Featuring Creatives - Interview No. 4

The Monster Within

The Monster Within

Fly Away

Fly Away

Metamorphic 

Metamorphic 

The World Below

The World Below

Little Boxed (boy)

Little Boxed (boy)

The Nox 2

The Nox 2

First, tell me as much as you can about yourself in a haiku.

I am an Artist
I am a Missionary
I am a Mormon

How did you get your start with what you do?

James- I started out taking photos at age 15. I began to experiment with photography by taking photos of practically everything. I then took two photography classes at a college in my town. I learned a lot, but where I believe my talent really comes from is learning from my own mistakes and always wanting to become better.

How have you seen yourself grow as an artist?

James- There are a few ways that I have seen myself grow as an artist. I begin to become bored with my photography and I see that I need to do something new. Also, when I look back at my work and I suddenly realize how much I have changed.

What's one art-related memory that sticks out in your mind?

James- I guess the only thing that I can think of is the moment when I realized that artistically; dodging and burning (lighten/darken) a photograph can make an image so much more.

What have you currently been up to? 

James- Lately I have been experimenting with what I can do, how far I can push myself, and how I can become better. I have lately been looking at others work which is far from mine in experience and try to see if I can do it. Which then gives me inspiration for my own unique work. 

What fuels your artistic soul? 

James- Cookies. Just kidding, but sometimes it feels that way. Honestly it’s an outlet for my passion and something I can do to become better at and challenge myself. That is why I do what I do. 

Who are three artists you're either inspired by or look up to?

What would a 'perfect' day for you be like? 

James- Going to a beautiful location with a few friends and a model (which would pretty much be a friend too) and waking up early to explore the location, it should be overcast and then after the exploring and shoot we will watch a corny movie at home and have pizza and play games.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

James- As of now I am headed off on a Church Mission for two years to Uruguay. I will not be doing my usual Conceptual photography work but I will still be taking photos of the people and the landscape.

 

Featuring Creatives - Interview No. 2

Against My Vows

Against My Vows

The End Is Nigh

The End Is Nigh

Turn Back Time

Turn Back Time

A Dance With The Devil 

A Dance With The Devil 

Self Portrait 

Self Portrait 

The Sky of The Sky of a Tree Called Life

The Sky of The Sky of a Tree Called Life

First, tell me as much as you can about yourself in a haiku.

The coldest winter 
thawed my heart, and I found love
in pictures of life

How did you get your start with what you do?

Amani- I started by just wanting to experiment with photo-manipulation and seeing what I can create on photoshop. I only started “officially” after I attended Brooke Shaden’s workshop a year ago. That’s when I realized that photography is the medium I’ve been looking for all this time to express how I feel.

How have you seen yourself grow as an artist?

Amani- I see inspiration everywhere now. At the beginning I separated photography from my everyday life, and it wasn’t something I was constantly doing. Now, it’s all I think about. I see textures everywhere, and whenever I come across an interesting object, my first thought is “how can I use that in a picture?”. When it comes to the technical stuff, I think I managed to develop my skills on photoshop with trying out different styles and just experimenting in general.

What's one art-related memory that sticks out in your mind?

Amani- I’d have to say that it was Brooke’s workshop. I remember going not knowing exactly what the workshop would be like - it was the first photography workshop I ever attended and I was scared. I was intimidated because everyone was older than me, and everyone had better gear. I went with my old Canon 550D and an old 50mm lens. It wasn’t until the second day of the workshop that I started being more confident - Brooke saw my work and told me it should be in a gallery. That’s something I’d never forget.

What are a few things on your "Bucket List?"

Amani- Oh my, I have so many.

  • Travel, as much as I can.
  • To have one of my images on a book cover.
  • Get a masters degree in Fine Arts and teach art and photography at a university, and also teach workshops.
  • To grow, as a person and as a photographer, to be kinder - to others and to myself, to love with all my heart.

What have you been currently up to?

Amani- I’m almost halfway through my 52 Week Project, and that’s always keeping me busy. But I’m also trying to get into galleries, both national and international. Nothing is set yet, but I’m determined to make it happen!

What fuels your artistic soul?

Amani- Everyday experiences and emotions- from love to loss, from betrayal to joy. I find inspiration in knowing that feelings are universal, it’s something we all have in common, no matter where we are in the world.

Who are three artists you're either inspired by or look up to?

Amani- I hate to sound repetitive but I have to say Brooke Shaden, of course. I also admire Lara Jade’s work - I prefer her older conceptual work but I still find her fashion photography inspiring. And Rob Woodcox - not only is his photography absolutely amazing, he seems like such a great person, I’d love to attend one of his workshops someday.

What would a 'perfect' day for you be like?

Amani- A perfect day would be: waking up before sunrise to do a shoot (either by the beach or in a forest), then watching the sunrise with a warm cup of coffee. After that, I’d spend a few hours immersed in a novel, then I’d grab lunch with a close friend and spend some time with my family. The rest of the day, I’d spend editing.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

Amani- I just want to say thank you. To you, Kory, for giving me the opportunity to share all of this with you and your readers, and to everyone who’s been following my work and supporting me this past year. It means the world to me.