Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Blogger: Lea Alexander

Today's guest post comes from photographer Lea Alexander. Lea is another fantastic artist I met when she and some friends moved into our Memphis bungalow. Her housemate, Kathleen Murray, guest posted for me in February. You can check out her post here. You can follow Lea on Instagram at Photoyo.

When I was first asked to do this blog post I wondered what I would write about. This post actually comes at a perfect time because just a few weeks ago I was in Atlanta attending the Society for Photographic Education conference. I felt that this conference was just what I needed. I have been out of graduate school for a few years now and I have found myself in some sort of slump ever since. These conferences are full of many different lectures. Some are fantastic. Some not so much. But the keynote speaker for this conference was Abelardo Morell. I adore his work so I knew that was totally worth the trip! His talk was great. He took us through his work from the beginning to what he is currently working on. I left there ready to photograph. Another great thing about this conference was that I got many ideas from each lecture I went to. Dan Burkholder, well known for his process of creating digital negatives, gave a talk on using your iPhone and the many different apps that can be used and what these apps do best. This talk was great to hear because though I say I have been in a slump, I have been using my iPhone pretty much everyday to photograph the world around me.

I have come to terms with the fact that the use of my iPhone camera is my main way of photographing right now and that it is ok to incorporate other art forms in what I am working on. I don’t believe that to be a “real” photographer you have to have the best gear or the latest technology or only stick to just photography. By using my phone, I can document everything around me and often photograph without it being obvious what I am doing. The networking of people who use their phone as a form of communication is continuing to grow and grow. I have been using the Instagram app a good bit lately and have really enjoyed it. It allows me to upload photos, which then allows everyone who is following me to view them and comment if they want to. I hear there are now Instameets where you can meet up with people in your city who use Instagram. This use of technology allows us to view photos and meet people that we may have never met otherwise! Amazing!

And I actually enjoy editing these photos with the many apps that are available. You are able to have a finished product in no time at all. So I think I have determined that I have not really been in a slump, but just quietly working and that somehow all of these photos will come together. Printing these images makes this process even better because it gives me proof that I have created something. A printed image makes all the difference in the world, even if you have to go to some drug store to print it out. 

If you ever have a chance to go to a photo conference or listen to an artist of any kind give a lecture, GO. Even if you don’t think that it influences you, there may be one word that changes everything about your art. And who cares if you use the camera on your phone to create images?  The main thing is the fact that you are creating. And that can lead to anything…

Abelardo Morell’s website:
Dan Burkholder’s website:

Fallen by Lea Alexander
Metal Curtain by Lea Alexander

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