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Check out Heather Marie Collins’ Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Marie Collins.

Heather, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in a household where creativity was celebrated and encouraged. My mother is an artist, and her studio being next to our house meant that her art and creative process were part of my childhood and fed an interest in the arts and image making. My earliest memories with a camera are of the home movies my Dad shot of us on VHS tape. I started studying photography in school, shooting and printing black and white film. I then branched out a bit into underwater photography and eventually went to graduate school for cinematography.

After school, I worked on a variety of commercial and narrative projects up until the recession. That work dried up significantly at that point, and I remember picking up my still camera for the first time in a while and feeling a freedom that I didn’t realize I had been missing. With still photography, I had the ability to work by myself and to take a project from an idea to a finished image without needing a whole production to initiate it or make it happen. Though I now work predominantly in still photography, I also do video and stop motion work for clients and have found that doing both and working in multiple genres helps keep my work interesting and varied to me.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a commercial photographer specializing primarily in product and architectural photography. My conceptual work often originates as an image in my mind that forms over time, and I enjoy working through the process of recreating that vision in the studio. I strive for my work to be polished and colorful, with an emphasis on composition, and I hope that comes across. I do the creative direction and styling for all my projects and find that I am often drawn to incorporating natural elements for their wonderful variety of color and form. I want the viewer to spend time with the image and feel like they’re seeing the subject in a new way. When working for a client, my goal is to exceed their expectations, both creatively and technically. When the process is as satisfying as the result, that’s when I feel I’m succeeding.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national, or international events and issues affect your art?
My career has coincided with the most significant period of change for photography. While studying filmmaking, we worked exclusively in film, and in the years since, digital has rapidly become the predominant format. I still shoot film and adore it. I was a little resistant to the change at first but quickly found that each has its place, and I benefit from having so many tools at my disposal.

Just as impactful of a change has been the advent of social media and the smartphone. There is an endless need for content now that didn’t exist before platforms like Instagram (in particular), Many brands want to post at least daily, and that means that clients are always trying to balance quantity and quality. It also means that trends evolve quickly, and it’s vital to be aware of those trends and what demographic they target in order to catch the attention of the client’s desired audience. People have such a hunger for imagery now that inspires, conveys information, and entertains. Visual artists have more avenues now to reach a broader audience than ever before but also the added challenge of standing out in the crowd.

With smartphones in everyone’s pockets, there has been a dramatic rise in how many people are taking photos. It has flooded the marketplace with “photographers” with something to contribute, but in many cases without a solid foundation in the technical and creative concepts of visual storytelling. The challenge I face is in cutting through the noise to get to the clients who are looking for that well-rounded skill set combined with experience, professionalism, and creativity. I try to meet the challenge of continuing to grow artistically and technically by continually educating myself, exposing myself to the processes and work of other professional photographers, and feeding myself creatively as much as possible.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have had the privilege to work with many small businesses, or businesses just starting out. It has afforded me more creative freedom than I might have had otherwise, and it has also resulted in some wonderful collaborations with my clients. It is very gratifying to be there at the beginning to help develop the visual style of their brand and be a contributor to their success as they grow. I pride myself on combining creative, conceptual work with a high standard in the execution, and continue to look for clients who value that approach. If you’re looking for a photographer, I welcome you to take a look at my portfolio at www.heathermariecollins.com and reach out to me about your project.

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Image Credit:
Heather Marie Collins

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