Beata Rydén Photography Blog

Beata Rydén Photography Blog

International Womens Day. Part Four: Brooke Shaden.

InspirationPosted by Beata Fri, March 08, 2013 12:51:02

Today, March 8, is the International Women´s Day. Because of this, I wanted to take the occasion to show you some of my biggest inspirations when it comes to Fine Art Photography.

This week I have been writing about women who have influenced me in my photographic art. One artist every day of this week, until March 8. Today I present the fourth artist, and later I will present the fifth artist as well.

These artists teached me what photography could really be, and made me see beyond the documentary side of photography that I was used to see. The photographic medium has a strength that goes beyond the truth. To me, the truth isn´t of interest when I create a photograph. Maybe the inner truth, but not the obvious world of objects around us. These artists opened up my eyes and showed me the endless possibilities that the photographic medium can possess.

Part Four: BROOKE SHADEN.

Brooke Shaden was born in March of 1987 in Lancester, PA, USA. She studied film and English at Temple University for two years before she went into Fine Art Photography full-time. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats.

Brooke calls herself a self-portrait artist, and she says she creates self-portraits for ease and to have full control over the images. But she also works with models, as in the picture above. Brooke Shaden has a goal with her photography:

"To question what it means to be alive, and to create new worlds."

I discovered Brooke Shadens work through Flickr, an online community for photographers (amateurs and professionals) to share their work. I am totally honest when I say that I had never seen anything similar. I was amazed. The square photographs, that looked like paintings, with the strong colors and expressive models in them. At first, I couldn´t define what was special with the pictures, except that I had never seen anything like it.

Something changed inside of me the day I saw Brookes work for the first time. I had to redefine what photography was. I had to redefine what the photographic medium could do. I discovered that photography could do much more than I ever thought was possible. And I discovered that I could do more with photography than I ever thought was possible.

"I believe that confidence is the best thing you can find when it comes to being successful in any part of life. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?"

After being amazed by Brookes work, I learned that she was two years younger than me, that she didn´t have any exam from a School of photography (except from film), and that many of her photographs were self-portraits. This made me realize that you don´t need anyones permission to do what you want to do. I understood that I didn´t have to get accepted at a certain school in order to pursue photography. I understood that I didn´t need a big studio, lots of gear, or an assistant in order to create my work. I didn´t even need a model! I could do it all by myself. Brooke made me take my camera out in the woods, all by myself, and shoot self-portraits.

"Without persistence, dreams are forgotten too easily. When I started photography full time I knocked on the doors of roughly 100 art galleries before one said yes. Had I quit after 50, I might never have had a career in photography."

Quotes from Brooke Shadens blog.

To see Brooke Shadens work, head over to her website.

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