Wednesday, August 25, 2010

found: inspiration
august 25, 2010 | kristen schueler photography

two things you should know about me :

i love old stuff.

i believe in fate.

this past weekend, my love of old stuff crossed paths with fate.

friday night after work, i headed home to stamford, ct to see some family and friends. my boyfriend, adam, joined me for the weekend excursion, as it was for my birthday. now, i'm not one of those people who has a "birthday month", where everything is all kristen all the time. i do, however, enjoy picking out a few activities when no one can tell me no. so this past saturday, i wanted to go to some tag sales (or yard sales, garage sales, estate sales...whatever you want to call them). not an unusual activity, but it's something i love to do, and was excited! my parents handed me the paper, and let me chose a handful to go to. a particular one caught my eye immediately, and i circled that, along with three others. and we were off.

the first few tag sales were typical. adam picked up a medicine ball and a cheese platter - always so practical! i missed my chance at a decently prices aeron chair, which would have been nice, but there's always more chairs. the next tag sale we went to was the one that had first caught my eye in the paper. now, one of the things i always have my eye out for is new props for my photography. as soon as i walked up to this house, i saw one - a gorgeous, paper mache rocking horse style tiger. adorable! the woman running the show saw my interest.

"do you have a little one?"

"oh, no, but i do photograph children, and this would be a perfect prop," i responded.

"a photographer? my husband's a photographer also!"

i turn, acknowledging the middle aged man, not thinking much of it. after a few more steps, i saw a collection of vintage kodaks. i find something so fascinating about these, and stop and admire for some time. the man approaches me again, and we start a dialogue about photography. my first judgement assumed he was retired, and took pictures of trees and streams in his spare time, and called himself a photographer. then, he begins to tell me his work crosses over into CGI (computer generated imaging), and only starts out with photographs.

at this point, i become very curious, and start firing questions. he tells me how he started out as a cinematographer (what i originally wanted to do with my career), and transitioned his way into photography through cinema. he leaves out the awards he has won (including four video music awards, one for a pat benatar video!). oh, and he forgot to mention, he just found out he received an international photographer of the year award for 2010 - picked out of 175,000 other photographers.

whoa. this guy is big time. i immediately start feeling a little nervous - almost as if i am out of my element. my fight or flight response kicks in. luckily, i fight. must not look stupid! he goes on to say that he doesn't use photoshop, and can't even afford the software he uses, which has a price tag of $22,000. so he goes into new york and uses it at the school of visual arts, where he also teaches.

did i mention i have been dreaming of the grad program in digital photography at the school of visual arts for about 3 years?? i tell him this, and offers his help. we exchange contact information, and decide to keep in touch.

when i get home, i immediately go to his website. while his work is not for everyone (it involves children and blood and overall weirdness), i am blown away by his technique. when i first changed from film to digital, i was hooked on photoshop, and though my path
would lead me to commercial and advertising work. however, the clients that came my way wanted pictures of their babies & weddings, so i took what came to me. meeting this man motivated me to pursue my love of everything digital, and awakened my original passion for surreal photography. i feel there was a reason our paths crossed, if only to inspire me.

you can view his work at just remember you've been warned.

oh, i also bought two of those vintage cameras! more on those later.


Emily said...

how cool! what a great adventure.

Amy T said...

seriously cool!!