Life Love Beauty with Keegan Allen
by Eric Chase
Bitmap: Where are you originally from?
Keegan: Born and raised in Southern California off the Sunset Strip
Bitmap: Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
Keegan: This is a tricky question to answer because I am always changing. I would rather not sum myself up into five words but rather into five ideas I strive to employ at all times ; present, focused, thoughtful, grateful, and happy.
Bitmap: You’re a "sign" (cancer, sagitarius, libra etc), how would you describe your personality in that regard?
Keegan: Oscillating. I am a fire/water sign as I fall on a cusp. I do believe in the pseudo science of the zodiac at times... But I try and steer clear of letting it impact my decision making.
Bitmap: What are the recent projects you've worked on?
Keegan: I just released my first book of photography, a photojournalism called life.love.beauty with includes photos I have been taking since I was 10 years old of everything between growing up in Hollywood, traveling the world meeting fans of our show, candid behind the scenes shots of my peers on and off set and my personal poetry/writing/musings/interactions that live within the theme of the book's title.
Bitmap: What is that like?
Keegan: It's a journey through my life with photographs but not in the way that feels too personal. Everyone can pick the book up and experience something different. I believe photography is one of the most important means of human communication- images impact us, they speak to us in different ways. Being an only child growing up without the internet, this was my archaic method of social media. I would share these photos for the human experience, it inspired me to create.
Bitmap: What would you say is your best asset?
Keegan: My character and my soul.
Bitmap: What do others compliment you on the most?
Keegan: That I am a good listener
Bitmap: How did you get started in acting?
Keegan: I had a father who was very much a classic thespian, a raconteur. He would always be doing theatre Broadway and off Broadway creating characters at home and running lines in the mirror transforming himself and charming us with his talents. He was also a great supportive father and would encourage me to follow my passions in photography- but I caught the acting bug and fell in love with theatre as well. We would discuss Shakespeare over dinner and rehearse monologues, and eventually I found myself enjoying the craft of acting just as much (if not more) than photography.
Bitmap: What do you enjoy most about being an actor?
Keegan: It's always about the writer. You are respectfully portraying at life for others to witness and stepping into the shoes to tell an epic story of their life. I love pretending and I love living in those worlds of fantasy. It's an escape from my own life.
Bitmap: How did you land the role for Pretty Little Liars?
Keegan: I skateboarded to the casting office in a knit cap and delivered the character in a way I felt served the books. This Tobias character was described as the "black cat of rosewood" - Marlene King (our amazingly talented show developer) saw my tape and so began the layered storylines of Toby Cavanaugh -it has been one of the best experiences of my life to continue working on this show and also be able to do so many other projects that I am passionate about as well.
Bitmap: How exciting, how does that reflect your career now? Meaning are you going to focus on photography or is it just a hobby?
Keegan: I never considered myself a professional photographer or that it would take center stage in my life. I just always have a camera with me to capture moments. Not a phone, a real camera. I have nothing against smartphone photos (the best camera is the one that is with you) but there is something very special about shooting with intention and a camera demands that. So I will continue to pursue photography just as I will pursue acting, music, writing and other avenues of creative outlet. Constantly learning and never believing I know everything about anything/doing something because I love doing it.
Bitmap: Who is your biggest mentor (photography)?
Keegan: So many people have inspired me with my photography. My mother, my father and my friends (who also happen to be professional contemporary photographers); Chuck Grant, Gia Coppola, and Adam Secore...and many others. I draw inspiration from people who are passionate about their crafts.
Bitmap: Name 5 photographers now that impact your creativity and why?
Annie Leibowitz - her compositions are stunning and her personal work is mesmerizing
Ansel Adams - his romantic style of shooting has always had a profound effect on his images
Jacob Sobol - his high contrast gritty black and whites feel like painted Tim Burton worlds
Bitmap: Any plans on doing another book after this one?
Bitmap: What's your next adventure in acting and as an artist?
Keegan: I have many in the works, but I am superstitious in that I never talk about something until it is finished.
Bitmap: What are the top three things you like to shoot?
Keegan: Moments, snapshot portraits, nightscapes.
Bitmap: What are some of your hidden talents other than acting?
Keegan: I don't know if it's hidden, but I write and play music. Gutiar and piano.
Bitmap: Where do you want your career to be in two years?
Keegan: I want to continue to do meaningful work that I am proud of.
Bitmap: What is the best info you can give a new talent and creative artist?
Keegan: Believe in yourself and if you want something enough, you CAN make it happen. Following your dreams is a process and constant work/focus. Do something that you love.
Bitmap: As an actor, what would you say has been your biggest obstacle?
Keegan: Feeling content with the work. Once a project is done, it's always a challenge to let it go but it's also a gift to look back and learn from for the future.
Bitmap: If you had to walk away, what would you like to be remembered most for?
Keegan: I'm not concerned with being remembered, but I hope that someone somewhere would pull inspiration from my work
Feature: Keegan Allen
Photographer: Isaac Alvarez
Stylist: Amia Serrano
Makeup & Hair: Sophia Poch