#ThrowbackThursday / by Alexandria Cox

Taken back in 2010, not super long after I got my first DSLR. A Canon XSi

Taken back in 2010, not super long after I got my first DSLR. A Canon XSi

#ThrowbackThursday

One of the most common questions I get asked when I tell people about my Conceptual Photography is how long have I been doing this. But that question is not as easily answered as it is asked.

I mean, if you want to go with how long I have been doing conceptual photography, then the answer is about 3 years. But even then, I don’t count much of what I created from that time to be very good. (Though, I’m sure in a year or so, I will look back at what I’m creating now and cringe.) But that’s kind of the point. If I ever get to the point where I look back at my old work and think it looks just as good as what I’m making now, then most likely, I haven’t grown as an artist or even a person.

As I mentioned, it’s a complicated question to be answered. I really count my whole life of artistic experience to have been a part of my current pursuits in Conceptual Photography. Art is a great thing in that, if you learn how to draw or paint, (how colors interact and the all-time important rule of thirds) all of that is equally applicable to photography. (Not even to mention the skills of drawing or painting being super handy for Photoshop). So, I suppose after all that… my answer may be that I have been interested and trying different types of art my whole life. It’s just only in the past seven-ish years that photography and Photoshop really became interesting to me and opened a whole new world to me and my imagination.

 

The reason I wanted to write this blog in particular is because of those times when I, or any artist, are just starting out in their craft; super excited, but kinda at a total loss about what we’re actually doing.

And that’s totally ok! Every once in a while, when I’m looking back at my old work, peering through my fingers feeling so embarrassed at my horrendous Photoshop skills, or rather, lack of skills, I’ll find an image or two that I’m really surprised with!

 

But you know what? At the time, I thought what I was making was really the bees knees! And so did my friends and family! Which is a super important point. Without those people encouraging me and being all like, “Wow! That’s so cool!” “How did you do that!!?” “That’s amazing! You’ve got a real talent at this!”, I would have given up any sort of art long ago. Thankfully, none of them were professional art critics. Otherwise, they probably would have actually seen how truly bad my work was. But they didn’t know any different. They just cared about me, saw me doing something I loved, and believed in me! Thank goodness.

You may not believe me. You may be thinking to yourself, “uh huh… sure. I could never even draw a stick person, much less create a whole conceptual image.” And when I started out, I would have totally agreed with you. To prove it, here is a step back into my artistic past. Please, feel free to laugh at the terrible lighting and overly saturated images. I hope these images will encourage you and maybe even give you a little laugh. (Please note, these images being not the best is totally on me. All of my models were and are wonderful, talented, and beautiful people. )

When I first began my photography, I told myself, and everyone else, that I ONLY wanted to take pictures of nature and animals. 

When I first began my photography, I told myself, and everyone else, that I ONLY wanted to take pictures of nature and animals. 


But, after awhile, I started photographing people and I actually really enjoyed it. Even though I knew NOTHING about good lighting or editing. (As you can clearly see.) But crazy enough, people liked what I did. And even started to hire me for jobs. 

But, after awhile, I started photographing people and I actually really enjoyed it. Even though I knew NOTHING about good lighting or editing. (As you can clearly see.) But crazy enough, people liked what I did. And even started to hire me for jobs. 


Pretty soon a few couples even hired me to photograph their weddings. 

Pretty soon a few couples even hired me to photograph their weddings. 


As I mentioned in the blog, every once in a while, I was able to capture an image that really stood out, and was above my normal caliber of work. I think it's images like these that really inspired me to push on and expand my knowledge. (Though looking back at these two images, (taken 2011 and 2013) maybe it was really the hat that did the trick ;) )

As I mentioned in the blog, every once in a while, I was able to capture an image that really stood out, and was above my normal caliber of work. I think it's images like these that really inspired me to push on and expand my knowledge. (Though looking back at these two images, (taken 2011 and 2013) maybe it was really the hat that did the trick ;) )


Before long, I decided to expand my work to include "fashion/editorial". 

Before long, I decided to expand my work to include "fashion/editorial". 


And then, I began to dabble in Conceptual Photography, before I even had a name to put to it.  (Oh goodness, you guys have no idea what how much humble pie I am eating right now, showing all these self portraits.... the one on the right was my attempt to portray a look I might have had, had I grown up in a different home.) 

And then, I began to dabble in Conceptual Photography, before I even had a name to put to it.  (Oh goodness, you guys have no idea what how much humble pie I am eating right now, showing all these self portraits.... the one on the right was my attempt to portray a look I might have had, had I grown up in a different home.) 


Back in 2012 I decided to try to complete a 365 project (one photo every day for a year.) I'm pretty sure I only made it to about day 20. (The top image was one of these such photos) Then, last year I took up the challenge of a 52 week project (one conceptual photo for every week of the year). That one, I actually did finish (even though I was several months late in doing so.). As a grand finale, I decided to re-create one of my first "real" conceptual photos. Just to see how far I've come in a direct comparison. :)

Back in 2012 I decided to try to complete a 365 project (one photo every day for a year.) I'm pretty sure I only made it to about day 20. (The top image was one of these such photos)

Then, last year I took up the challenge of a 52 week project (one conceptual photo for every week of the year). That one, I actually did finish (even though I was several months late in doing so.). As a grand finale, I decided to re-create one of my first "real" conceptual photos. Just to see how far I've come in a direct comparison. :)


Well, there we have it. I really hope you guys enjoyed this blog. I have loads more of embarrassing old work on my computer. So, if you would like to see more, just let me know ;) (as long as it serves as an encouragement to you.)

 Do you have some before and after work? I'd love to see it!! 

Either way, I hope you are having a wonderful day and I'll talk to you all later.