as a part of a larger process and not a failure in themselves.

Angela Kohler Passerbuys

on style

Dressing for comfort is all I can do right now. Focusing on textures and volumes of fabric instead of cut makes me feel cozy. I love Black Crane for the simple shapes and great textures – and stuff that I will wear after I have the baby! I also live in big kimono wraps (that will be great for nursing too)  Sometimes you just need to dress simply when your body feels so strange, so statement jewelry, like my collar from Sophie Buhai, helps me feel more in control of what I am wearing.

on her favorite shops

I am really inspired by local makers and small batch processes. I trust wardrobe stylists that I work with for jobs, and get a lot of recommendations from them! I really like seeing who’s doing things at places like the echo park craft fair or what clothes are showing up in local shops like Ali Golden, which is just down the street.

on her home decor

We love flea markets in LA and buying things that are special to us when we are on travel jobs. Combing through antique markets in Columbia or art galleries in Warsaw makes our home eclectic and full of memories. I don’t consider myself a great home decorator, so things are always moving around the space in an effort to find their perfect spot!

Sweater, Carin Wester    ; Shoes, Coach.

Sweater, Carin Wester ; Shoes, Coach.

Since being pregnant, everything has become a bit more deliberate and my choices are more thought out. I have to have so much more respect for my body and how I take care of it, and what I ask of myself. It has been a big learning experience on a very basic level about what is important and long lasting and how I can make decisions that are more meaningful.
— On pregnancy
Angela's favorite beauty products

on her beauty routine

I keep my beauty routine pretty simple, but I do like a bright blush. Nars in Orgasm looks good on everyone (according to a makeup artist I work with and I take her word for it on everything). Votre Vu makes a good eyebrow gel that won’t smear when I jam a camera up to my face. Right now I have pregnancy lips (I had no idea that was a thing) so French Girl’s tinted organic lip balm is super. I have to keep buying new tubes because I give it away to all of my friends when they compliment me. Supergoop!’s oil sunscreen is so light and moisturizing and surprisingly not greasy. I am obsessed with smells right now, so all I want is face sprays and rose waters. I love Santa Maria Novella because the scents are so unique and I love the old Italian packaging (besides it reminds me of my honeymoon when I discovered it). My beauty tip is to smile – but only when you mean it. And try to mean it often.

on her creative pursuit

I love to paint. I have no expectations (usually) for the things I create, but using color and shape and texture in such a deliberate way really helps me feel a sense of artistic freedom I can bring to the work environment.

angela's favorite books

Some Memories of Drawings by Georgia O'Keefe

American Portraits by Leon Borensztein

Schiele by Wolfgang Georg Fischer

Francesca Woodman by Cory Keller

The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin

angela's favorite movies

Raise The Red LanternThere Will Be BloodIdaThe Princess Bride

Angela's Favorite Places

Midland is a great shop in LA feels really New Mexico and O’Keefe-y and I love to get gifts there. I am kind of obsessed with this book of water colors.

I got pretty nauseated early in my pregnancy, but I can always eat at Sqirl and love it every time. I got my husband this book as a hint...I mean gift.

Virgil Normal is great for quirky men's gifts.

Mohawk is great for dinner (even if you are vegan) and a cocktail. They are very supportive of the neighborhood and local causes. They offer menu items that support different charities, like a tequila and ginger drink that donates the proceeds to the LA chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Photography by Lauren Moore