The lighting, the make-up, the model, the styling, the location, the pose, and the editing are all essential pieces to my stories.
My love for art allowed me to create stories and images that I saw in my mind and put them on paper for the world to see. What a magical feeling it was to create something from nothing, channeling my emotions through a cheap pencil was all it took to keep me happy.But the complexity of producing a photograph was a far more challenging activity that I enjoyed whole heartedly. I took a Photoshop class where I used the time to teach myself techniques that the teacher wouldn’t go over and soon fell head over heels in lovewith Photoshop and manipulation. At that time, it wasn’t about the image or getting it right in camera, it was about how much I could change a photo to make it completely different.
At first it was hard to envision myself with a career in photography, and my eagerness to create took me on a different path, I grew up with a certain mindset that made me believe art was not a real profession. So I explored other things. I went on to study Architecture in Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology. I loved the school but over the summer after freshman year, I went back home and became extremely bored. At this time I was introduced to Flickr by my cousin, Madeline, and I began to discover photographers like KarrahKobus, Brooke Shaden, and Boy wonder. I was intrigued with their beautifully crafted images that told stories and they inspired me to create again but this time, with purpose. I realized how much I wanted to create an experience with my audience. I didn’t just want to create a cool photo; I wanted to tell a story that triggered a series of emotions from my viewers. It was this summer I learned that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. And I wanted to create conceptual photographs that told stories and got better with practice. I went back to school and lost all the time I had for my conceptual portraits. Classes began but something wasn’t right.
It was midnight with 12 hours to go until my architecture presentation was due, when I realized I didn’t care about Architecture.While my classmates were spending countless all-nighters thinking about their projects and trying to perfect them, I was thinking “what’s the easiest thing I can design that will please my professors so I can be done with this project as soon as possible?”I wanted free time to work on photography. While my classmates used their free time to study architecture and follow architecture blogs, I was using my free time to study Photoshop techniques and looking into camera functions and starting a photography club.
I knew what was coming but at the time I was scared and confused, facing the idea of dropping out was not easy. But when I think about it now, everything is so simple. What activities or subjects invigorate you and make you feel alive? What motivates you? These are the things you’re most passionate about. These are the things that will drive you andinspire you to reach your full potential. These are the things that make you happy in life. A career in your passion just makes sense and I cannot imagine being happy with a job that simply pays the bills. I want to create and I want to be challenged. I am very lucky to have family and friends that are supportive and want me to be happy. I thought about going back to school to study Photography but I knew my time was better spent working: doing shoots and creating concepts, this would help me develop as a professional photographer and establish my style and brand.
My style is whimsical and dreamlike. I love telling stories and creating surreal worlds that evoke emotion in my viewers. I often use bright colors and softness to emphasize the feeling of a magical world. I am constantly inspired byart, music, stories, objects, anything that sparks a feeling or paints a story in my mind. I love using Photo manipulation to get my messages across because it creates intrigue by requiring viewers to stop and think. You know it’s not real but it looks real. That is the goal behind my editing. [Official Website]
Now I am located in Chicago and work full-time as a freelance photographer. I specialize in stylized portraits and conceptual imagery and aim to evoke emotions and a sense of wonderment to my viewers. In 2012 I began my first 365 project which involves taking a photograph every day. The project has helped me grow as a photographer in less time than ever and through this project, I know where I want my work to take me. I plan to live life as a conceptual fashion and portrait photographer traveling the world and appearing in distinguished magazines and exhibitions.
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