“My inspiration comes from my life, my experiences with motherhood, and family... the human experience really.” - the artist
Q: What led you to become a photographer?
A: I come from a long line of photographers. My grandmother was an artist in every sense. When I was a young child, she photographed my siblings and I and developed her own film. Two of my aunts are photographers as well, so the influence has always been there. My grandmother gave me my first 35mm Canon Rebel for Christmas when I was in the 9th grade. From there I grew my skill level and camera collection and started dabbling in photojournalism and processing film as a member of my high school's newspaper staff. I really credit my familial ties to photography with where I am today. My world was always full of photographs and I really love to be surrounded by them. What better way than making them myself?
Q: Where have you studied and/or exhibited your work?
A: I studied and have exhibited at [University of North Texas]. I have not finished my degree because I took some time off to be at home with my young children.
Q: Where do you derive your inspiration for your fine art photography?
A: I love to photograph people. My inspiration comes from my life, my experiences with motherhood, and family... the human experience really. I also find inspiration in family photo albums, not just my own. Having photographs of the people I love is important to me. I feel like it's something that is important to a lot of people, and you can see it in the photos they choose or chose to take.
Q: We were very impressed with your piece, Frank and Imogen, the winner of Best In Show for our exhibition, Focus. Is there a specific meaning behind this work?
A: Frank and Imogen is a portrait of my son (Frank) and one of our dogs (Imogen). This photograph feels like a perfect representation of my son's life at that age. There's a joy and abandonment, a wildness that comes across, even in its simplicity. There's a forgotten sock on the clothesline, an old broken chair, and an overgrown patch of bamboo that frame my wild-haired boy and sweet pup. Its so much of what motherhood is to me- an absolutely chaotic mess, but somehow perfect in its orchestration. I used a Rolleiflex TLR camera with 120mm film for this, which tends to produce these rich, velvety tones.
Q: You mentioned that you shoot with several different cameras, including digital and analog, and that your submitted collection was shot with a medium format Holga lomography camera with 120mm film, and a Rolleiflex TLR film camera. Can you explain your development process?
A: For [the submitted collection], I had a closet that I blocked the light out of with layers of black trash bags and bed sheets. I would sit on the floor and close the door, ensuring that there were no light leaks, then I would take the film out of the camera bodies and load it onto the reels and secure them inside the development tanks. Then I'd climb up off of the floor, go to the kitchen and follow the chemical steps to develop the film, and hang them to dry over the sink. It's science, but it feels like magic when the film turns out. There's a bit of a game of chance, especially with lomography cameras. They have little defects here and there to make it more of an experimental process. I like to use expired film in them to see what I get. It's always a victory when it works out. I think that's why I prefer to work in film, what makes it so fun. Shooting with the TLR cameras is a different experience entirely. You look down into the top of the camera as opposed to through a view finder, and thus shoot from a lower vantage point. I find this makes the photographs more composition-ally interesting.
Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your fine art photography?
A: I hope they find a piece of themselves.
Q: How do you view your art career in five years?
A: I hope to continue developing my style, to continue making tons of work, and submitting to exhibitions. Maybe I can make it into a few more.
About the artist:
I am a photographer. I shoot with several different cameras, digital and analog. [The submitted collection] were shot with a medium forma Holga lomography camera with 120mm film, and a Rolleiflex TLR film camera. I am an artist, wife, and mother of two. I've lived in Texas my entire life, and I find great joy in developing my own film in my kitchen sink. Our living situation is unconventional, which I believe greatly influences my work. We moved in with my in-laws so that my husband could pursue a new career path, and they have five adopted kids. My work, informed by the chaos of our lives, focuses on the themes of the day to day, and motherhood, with a touch of whimsy.
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