Chicago-based photographer Amelia Fletcher recently completed a year-long self-portrait project in order to better hone her skills in lighting and Photoshop while learning a bit more about herself along the way. Originally from the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, having grown up on a farm, Fletcher tells us, “My roots are a major influence on who I am and what inspires me to create.”
Upon completing her BFA degree in art from UNC Charlotte in 2011, the young photographer made the move to Chicago and embarked on a 52 Photo Project. What has resulted from this personal challenge is a series of captivating images that offer more than a simple self-portrait. Fletcher's collection incorporates intriguing landscapes and architecture as a backdrop to her surreal images.
We were lucky enough to ask Amelia a few questions about her process and inspirations. You can read that interview, below.
How did you first get into photography?
As a child I was always interested in drawing, painting, etc and as I got older that slowly evolved to include photography as well.
Sometime in high school I developed this fear of losing my memories, so I shot photos of everything I did with my friends and family and filled up a scrapbook so I wouldn't forget any of those important events. When I entered college photography seemed like the only logical path to follow, and I was so blessed to have incredible professors that pushed me in the best ways possible.
I completed an internship with Aaron Nace for class credit in 2011 and came to Chicago to continue working for him and Phlearn, a pivotal point in my life.
How has your passion for photography evolved over time?
My passion for the medium was up and down throughout the self-portrait project this past year, but looking back now I'm so glad I finished. It has helped me to realize that throughout my life, whether photography is my career or hobby, it is something I always want to do. I love it.
Your self-portraits are so creative. What is the conceptual process like for you?
Thank you! It varies depending on the image but some of my best images were inspired by their location. I wish I could tell you certain steps I follow each time but there is no set way I do it; sometimes I sketch them out beforehand and plan for weeks, or shoot on a whim, or it changes so much from the original idea.
Working methodically is definitely a constant though, I'm trying to work on having more patience and taking my time instead of rushing through it to see the end result. Pre-visualizing always helps even if that is only a few moments before I push the button.
Who and/or what inspires you?
Natural elements somehow make their way into my photos almost every time. Stories, dreams, music, other artists, conversations, the list goes on. It may sound silly but we live in such a beautiful world… inspiration is everywhere.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans seem to change all the time, I'm so indecisive right now! I would love to travel and try some documentary style photography next year. Maybe I'll become a gypsy and live in an old airstream trailer.