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 new revised 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: Sara Forrest
Growing up in ‘flyover country’ we were surrounded by the largest expanse of tall prairie grass in the world. These are the Flint Hills, outside of Topeka, Kansas. The wind moves through the tall grass, bending it and pushing it in waves, and it feels like you are standing on the edge of a vast green ocean.
My love for environment has always sparked my creativity, and I’m so grateful to have grown up in a family and a place with no preconceived notions of what I could or could not do. My family and close friends have always encouraged to follow my dreams, so many years ago, I moved from Topeka, Kansas to NYC. Lately, I find myself romanticizing my experience of growing up on the prairie. Sometimes it takes leaving a place to realize how much it is a part of who you are.
This Rodeo series was shot in Topeka one late Friday afternoon last fall. I had always been aware of these competitions, though I never had an opportunity to attend one, so once I found out about it, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door with absolutely no idea of what the next two hours would bring. I’m so grateful to have spent that afternoon with these wonderful young women. The contestants were all hopeful and nervous as they prepared for a weekend of competition. Most of them have been riding horses on their family farms and ranches for as long as they could remember and all of them worked really hard to compete there. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and every time I see these photos, I’m reminded of how important it is to follow your dreams.
Whether I am working on a personal project or on assignment, I always strive to make images that are honest and authentic. Photography transcends language and cultural barriers, and my camera gives me the opportunity to share a special moment and energy in a particular space and time. My career as an image maker has allowed me to connect to so many people and unique environments…situations that a young woman growing up on the prairie could only imagine. I’m so fortunate and so happy to do work I love, and I never take it for granted.
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.