Brooke Shaden explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears. We asked her a few questions about her life and work:
All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
BS:I graduated from college with degrees in film and English, and I have always wanted to tell stories. The stories I was telling weren't fulfilling my personal creative process, mostly because I like to create one concept and move on rather quickly. Photography allowed me to tell many stories, nearly one a day, and create at a more fast-paced level. Once I started shooting, I knew I wanted to do photography full time about 5 months in.
AAP: Where did you study photography?
BS:I am self-taught in photography but did study filmmaking before that at Temple University.
AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
BS:I have been doing photography for 4 1/2 years now.
AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
BS:Absolutely! My first picture was done on December 19, 2008 in my bedroom in Philadelphia. It was a self-portrait and a clone shot where I placed myself in the image twice.
Brooke Shaden, Catharsis
AAP: What or who inspires you?
BS:I am inspired by paintings, by nature, fairytales, and darkness. I love finding beauty in darkness.
AAP: How could you describe your style?
BS:Dark, mysterious, timeless, whimsical, square format, painterly.
AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?
BS:Dream Catcher and Changing Winds. These two images are that are shot in a sewer, and I am working on a new series in which I edit images taken in a dark and dirty space to make it beautiful.
AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
BS:Canon 5D Mark II and a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens.
AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
BS:I spend anywhere from 2 hours to 40 hours editing my pictures, and I do so because I love creating new worlds with my creative process.
Brooke Shaden, Limitless
AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
BS:Gregory Crewdson, Jamie Baldrige.
AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
BS:Figure out what you love to shoot, and then shoot it. Try not to think about what other people want you to do. Be passionate, inspired, and always believe that you are worth those feelings.
While at grad school in the early 1970’s Henry Horenstein would attend Speedway races, in New England to see his brother in law compete. In front of his camera the drivers would fly around the track in beat-up cars customised for racing at break neck speeds in the hopes of small town glory. Horenstein's joyful images present us with a slice now of what the world of motor racing looked like then, before racing became big business, as it slowly morphed into Nascar - the worlds fastest growing sport. “I was still in grad school and I was looking for subjects. There had to be good pictures there for a wanna-be historian-with-a-camera. What better than an old-school sport that would certainly be extinct one day? I’m still waiting. My brother-in-law Paul raced stock cars―old. Paul’s cousin Dickie Simmonds owned the local Gulf station and modified the junkers that Paul drove at places like the Seekonk Speedway (Seekonk, MA) and the Thompson Speedway (Thompson, CT). Paul and Dickie had friends in low places.” Henry Horenstein "As I started to look at the photos I recognized most of the cars and I began to marvel at the skills of some of these drivers and their teams for keeping these heaps going. They must have been geniuses... As I looked over the photos for a second time I noticed that for a book about stock car racing there are more pictures of the people than their cars and this is something else that Henry and I share. On Car Talk we used the cars as an excuse to talk to people and get to know them and their stories." Ray Magliozzi
Achak’s dreamlike landscapes and mysterious portraits bring together human and spiritual worlds.
In All the Colors I Am Inside, Deb Achak reflects on our relationship with the soft, quiet voice of our intuition and the beauty of who we are under the surface. Achak explores how our inner voice leads us on the most surprising and glorious adventures, but to hear it, we must quiet our brains and savor the present moment. Bringing together human and spiritual worlds, she uses landscapes that are rich and mysterious, the way our dreams and meditations might feel, and portraits in which the subject is consumed by nature, swept up by it. Achak seeks to represent the pictorial quality of intuition using imagery that walks the line between rare and familiar. Ultimately, the work invites us to think less, feel more. Deb Achak is an American artist. All the Colors I Am Inside marks the artist’s debut monograph.
Southern wetlands, with their moss-draped trees and dark water obscuring mysteries below, are eerily beautiful places, home to ghost stories and haunting, ethereal light. The newest collection from award-winning photographer Keith Carter, Ghostlight captures the otherwordly spirits of swamps, marshes, bogs, baygalls, bayous, and fens in more than a hundred photographs.
From Ossabaw Island, Georgia, to his home ground of East Texas, Carter seeks “the secretive and mysterious” of this often-overlooked landscape: wisps of fog drifting between tree branches; faceless figures contemplating a bog; owls staring directly at the camera lens; infinite paths leading to unknown parts. Similarly, spectral images are evoked in the original short story that opens this book. Ghostlight, writes best-selling author Bret Anthony Johnston, “hovers, darts, disappears. It can be as mean as a cottonmouth, as mischievous aes a child. The closer you get, the farther the light recedes.” A masterpiece of “Bayou Gothic,” Ghostlight challenges our perceptions and invites us to experience the beauty of this elusive world.
The transformation of Dior’s mythic Parisian headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne as seen through the eyes of Robert Polidori.
Following the reopening of 30 Avenue Montaigne in 2022, this exquisite volume offers a unique look into the metamorphosis of the House of Dior’s legendary Parisian headquarters via images captured by acclaimed photographer Robert Polidori.
For over two years, the iconic hôtel particulierunderwent a radical transformation, during which Polidori was granted exclusive access to the site for the entire duration of the restoration—documenting the original state, the demolition phase, and the reconstruction of Dior’s home. Registering the past, present, and future of the spaces within a single frame, Polidori’s images capture layers of history in extraordinary detail. This impressive iconography offers an extraordinary visual experience recorded in one of the finest pieces of bookmaking, featuring neon printing, hand-tipped images on crystal paper, and a beautiful hemstitched cloth cover for an oversized book with a slipcase.