Aviphile

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My latest shoot. The idea was there. I know the images are interesting, but I’m still not satisfied with them. Not because of the model, Jacqueline Tatum, her 11 birds, or the makeup artist, Natalie Moreno. It’s the lighting.

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Sometimes I make the mistake of being lazy. I’ll admit it. I love the way natural window light looks, so even though I’m in an environment that I know doesn’t have sufficient window light, and I have my strobes with me, I’m stubborn. It’s a flaw I think I’ve always had, and still proves to be something I need to overcome.

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Setting up strobes can be a huge pain. On top of that, I was nervous to use them around live birds for fear of frightening them off. The result, poor lighting. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the images, I just wish they were….more.

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More impactful. More dramatic. More inspiring.

There’s always something to improve on as a photographer. I think laziness is my latest goal.

{For more of my work, visit my Instagram}

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Blue Swept Visions

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You can’t unsee what you’ve done. The train wreck in your mind, torturing you like a million ants climbing up your spine, just out of reach.

You can’t take it back. You can’t move on. You’re stuck in your head, sucked down by regret. The darkness leaks in like oil. You can’t unsee it.

It stays forever. Burned into your mind, you can almost hear the searing flesh.

You can’t unsee it. You can’t unsee it. You can’t unsee it.

{For more of my work, visit my Instagram}

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Blue Swept Lies

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Someone is talking to you. They’re talking and talking and talking and you’re suffocating. You’re drowning in a sea of words and all you want to do is scream and run and fight and you can’t take it anymore, so you push back.

You push with words. You push with what you know will strike at the heart. You push with evil. You take the closest thing to them and transform it into a negative, breaking them down. Breaking them into tiny fragments, sharp like glass. You push harder and harder, the words falling out of your mouth like vomit and you can’t stop. You can’t see what you’re doing.

You’re destroying them with words to get them to shut up and you know you’re losing them forever….

{For more of my work, visit my Instagram}

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Feel Something With Me

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Photography has always been a way to capture the world as it truly is; vivid colors, beauty, devastation, culture, etc. It tells no lies and makes people feel like they are there with the photographer, standing next to them as they adjust the shutter and f/stop of the camera. They see what the photographer sees through the lens of the camera, and nothing more.

This is not what I want to bring to the world of photography. I want people to not only see what I see through the lens of my camera, but I want them to feel something. Anything. I want to use my photography to bring people to think beyond the image itself and into their own interpretation of the work and how it makes them feel. I want my photography to inspire people.

When I look at the world around me, I don’t just see the surrounding scenery. I see shadows, light and detail that can all be transformed into something else, or manipulated in a way to make your eye jump from one part of the image to another. I guess you could say that my mind works for the camera. I have an image of what the final piece is going to look like before I have even captured the first image.

I want to be able to dedicate my time to photographs of the world as I see it, or as I dream it. I believe that my photography can transform simple objects into dramatic displays of light and dark, color and black and white, beauty and despair; I want everyone to witness the images my mind produces for me before a camera is ever raised to my eye.

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I was once told that art isn’t really art unless it makes you feel something. Feel something with me.

{For more from this series and others, visit my Instagram}

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On Levitation

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Surreal art, and specifically surreal photography, is something I’ve always wanted to get into. I love the idea of transforming my fantasy land into a format that other people can see, and hopefully get sucked into the way one would with a really good book. As far as actually being able to produce such surreal pieces, it requires A LOT of practice and experimentation, which I, unfortunately, don’t always have time for with a full-time job.

Levitation photography is a form of surreal art that’s actually really popular right now, which is great, except I feel like there is a lot of it out there, so it doesn’t necessarily make my work stand out as much. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and I love having a lot of inspiration to look at, but it does make getting noticed a little more difficult.

That being said, it’s a perfect way to practice some of the more complex Photoshop skills that I would need to move forward with other surrealistic work. So naturally, I went for it.

My first few attempts weren’t bad, (if I do say so myself), though they were a bit complicated to put together as I was unaccustomed to shooting the base images the way I should have. Some were more simple than others, where I could just shoot the background and then shoot the model, but others required a little finesse, if you will.

My first mistakes forced me to adjust the way I shoot the images to give me more options and range of motion. I now shoot separate images for different sections of the body, hair, fabric, etc. And when the final images are taken into Photoshop, I glue my model back together in the position I want her to be in.

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Learning to cut bits and pieces off of each image so you can put them together into one final image forces you to see the work differently. The part of the dress that’s on her chest can also substitute for a piece that’s floating in the air. Or sometimes you need to paint in a section for it to look like it’s naturally floating. As time went on, I learned to see what needed to be added or removed to give the image the illusion I was looking for.

I generally felt that levitation was my stepping stone to more complex art, and in a way, it is. But I’ve also started appreciating it for what it is, even if everyone else is doing it too. Not only that, but I was recently lucky enough to be hired for a specific job solely based on my levitation work! (Yay me!) And with the right connections from an amazing model, Janelle Allisa, I was able to shoot the album cover for Electric Century, (by Mikey Way), for their debut album “For the Night to Control.”

With some graphic help from my boyfriend, Amir, we made a successful album cover that was exclusively released via Kerrang Magazine all over the world.

Hopefully soon I will be able to put together some more surreal work and post it for you all to see, but for now, practice makes perfect!

{For more from this series and others, visit my Instagram}

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This Needs Some Explanation

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I’m not really self-conscious about my body. I don’t have a problem with my shape, size, skin, etc.

No, that’s not really true. Don’t get me wrong, I have insecurities just like the rest of the world. I guess what I should say is that I’m content with what I have enough to not let it hinder my daily life. I do love that my skin and hair make me unique and separate me from a vast majority of the world’s population. I know that being ginger, I’ve been given something rare and beautiful. That being said, I’ve never really been satisfied with other self portraits I’ve taken.

I find myself always wanting to take self portraits the way that I would with my models, focusing on the clothing and positioning my body in what should be the most flattering. I am, by no means, a model. And I’m ok with that. I think the struggle that I constantly face is that as a photographer, surrounded by beautiful models on a regular basis, I get caught up in the work, wanting to make it aesthetically pleasing to the general public as much as possible. This is never usually my original goal when I do self portraits. I mean to express myself the way that I am.

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I made a conscious effort with this series to take self portraits that represent who I am as a person. I’m not quite sure why I had to concentrate on this so much, as my personality should be easy enough for me to photograph. I think sometimes as a photographer I get in this mind-set that everything in the frame needs to be perfect, including the subject. Problem is, perfection is not necessarily what I am trying to capture. It’s a fight between doing what I would for fashion editorials and what I’m actually looking for in myself.

As I thought about it more, I realized that in order to capture who I am, I also need to capture part of what made me who I am. Hence the ‘couple’ photos. Throughout my relationship with my loving boyfriend, Amir, I have evolved into a completely different person than I was 5 years ago. I’ve noticed many changes in myself, all positive, that I know I can link directly to his presence in my life. And the best part about it all, is that he is a photographer and artist too, and understood my need to express myself. He even went so far as to join me.

I am a firm believer that all photographers should do at least one self-portrait series in their lifetime. I think that being on the other side of the camera can give you a different perspective on not only your work but on what your models are doing. Try to remove yourself from what other people think and show what you want to show.

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This is how I chose to introduce myself to the world. I know art is subjective, and not everyone is going to see it the same way. So here’s the deal, I’m gonna be me, you’re gonna be you and we’ll all live happily together inside of a shoe… or whatever.

{For more photos from this series and others, visit my Instagram}

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