Learn photography tricks in our Interview with photographer Alex Beadon
Alex Beadon is a photographer and entrepreneur based in the UK who uses her blog and videos to share the highs and lows of her experiences as an artist. Alex’s creative passion and beautiful photography aim to inspire and inform her readers and her inclusive and supportive approach is gathering an impressive following on the web.
We've also got a great tutorial from Alex for turning your 50mm lens in to a macro lens.
What is it that you love about taking self-portraits? Does it help/hinder the creative process when you are the subject? Is there a level of creative freedom/control for example?
Self-portraits have been so powerful for me as an artist because they have forced me to strengthen my creativity. When I take a portrait of someone else, I find them infinitely interesting and intriguing because they are so foreign to me. When I started photographing myself I realized that I found myself much less interesting and intriguing because I know myself so well and see myself every day in the mirror. The lack of interest and intrigue in a simple portrait of myself forced me to work harder to make up for the lack of interest and intrigue. Self-portraits changed the way I shoot because no matter how infinitely interesting and intriguing I might find someone to be, I am always trying to add more to the photo, trying to "strengthen" the creative muscle.
Having said that, I also love self-portraits because of how personal they are. For each self-portrait I take, I will never forget the emotions I felt during that time. It's like listening to a song that reminds you of a certain time and place. Even though they are much more difficult for me to create, they are so much more meaningful to me than any other portrait I may take of another person.
How has the ‘everyday project’ helped to motivate you as an artist versus a 365 project? Do you have any tips for those struggling to regularly make time to pursue their own photography?
I started the "everyday project" as a means to keep myself motivated and inspired to create every day without the "stress" that comes along with the 365 project of having to create every day. However I have not taken a photo for the everyday project in much too long because I simply haven't felt up to it. I believe as artists we all go through "dry spells", "writer's block", "resistance", and I do believe in the importance of breaking through that resistance. But lately I have simply allowed myself to stop creating instead of forcing myself to. I know I will get back on the horse at some point or another, but for now it feels good to be in this place where I don't need to create every day. The pressure was ruining my passion, and my passion comes first, it is what is most important in my life.
Through your blog you share your own experiences of artistic inspiration and encourage readers to live a more ‘inspired and creative’ life. What influences have been particularly inspiring to you as an artist and what motivates you creatively?
I believe we are artists in everything we do, from the way we make our bed, to the way we live our lives, to the way we create artwork through mediums such as photography, and to the way we do our jobs, run our businesses etc… I am an artist in everything I do. The influences that have been particularly inspiring to me as an artist, when it comes to my business and artwork, have always been people:
- My mother: She is my biggest fan and my biggest critic and inspires me every day to be the absolute best artist and businesswoman I can be.
- My father: inspires me to dream big but plan realistically at the same time. He is also amazing with people, making friends virtually everywhere we go, which has inspired me to be much the same way.
- My sister: inspires me. Seeing her shine reminds me that if she can do it, so can I, as we are made from the same cloth.
- My boyfriend: is an incredible entrepreneur who inspires me to see the bigger picture, dream larger than I ever thought possible, and has shown me the beauty in constant idea creation and innovation.
- Marie Forleo: is my biggest inspiration in the business world because she has an incredibly successful business, but manages to stay very true to who she is at the same time.
- Celebrities: Oprah has really built a strong brand for herself; Will Smith because of the way he sees the world and Rihanna building strong relationships with her fans through heavy use of social media.
- Steve Jobs: His Stanford Commencement speech is amazing, something I listen to time and time again.
What motivates me creatively when it comes to my artwork? Life itself. Everything from music, to weather, to emotions, changes in seasons - everything. Life motivates me to create.
How do you feel that your philosophy has supported and nurtured your own work as an artist?
My philosophy of creatively living an inspired and passionate life is all about doing what you love, being happy, bringing your ambitions to fruition, being the best you can be, and making the world a better place. It has reminded me time and time again that I was created to explore this world on my own terms and on no one else's. It has given me something to constantly yearn for, and I know that everything that comes from a place of creativity, passion and inspiration is always authentic and true.
You include helpful Photoshop tutorials and effects on the blog; have you noticed an increased acceptance of the use of Photoshop to enhance photographs within the industry?
I think as each year goes by Photoshop becomes more loved and hated. Photoshop is brilliant for artists as it allows them further avenues of expression in their artwork, but there are plenty of people who hate the implications it has on the definition of "beauty" in our culture today. I try not to think about it too much. Photoshop is such an amazing and helpful tool for me when it comes to creating my artwork, and I won't be saying good-bye to it anytime soon :).