"when i started photography, i saw myself" admiring the work of Larson Rogers
What got you into photography, and what has pushed you to stay inspired and motivated to create work?
I started photography when I was 15. I was a sophomore in high school and had pretty much tried everything from sports to music by that point and never found my niche, but when I started photography I actually saw myself, for the first time, excel in something and felt like I had finally found my place.
Who are your strongest influences?
I am currently on the path to discovering my personal style when it comes to photography and through this process I've found influence from so many amazing artists such as Sally Mann, Annie Leibovitz, Brittany O'brien, Ben Zucker, Petra Collins, George Muncey, and so many more I could go on for days. I find inspiration in each of these artists for many different reasons. Petra Collins inspired me to work with colored lighting, I look to Brittany O'brien and Ben Zucker's work to find new ways of challenging myself while shooting concerts, Annie Leibovitz has sparked my interests in editorial shoots, Sally Mann's images keep me wanting to work with film and stay true to the roots of photography, and George Muncey inspires me to document everyday life. All of these people and more constantly inspire me to go out and try something new.
What helps get your creative energy flowing/whats your creative process like?
I like to think that my mind is like a never ending movie reel and when I see a "scene" that I find interesting it's almost as if my brain takes a mental screen cap and stores it in my "potential photo concept" drawer. Whether I'm listening to a song, watching a film, hanging out with friends, etc, my brain creates these moving images that I hit the pause button on so I can possibly find a way to recreate those daydreams in real life and photograph them. I've never really tried to explain that so it may sound a little crazy but in short if something in life triggers an image in my head I quickly sketch it out and save it for when the time comes for me to photograph it.
How do you feel creating and photographing benefits you personally, in regards to mindfulness, self-awareness, mental health, etc.?
I'm a firm believer in that certain things will come into your life right when you need them, and for me photography has been that thing. When I was 15 I had really bad depression and when I wasn't at home laying in my bed, I was out taking photos or at school spending the majority of my time in the darkroom. I think that photography in a way acted as a sort of healthy distraction and it was something I found that I was good at and that helped me a lot because I hadn't found anything that made me feel that way before. Throughout the years and times I've been depressed, photography has been the thing that keeps me going, even in times of self doubt when I feel like my art isn't good, I find myself more motivated than ever to learn and to push myself to get better. I think it's extremely important to find a way to express yourself and use a creative outlet in times of depression, anxiety, stress, etc. because it can become a way to get your mind off things or even help you through the problems you may be facing.