A Day at the Beach

Working for a clothing company has its perks…

Models: Alexandria Rousset & Brianna Barnes | MUA: Amanda Abajian | Wardrobe: She + Sky


{For more photos, visit my Instagram}
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Quirktastic

 

There’s something I’ve always loved about weirdos. They’re unique. Not afraid to be themselves. I know I can be pretty weird myself, so naturally, I like to  show it in my work.

I love the idea of beautiful people doing weird things. Completely opposite of what the general population would find attractive. I suppose it’s what I find attractive. I feel it adds something different to your average portrait of someone. A portraits purpose is to show the person how they are, so why not add a few of their personality traits?

{For more of my work, visit my Instagram}

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Art is Subjective: A Conversation With Kathy Tackett

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. Work has been pretty hectic the last few months and I haven’t had the time, (or motivation, honestly), to shoot outside of work. But rest assured, I have more photo shoots planned in the next few months and will hopefully have something interesting to post soon. But for now, this will have to do.

A while back, I was asked to participate in sort of an “artist feature” blog post for ViewBug, and gladly obliged. It’s a bit of a filler blog, but I felt they asked some pretty interesting questions that my followers here might be interested in knowing. So enjoy!

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What inspired you to be a photographer?

Definitely my Dad. I grew up developing photographs with him in our garage or bathroom. His passion eventually became my passion. On top of that, I have an uncle on my Mom’s side who is a very talented nature photographer.

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What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?

Oh, I think I started with a Canon EOS650 and progressed to a 30D and eventually a 40D. That being said, the camera I use at work went from a 7D to a 5D Mark III, and for a previous job, I used a 1D X Mark II that I absolutely loved.

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When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it, what are you trying to communicate?

Honestly, if I can get them to feel anything, I’ve reached my goal. I don’t want them to feel what I feel, because they haven’t experienced what I’ve experienced, (or maybe they have, but in a different way). I want them to feel something that’s meaningful to them specifically. Relate it to their own memories and experiences. The work sets the mood, but what the individual experiences is on a more personal level.

What is it that you love about photography?

I love that I can manipulate the world around me. Yes, I do a lot of commercial work that shows the subject as it is, but my real passion is manipulating the images into something completely new. I’m one of those people who get disappointed when I’ve finished a book because for the time being, I can no longer live in this fantasy world that I’ve been sucked into. But with photography, I can create my own fantasy worlds, even if it’s just retouching a model to be the best version that they can be, to me, it’s still an altered reality.

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What has photography done for you?

Photography has allowed me to be creative and express myself. Some people can draw, some paint, some make beautiful music. I manipulate what I see the way I want to see it.

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?

Definitely feeling, unless I’m doing commercial work. I was once told by someone that successful art is supposed to make you feel something. Most of my personal work has my feelings put into it in a way that people can still relate. For example, I recently did a digital manipulation series called “Blue swept,” that specifically targets certain emotions for me. “Blue Swept #1” is my interpretation of social anxiety. But depending on the viewers experience, maybe it represents something else. Either way, It’s more of a feeling than a concept.

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Blue Swept #1

How do you describe your style?

For my personal work, I’d say quirky is a very fitting verb. The weirder the better. I love portraiture and fashion, but everyone has such different personalities, so I try to get my models to open up and really be themselves. It results in some really interesting photos.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

85mm f/1.2 because, (to quote a teacher of mine), “it makes the background like butter.”

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What are your 3 tips for others who want to become better photographers?

1. Art is subjective. Don’t get discouraged if someone doesn’t like your work.

2. Creativity is amazing, but technical skill is also important. There’s no shame in watching instructional videos online to improve your work.

3. Keep yourself stimulated. The more photos you look at on a daily basis the better.

Have you received negative feedback from your work? What did you do about it?

Absolutely. As I mentioned above, art is extremely subjective. Not everyone is going to feel the same about it as you do, and that’s totally fine. Just try not to take it personally.

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Where did you learn to take photos?

I learned a lot from my Dad when I was young, then a high school photography class, then college. I was lucky enough to attend and graduate from Brooks Institute before it shut down and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. No matter how good you think you are, there’s always room for improvement, and without proper schooling, I know for a fact that I would not have made it as a professional photographer.

Raw vs jpg and why?

Always raw. I do a l lot of post editing, which degrades the image, so I’ve got to start with as many pixels as I can get!

What do you carry in your camera bag?

I have a decent collection of lenses that always travel with me along with spare cf cards and of course, business cards! You never know when you’re gonna need ’em.

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If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?

I’d love to meet Jerry Uelsmann. Surrealistic photography is one of the things that I’m still trying to learn, and have always wanted to do and he is a huge inspiration for me.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?

One of my teachers used to tell us, “get close, then get closer.” I feel like a lot of photographers just take the photo and think they’re done without  examining all the angles.

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What is your dream location to shoot?

Scotland! So much history, and everything is green!

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?

Location scouting is very important. Unfortunately, It’s not always easy to picture the final result, so sometimes you have to just pick a spot and work with it.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?

At the moment, I’m trying to concentrate on moving up in the workplace so I’ve been doing a lot of more commercial shoots outside of work to build a portfolio. That being said, I’ve been trying to gather more stock images from previous shoots to practice more digital manipulation.

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What is your goal with your photography?

I want to be able to work within the art world, but I also want to continue my own personal artwork. Someday I’d love to be featured in a gallery or museum.

Original Post Here

{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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Hydromania

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I will admit, as a photographer trying to get work, I have way to many “water” photographs in my portfolio.  But, no matter how many I have, I always seem to want to do more.  I even used it for my own self portraits, as shown on my previous, (and first), blog post. I know throughout my career I will probably continue to use it in different ways to express my work.

There’s something that fascinates me about water. Water can be reflective, still, active, soft, foggy, moody, light… the possibilities are endless. I love the way it makes hair swim, and move, and float. The way fabric clings, flows, becomes opaque. It’s beautiful.  Not beautiful in the “plastic bag from American Beauty” kind of way, but in a way people all over the world can understand.

Water has the power to not only be impactful and expressive, but to warp and distort as well, which fascinates me even more.  I almost feel like my creative mind is attracted to it because it can change a beautiful image or model and add new meaning to it. What was beautiful and light, can become dark and somber, in the best way possible. And I think that darkness is very much a part of life, though I know many people actively try to ignore it.

I, on the other hand, choose to embrace it.  I’ve found that some of my darkest moments have given me more creative inspiration than the lighter ones, and the resulting image is so much more interesting if water is involved. Water is the essence of life and beauty and art. And art is only art if it makes you feel something.

“She is water. Powerful enough to drown you, soft enough to cleanse you, deep enough to save you.” -Adrian Michael

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

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