Surrealism...and why I am the worst marketer I know.

For the handful of you who read this, I want to personally say thank you. Growing up I enjoyed the emotion of writing, but tried to paint pictures as they really were. Some things in life are moving and powerful and breathtaking, and some things are not that interesting. This clickbait, scandalous, “public figure” life is never one I want to have anything near. If something in my life is really exciting or interesting, I will paint it as such, if it is not, I will paint it plainly. To me, this part of my personality is very true and transparent. I find that overdramatic people have a hard time articulating things that are actually meaningful because they’ve already worn out meaningful words and phrases, spending them on nonsense.

My personality is very transparent. Core values define what and why I do things. One of my core values is to create things that awe my viewers. I would rather have no viewers than to share images I’ve created that I don’t feel create a sense of awe. I would rather die protecting a mole hill I care about than live freely in the vast space of a mountain that is insignificant to me. This makes me probably the worst self-promoter of all time. I struggle with this. So many experts have given me marketing advice that involves gushing about how cute things were and how happy people were, and this simply isn’t me. I’m a terrible actor. However, when the light hits the subject just right, or if there is any whimsical characteristics of photograph, I’m entertained with it intensely. Often times with my art, I spend in incredible amounts of time and brain activity making it perfect in my eyes before I ever share it with others. Yet sometimes, I lack of words necessary to convey what it is that makes me so happy about the image I made. This further drives home the idea that if I These blog posts are my attempt to be both more vocal about my art, and be myself in how I deliver that self-promotion.

These images I want to share here are before and afters of long edits that took 3-8 hours each to finish. Often I mixed around elements that I liked in them, then deleted said elements and went in a different direction before feeling satisfied with the final product. The techniques I have learned to do so are almost entirely learned from sources online. Many of which completed process steps in such a rapid pace that at times I felt I was listening to a foreign language. The angst of wanting to learn and often ending up with a piercing headache created intense joy in me when I first felt that my images were coming together in the way I had envisioned them.

The first image here is an image of Reese at a basketball court. I loved the open spaces of the scene above his head, and spent some time filling it with various night scenes. I love night images, and especially during the Missouri winter they are not something that most people are willing to volunteer for, so this was my way of creating what I saw in a big of a smug way because “night” was not necessary for a night styled image. The blacks in the image came together so well because he was wearing virtually all black and I enjoyed the simplicity of that coming together. The day I did this, I had learned a new technique of deleting pixels, so everything black in the image is actually not black, but rather “lacking pixels” entirely. This keeps an even flow among the black and some consistency. Later I went in and added some white elements, and they popped really nicely against the black, so I exaggerated them as much as I could. For someone wanting to make images like this, my advice is to browse. Spend lots of time viewing and searching for intrigue in images you find. Ask yourself what you enjoy and don’t about certain images. Ask yourself what things need. Be willing to fail. Failure in this is only a failure to try.

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My next image I want to share is an image I shot with Gabrielle in St. Peters, Missouri. I purposely took a lot of images of her doing unusual things with her hands, changing perspectives of how I photographed her in this spiraling concrete staircase, hoping in the back of my head that someday I could put it to creative use. Anytime I am dealing with images I want to photoshop, I must inspect and analyze the perspective used. This is why I do so much to try and have a myriad of different perspectives within a photoshoot. As I’ve grown older I’ve become more aware of what is happening within each photoshoot. That to say, I sometimes am in a flow of taking simple, nice pictures and sneak in these potential home-run images as I see them. This image begged for me to create something much bigger with it. The urban background behind not near the creative peak it could reach, so I added to it. To me, the greatest thing an artist can do is make whatever they see into a reality, regardless of what is put in front of them. Seeing that end goal, that big picture from the start is how people like Walt Disney created their own world to live in. Some of the most stunning scenes I ever saw never existed. Hope you enjoyed these two images and some context to why and how I did what I did with them!

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