Few words about yourself?
I am 18 years old and currently living and working in Orange, California. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in a rural town in Georgia.
What made you choose Photography?
I’ve always had an interest in art and expressing myself creatively. I realized pretty early on that I wasn’t cut out for the traditional artistic mediums… I was an awful painter and even worse at drawing. Photography was a very accessible art form for me, and something just sort of clicked in me when I first picked up a camera. It felt very natural for me, and I used it to tell the stories that I’ve always wanted to tell but didn’t have the ability previously.
Your thoughts on those great self-portraits of yours, the idea and thought process behind them?
Well, when I first began taking photographs, I used myself as the model mostly out of convenience. I didn’t always have someone else there to take picture of, and even if I did, I still preferred to photograph myself because I was still wasn’t confident in my work and didn’t feel comfortable showing it to anyone I knew. My self-portraiture just sort of blossomed from there, and it has become a staple of my work today. The characters I portray in my self-portraits and the ideas behind them almost never come from personal experience. Many of my pictures have a sad quality to them or are very emotional, but I’ve always had a rather dull life.
How do you choose those splendid locations with appropriate props to enhance your Pictures?
I consider the location and props used in my photographs to be just as important as the model, idea, and clothing. They all work together equally to create a piece of work. I want the scene to be as authentic and believable as possible, so I will only use locations and props that I see fit for a certain concept. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful locations to choose from.
Your Pictures are absolute emotional statements, what drives you to produce such work?
I love drama in photographs. I am very rarely attracted to subtle work or static figures in pictures. I love when the subject of the photo really gets into character and is able to show the emotion needed to complete the scene. I’ve never really had a lot of turmoil in my life, and I am very bad at expressing my emotions in person. I think taking very emotional photographs gives me a way to express those emotions through my art instead of in my everyday life.
Can you share us your workflow in how do you approach a shoot?
Well, I usually base a shoot around a certain location or prop first. I look at what I have at my disposal and then try to make something work around it. I’ll imagine a story based on a waterfall or a lantern or a beach or umbrella – whatever I have. I’ll often search for inspiration in Pre-Raphaelite paintings, like those of John William Waterhouse. Then I will find an outfit that suits the location and time period I wish to shoot, an appropriate model, and then dive into it.
Your Pictures are very rich in Colors & Clarity, how do you plan your way of presentation?
I would say this is a result split 50/50 between planning done before the shoot and post-processing. Before I take the photograph, I will make sure I have a good color scheme to work with by using only clothing and locations that have a good matching aesthetic. You have to have a good starting point with your photos before you even go into processing, because there is only so much Photoshop can do for you. When I begin editing, I will use Photoshop tools to enhance what is already there.
Your Inspiration or Motivation which keeps your pictures fresh?
I think photographers have to be aware of the work other photographers out there are creating and be able to differentiate their own stuff from it while still remaining true to their individual artistic vision. It’s a hard thing to do.
What is your gear and how important are they for you?
I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and 50mm f/1.4 + 85mm f/1.8. Equipment doesn’t matter as much as people think. I could still create the same caliber of work with a cheaper camera. It would still have all of the elements that make it successful, but rather it just would be a bit less on the technical side.
- What is your idea of happiness?
A cup of coffee in one hand and ten dogs in my lap (I’m an animal lover)
- What is your greatest fear?
The world going on once I’m gone
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My first solo exhibition in Paris, France.
- Where would you like to live?
A secluded little house in the forests of Washington.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
The gap between my front teeth.
- What do you most appreciate in your friends?
Their humor and openness.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
Regina Spektor, Tim Walker, Rosie Hardy
- What is Love?
A connection and patience that can withstand 9 months and 2,200 miles.
- Who are your favorite authors?
Alice Sebold, John Connolly, Stephen King
- What is your favorite motto?
“Long hair, don’t care”
More Pictures – Click on the image to enlarge
You can find Alex Stoddard on the Web :
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Alex Stoddard. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.
Awesome stuff.. Love it. All the best Alex.
Just amazing and scintillating in knowing one can do such self portraits!!
Tis is Mindblowing stuff and thanks to 121clicks for this amazing interview!
Stunning images and a great interview!!
Outstanding work Alex. Really nice interview.
Good pictures and concepts.. very creative indeed…thnks for sharing..