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Meet Angeline Herron

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angeline Herron.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I picked up my dad’s metal Nikkormat camera from the Korean War, I didn’t realize I was picking up not only a relic of the past, still visible on the camera’s smoke-caked lens but my future as well. How I loved it! I’d tape garbage bags all over my mom’s fancy huge brimmed hats, creating a human umbrella so I could walk around in the rain studying the magic of nature through the lens.

Fast forward to college. Though majoring in Biology, I would spend the night in the darkroom managing the color wet lab machine. I’d print all night, lost in the red light of a B&W enlarger and the pungent smell of chemicals. Walking out to the bright morning, snowflakes falling on my squinted, sleepless eyes, I felt completely energized. My passion felt like the soft whispering of a magical day begun. Loving my immersion in the arts, my professors surprised me with a Minor in Photography when I graduated!

I struggled to break into the seemingly sealed-off world of photography. It literally took a hurricane to get me where I am today. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. My friends described oak trees flying down the street during their hurricane party, beer swirling up out of their cups like small tornadoes. The city fared well, the cleanup began, then the levees broke. You had to get out if you could.

Once I returned with a press pass to a lightless ghost town, the voodoo magic of New Orleans started sewing its way into my life. I was hired by the Associated Press, in addition to a Fortune 500 company out of Texas to document school damage, as well as a graphic design company. As happy as I was with my work, it was time to say goodbye to my relationship, and my career took another turn as the winds blew me…

A dear friend called to see if I was still alive after the storm. After sending out resumes, I was visiting a childhood playmate in Charleston, SC, which is just where my friend happened to be. He invited me to work as a stand-in on the TV pilot Army Wives. I was swiftly adopted by the crew family. Through photos I took for set design, I was able to join the camera union, and my new career as a set photographer began. Governor Nikki Haley was my first subject, then Rob Lowe and the Muppets. My images appeared in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and Time magazine.

Just as I thought the fairytale of a Hollywood career was beginning, I was taken by yet another twist: encouragement. A cinematographer pushed me hard to take the risk to pursue my art. “Don’t give it all away to the movies–you have so much talent!” Now here I am, Voyage LA, you found me.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve made friends with struggle, which has helped fill my heart wholly with joy for what I get to create. When I took the risk to go out on my own with my art and leave the comfort of a union paycheck behind, I had to remind myself that I’d been there before, so I could roll with it. So when I had to choose buying gas over food, I didn’t let that define me. In fact, I could have asked for help. Eating takeout saltine crackers topped with dried parma cheese from little foil packets was a choice. It was temporary.

I’ve never been motivated by money, to a fault. My sister used to laugh with me after hollering at me. When I was starting out, she’d call after a shoot and demand, “How much money did you make?” When I told her we’d bartered, she retorted, “What, did they give you a bracelet?” (I’d made the mistake of telling her about that trade from another bartered gig.) I confessed, “Actually, it was cake, she gave me a piece of cake, it was delicious.” Cake!?!!!! Cake?!!!! (Once she went into business for herself, she totally understood, and we celebrated when she made her first buck 25.)

What was truly a struggle was finding self-value and being able to say, “Yes, I’m an artist” (which I still don’t always do, ha!). Finding supportive friends who push me to grow helped me overcome that obstacle. Pride is a struggle that makes it hard to ask for help, knowing the value of my work is a struggle, and striving for perfection is a struggle. Trying to make my work perfect actually degrades it, and I am still learning how to let go of perfection.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Angeline Herron Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m a photographer (both analog and digital) known for my commercial and surreal portraiture. “Is this image a painting?” is a question I’m often asked whether it’s a still life or human subject. Photography allows me to express my visions in ways I verbally cannot.

I pour my whole heart into every job I do. It doesn’t matter how small or large the job, every project gets all of my energy and becomes art. My clients and subjects feel my joy, so they love being part of the process with me. Those who collaborate with me often express how much fun they have because they get to be whatever character they want, and that gives them confidence.

I am also proud of my resourcefulness. Whatever the elements give you, you have to be able to flow with them, move fast and still have a completely fluid successful shoot. Whether it’s rental equipment failure or a location becoming inaccessible because of a fire, you have to be ready for it. Coming from the film industry has helped me a lot with dealing with the unexpected so I can remain present.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I love telling stories. I want to tell them through truth and surrealism. When I can give someone the joy of finding beauty in themselves, or the ability to heal, or especially the room to grow through self-expression, it gives me absolute gratitude and joy. I do that best through custom portraiture and surreal portraiture. That’s where I’m heading in my storytelling.

I’m also heading back to my past. At sixteen, my first photography job ever was to cover people’s stories for a small newspaper in my hometown. I found I loved their stories as much as the images themselves.

More recently, I was invited to work on a real-life story, this time of the little-known history of “the Donut Dollies” through covering the documentary of that title. Giving these Vietnam Red Cross volunteers a voice reflected my love of giving through my photography.

Standing there in Southeast Asia, gazing over an old airbase with a newer Nikon, I couldn’t help but think…

My dad would be proud.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Yulia Demchenko (personal photo credit)

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