Ever since moving to Champaign I have been wanting gain more knowledge in not only street photography but just my craft as a whole.
I took this photograph “Vinyl Man” on a really cold Saturday afternoon in January at a local record shop when my friend Dakota was visiting. I had somewhat of a vision going into the shoot but the photograph I ended up using was not even one that I had in mind. Once we got into the record store I told him to find the most unique record. I loved the lines of the CD’s on the left and the old train ticket booth on the right. I broke the rule of thirds and positioned him in the middle and had my ISO and shutter speed low. I wanted the photograph to have a dark feeling to it, I also spent some time in lightroom getting it be the way I wanted it.
When I took this photo I had no plans to submit it to a show or to do anything with it other than maybe share it on social media, it was a little different than the usual portraits I had taken and I wasn’t confident in people’s reactions. However, when I saw that 40 North was hosting a show title Me, Myself and I: Creating Identity I knew I wanted to submit something, I thought about capturing something new, filed through all my old photos and nothing was standing out except “Vinyl Man”, the photo I wasn’t even sure I liked myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I tried something new, a new idea and a new tone for photographs and I stretched my abilities. I had conquered only a small portion of my goal since moving here 8 months ago, but I did it.
When I walked in the night of the opening I had no idea what to expect, who was going to be there, the atmosphere, the other pieces of artwork. I was pleasantly surprised that it was packed, so many people in the community wanted to support local art and I couldn’t get enough of it. My name was on the wall! I know this sounds naive but I was so shocked at how “adult” the whole event was. It was one of the first times in a little over a year since I graduated from college that I felt like this was what post-grad life was. It was honest, real and passionate. These were artist years older than me who were still finding art passionate, still wanting to create something that speaks to people. One of my greatest fears is being content with my art, photo or video and losing the passion and drive that I currently have. If anything, having “My name on the wall” at age 22 was a testament that passion for art can’t die and I hope that “my name is on the wall” again.