The Art of the Personal Project: Vincent Dixon

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Vincent Dixon

Pushkar Studios

Six years ago I went to the town of Pushkar with my family during their annual Camel festival, held every November at the time of the Kartic Purnima full moon. Villagers, traders and farmers come from all over Rajasthan to trade thousands of camels and horse. The town is also one of the five Dhrams or pilgrimage sites held in high esteem by Hindus. They come to pray at the most sacred of the scant four temples to Brahma in all of India (a long story why such an important God has such few temples, suffice to say he upset his wife!). This was one of our first stops in India and I was completely blown away by the exoticism of it all. It is a photographer’s dream, which in itself can become a problem. You are quickly exhausted by the intensity of the colors, the crowds, the endless possibilities. Strange as it might seem, because there is so much to process, your brain can lock down. I think that it took me a year to absorb all I had seen.

Returning a year later, I needed to try something different. The year prior I travelled light with just small cameras. The second time, I brought bigger cameras and lights. There were a number of reasons for this. First, I am fascinated by how the camera itself affects the photo we take. How, for example, bigger cameras can slow us down and perhaps force us to take a more studied photo. The Rajasthani people are incredibly handsome, the detail of their clothes and jewelry are incredible, they have an eye for color and form that few possess. I wanted my portraits to reflect this. On a photographic level I needed the precision and care that these tools bring to try to capture the subject.

Inspired by Irving Penn’s, “World In A Small Room,” I set up a small studio at the camel fair. On Monday when I got to Pushkar, I found a large tent and rented it for two days. It wasn’t ideal, it had green netting on the sides and the roof was full of holes. I had some cotton cloth died black overnight. It took most of Tuesday morning to get things set up.

I shot with both a medium format back and a Nikon. The medium format is 80 million pixels and really only works at 100 iso which makes for long exposures. It slows you down which can be a good thing. Here are some of the photos that I took with the medium format Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

To see more of this project, click here.  And of the festival more 

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram


Suzanne Sease

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