I’ve been wanting to do some religious icon based imagery. In this case, we created the headpiece and decided on a traditional palate of gold, red, white, blue and black, though, as you can see from the edits I also played around with green. I like how in this series the model/character is not merely a representation of any single goddess or saint, but rather she seems to be a modern amalgamation of characters, religions and cultures. On the right, you’ll notice two alternative edits. The lower one is based in some traditional imagery, the rose – so often depicted with Mary lending its symbolism.
Chasing Rainbows: I’ve been wanting to explore the OZ theme for sometime, so it was to my great fortune that my new friend Ashley showed up with a Dorothy costume in hand! The Oz series is, to me, the quintessential American Fairy tale. Oz represents escapism, while Kansas is the epitome of mundane, and the very tumultuous experience, represented by the twister, is the necessary catalyst for change in order to escape the cycle of habit and familiarity. In this image, I wanted the colors and light to feel like that eerie light before a tornado: an uncomfortable and even sickening yellowish-green. At the same time, we have our heroine frantically running across the claustrophobic, grassy landscape, which is speckled by solid objects of civilization (the power lines). However, in this scene, she is not running from the twister, but rather towards the rainbow which seems to almost disappear very faintly in the distance. Perhaps it is like chasing dreams that seem to fade, and the urgency we feel to run towards that adventure, hoping to leave all that we know behind.
In continuation with my alphabet challenge (in which I attempt to create an image by selecting a random word from the dictionary in alphabetical order) I am picking back up with the letter B. I randomly selected ‘Buzz’ for my wor – which worked out well because I had been wanting to use some photos I’d taken of some bee carcasses that I’d found outside of my house. I wanted to make the image look like the cover of a magazine as Buzz seeming like some kind of catch word for a fashion editorial. Hence, a sort of model like pose as well. But then there is angst in my face (hello wrinkled brow), the sort of anxiety one might feel from a bee buzzing around or landing upon her body. Furthermore, I’ve attempted a palette that mirrors that of the bumble bee. Not my favorite work, but not bad for a little project to keep me Bizzzzy.
We met early, planning to enter an abandoned building for our photo shoot in Knoxville. I’m always out in search of new locations, and as of last week the place I’d found was still open enough to sneak inside. However, when I arrived on the scene the other morning I found the building boarded up from the outside, and had to act quickly knowing that Justin was making a 3 hour drive to be here. But, I knew of another location, one that was unassuming from the outside, but had wonders untold on the inside. It was as simple as conferring with the management and getting the go ahead to use the space. I’m not sure we were working within the parameters of the space they’d permitted, but no harm was done and the photos look amazing. This is just the first round of edits and there will be more to come! Photography: Kelly Grzasko Model: Justin Merker
I suppose I never get bored of editing photos. But I do get bored of doing things the same way. The paraphrased quote, “If you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” stands out to me. I don’t want to become complacent in my work. I realized as I was editing this series how I’ve become technically quite sound, and I know I can produce a stunning image without much thought. But is it art? If I am to be an artist then I must challenge myself to not only be diligent, but also to challenge myself to take risks. I don’t know how well these will be received, or even my own thoughts on them at the moment. Its still settling in. But, I think I like the attempt.
Photography: Kelly Grzasko
Model: Justin Merker