I am a huge fan of Deanna’s work and have been following her for quite some time. I was immediately drawn to her photographs by the way she captured everyday life. Whether it was trips around town running errands or the childhood moments in her own home, they left me completely inspired to capture the beauty in my own every day.
Who was/is your biggest photography inspiration? I feel like my daily inspiration changes depending on my mood and how I am shooting. I believe that as artists, it is important to have a broad outlook on photographers who inspire me. Like a whole so up pot full of talent vs. one single person. I believe if I just had one person to inspire me it would be the same as putting blinders on and never opening my art up for growth. To name a few of my top favorites it would be Sally Mann, Alain Laboile, Emmet Gowin, Diane Arbus, and Dorthea Lange.
I think we all have moments when we get in a photography slump. When this happens to you, what makes you pick up your camera when you are just not feeling it? Funny you mention this question because I have been in a slump almost all winter! I am still shooting daily even though the images I am producing aren’t anything that is given me satisfaction yet. I feel like if I keep pushing myself through this and if I keep going through the process of shooting even if it isn’t something I want to share with the world, a moment will happen that will inspire me and that one photograph will make all of the others worth it. I think you just have to keep on truckin. By all means if you need a break, then take one, but don’t let the camera collect too much dust.
In your photography journey, what has been the best advice that you were given? In an oversaturated photography world it can be hard to stand out. So the best way to stand out is to simply be yourself.
How did you find your style of photography? I feel like my style has been all over the place since I started. But I think experimenting with different kinds of photography is what has helped me find what I want to shoot. I still don’t think my style is where I want it to be, but it is evolving over time. As I grow as an artist, my style shifts a bit so I never want to let myself believe that I have actually found it.
What personal projects are you working on in your photography? Right now I am working on another round at a 365, a group collaborative called 52 Saturday Mornings, and an iPhone project to document my pregnancy by the week. I hope to then evolve that project into another dSLR project when the baby is born to document his/her first year to put a unique spin on a baby book.
Do you use Photoshop or Lightroom? I use to use Photoshop, but switched to Lightroom last year.
What is the most important thing you have learned about editing? Keep it simple.
What do you think your biggest strength is as a photographer? This is a hard question for me for some reason. I have never really thought about it to tell you the truth. I think my biggest strength is that I am brutally honest with myself about where I am with my work, where I want to be, and being a go getter to make those things happen. Two years ago one biggest goals would be to simply get published. I pushed those boundaries and eventually got published in 6 magazines and three more coming out this year including Country Living. Last year it was to have an art gallery show and I ended up with 1 solo show, another shared exhibit with a DC artist, and I turned down 2 others because I felt like I was getting ahead of myself. The fact that my work actually sold still astounds me. This year I knew I wanted something big to push me, but I wasn’t sure what yet and I ended up selling a photo to the State of West Virginia for tourism and will be hired by them to travel with my family around the state and will get to document the whole trip. None of this would have never happened if I didn’t put myself out there. Yes, some people could have cared less about my work and that is ok. It can make it a bit scarier to push your boundaries, but taking changes will change your life and career.
What do you think is your biggest weakness as photographer? I am my own worst critic. I feel like I am always judging my own work. For once I would just like to be content.
What do you wish was different about the photography community? I wish there was more supporting and uplifting instead of bashing and comparing. I am in a lot of groups online and while there are some people who offer amazing support and uplifting comments, I hate that there’s so much judging and critizing from others. Art is very subjective, but that dosent mean that it is ok to be cruel.
Do you have any photography goals for this year? This year I simply want to focus more on my personal work than anything else. I hope to continue to grow and to push my own boundaries to create some images I can be proud of at the end of the year.
To print more of my images. I am terrible at printing.
To shoot more film.
Deanna was interviewed by Karen Cornwell Hunt.