History, Part 2

This history writing took place early in my college years while attending UW-Stout in Menomonie, WI in 2009.

I became busy with school again but I never quit photography. Most of the work after this was added to my open series. I was really trying to stay away from the whole modeling theme and go for deeper and darker concepts of anything that jumped out for me. Below is an example for an open series I have yet to complete (as of writing this) and need to develop more. The image represents the contrast between the elderly and everyone else in terms of not only technology but the wearing away of your senses as age comes.

I continued to think about more series to work on. When I say “think about” I really mean taking note of what struck me as powerful at the moment, even if I did not understand or could explain it. This often happened randomly when ideas or brief insights inspired me while driving or socializing. This usually happened when I least expected it.

School kept me busy but I had a small break in which I could work on a series I could put together. I had this idea for a while but lacked the time and resources for it. I got help from two friends on this shoot, Brittany Waltz and Jay Plemmon. The idea here was to represent a relationship that lacked the ability to gain any momentum and was getting dulled by time. In response, drugs were offered to perform a countermeasure and save the relationship.

A woman holding a smoking cigarette with out of focus male figure holds his head
Let’s Ignore Eachother More Often 01-02

My second scripted series.

It was less than one week after coming back home when I took some amazing pictures of fog one morning. I was really wishing I had purchased a newer camera by this time but could not miss this moment at something like 5:30 am. If you were to ask me why I was up that early I couldn’t tell you. I just woke up and looked outside for some reason that morning very early.

A yellow school bus driving up a hill on a very foggy day with tints of yellow
Roar of Slamming Doors and Lights in Menomonie
A young woman looking off camera smoking a cigarette
Back Burner

One of the best spontaneous portraits of someone I didn’t know. The last picture I ever took with my Canon 20D.

While I was putting more images together in post-production I spent more and more time on UW-Stout’s college campus. I began to take several portraits of people walking by. Here is the best example of that below.

I had the idea in my mind for a series involving stabbing oneself with a syringe in the neck. Thanks to my friends Kaitlin and Michaela for helping me out with this one!

These were shot with my new camera, the Canon 5D Mark II (which is an amazing piece of equipment).

Young adult stabbing herself in the neck with a large syringe
The Blue Hour

A studio test of a shot I wanted to try out.

I began to do a lot more shooting with my new camera. Most of this was for fun. A school trip for the photo club I was a part of allowed me to travel in a group to St. Croix in MN and just take fun pictures.

I finally found some work for a magazine, Prothos Media, in which I had to portray domestic violence between a Greek-American male and female. The shoot went smoothly, thanks to Tracy Charpentier, who were the two models.

I decided to step things up for real and actually do some photo manipulation more so than I had done in the past. Of course, not every image was completely transformed but a higher percentage of them came out altered in a more dynamic way than simple color and curve adjustments.

Bridge in Stillwater MN with a composited oversized moon and purple sky
Bridge in Stillwater MN

Taken in St. Croix, MN.

After I put these images up, I decided to bring more digital painting and complex masking into my images. Taking a pretty picture was not the intent (usually) — It was soon more about the potential an image had and what I could do to it.

This mindset kept me going when I wasn’t sure where else to go or what else to do. I knew that I was only scratching the surface and was onto bigger and better things. It was difficult to find the time between work, school, and having a social life to really bring out more and more experimentation. I usually stayed in and worked, burning myself out.

On top of that, I was dealing with more wedding photography and senior portraits. It wasn’t long before I became burned out for real and took a small break, which ended up lasting about a month.

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