By Britni Rachal
Portrait by Weston Carls
Artwork by Alex Parker
Artist Eye View:
Proud to produce unique works of art, Alex Parker is known for stepping outside the box and creating her own trends with a focus on photography, video and tattoo art.
What inspired your interest in photo and video art?
“I grew up traveling a lot with my family. I vividly remember asking my parents to buy me disposable cameras for our trips. I found that images told the stories of my travels way better than I could through the use of words. Especially when you are young. Your storytelling skills just aren’t quite there, and it is sometimes hard to put your experiences into words. I learned then the power of imagery and how it can aid us in explaining ourselves.”
We’d love to hear more about a recent piece of work you are most proud of.
“Oh gosh. Honestly, I’m really bad at this. I think on a big picture scale I’m just proud of the life I have created for myself. There have been many times in the past six years of freelancing where I felt like I wasn’t going to achieve the things I wanted to, but I have achieved almost all of them and more. I guess something that I am exceptionally proud of from this past year was being published in a National Geographic book written by Jessica Nabongo. The book is called “The Catch Me if You Can.” My photos from a trip I took to Saudi Arabia with Jessica are seen inside, and also printed on the back cover of the book. I think any photographer would say that having an editor from Nat Geo reach out to buy your photos is a big career highlight.”
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
“Travel. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe inspiration comes from everywhere at any given moment, even if you don’t always realize you are being inspired. But for me, I feel like my best work, whether it’s drawing, photo or video, comes out when I am exploring a new place and immersed in different cultures. I feel really stagnant as a creator if I’m not trying and seeing new things. I think that childlike wonder of experiencing things for the first time is something I am constantly chasing.”
What’s your best advice for clients looking for great photos and video?
“Don’t just look for a good deal. Photo and video is a crazy space to be in right now. With the technology changing constantly and nice cameras being pretty accessible to anyone with a little extra cash, everyone and their uncle is a hobbyist photographer. But just like anything else, you get what you pay for. Just because you CAN hire someone who is new to the space for half the price of a professional doesn’t mean you SHOULD. I would also say trust your photographer. So many times clients will have in their head something very specific but don’t always understand the technical side of the work. Constraints get placed on the photog and it makes it’s really difficult to do good work. Make a detailed mood board, research the photographer beforehand so you know their style works for you and trust them to do their job.”
How is your own personality best seen in your pieces?
“In my photo work, my personality definitely takes more of a backseat. I’m usually photographing super talented people expressing themselves. I have found that if I try to put too much of my own flare on the images everything feels a little watered down. Concert photography is crazy as a creator because your art cannot exist without the art of the performer, music director, set designer, lighting director and usually others. Most of the time you don’t even get to talk to these people before the show, so you have to adapt quickly. Once that show starts you have a finite amount of time to capture the moments. I try to do that in a way that honors all the hours of work put in by the artist and the crew.”
What is your best advice to others when trying to express themselves in an artistic way?
“Don’t get bogged down by trends. If there is a technique that truly calls to you and you genuinely feel like it is helpful to express yourself, go for it. But don’t do things in your art just because everyone else is. Also, something that I have to remind myself constantly is don’t overthink it. Just put the art out there. People can’t appreciate your work if you don’t put it out into the world. You are never going to be perfect, and your art will never be loved by every person in the world. Your art will speak to the people who need it and even if that’s just one person, that is something to be proud of.”