The inspiration of Vanessa Paxton


My name is Vanessa Paxton and I was born in Kingston, Jamaica. I moved to Canada eleven years ago. I am twenty-two and I have been doing photography for the passed seven years. I do not have one of those breakthrough stories where I happened upon someone’s Flickr stream and decided to give photography a go.

“I have always been into art. I love to create and I would do anything to make a living doing something artsy.”

I cannot even stand the thought of having a regular 9-5 job. My hands are too idle. Thus, in Grade 9 of high school I made the decision to pursue a field in the arts on a professional level. I started off with drama classes, and then switched over to drawing classes, sculpting, painting and then finally digital photography. And that is the one that stuck. I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ryerson University in Photography Studies. I graduated last spring. I have since worked as a digital retoucher, photographer’s assistant, and am now a full time natural light portrait photographer. In my spare time I like to create, and sell my work.

Inspiration comes from all areas. I am mostly inspired by music, novels, and my dreams. I am sure my dreams reflect a melting pot of all the images I have seen, music I have listened to, books I have read, recent events and relevant past events. So it is really hard to pin point where exactly my ideas stem from. I was doing self-portraits long before the 365-Project came about and I remember ignoring the invite for some time before finally deciding to give it a try. I found it unnecessarily stressful to be taking a picture everyday, editing and uploading to meet a deadline, so I think I gave up around Day 160.

The 365-Project was good in the sense that it pushed me out of my comfort zone and that is definitely when I had my biggest learning curb. However, I started to feel like I plateaued on the creative front so I gave it up. It served its purpose. After the 365-Porject I worked on a number of personal projects, such as: The Color Project II, The Polaroid Project, Ballerina, Miniature World, The Clothes Line Project, and A Portrait Series (Link) . The portrait series developed into the style that I use today with my clients.

I also tried the 52-Weeksproject for a while after I graduated, but that only lasted until I started to get really busy with client work. That is when the reality of the real world kicked in. So far I have been doing well but I could always do better. It is difficult at times to juggle the two worlds, creative and professional, on top of my relationship with my long time partner, Mitchell LeBlanc. I only create when I feel the inspiration. I can’t force it and I refuse to force it for the sake of keeping active. I used to worry about falling into the shadows if I didn’t create, create, create, now, now, now, but whenever I forced it I ended up with something that had been done before and wasn’t truthful to my emotions. And those are often the images that don’t stick and get deleted. That is when I learnt that I create from within. I hope you enjoyed reading a little about me and that you will continue to follow my work. Feel free to ask me any questions or share your work with me: vanessapaxton@hotmail.com [Official Website]

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