Updated: Jan 10, 2021
"Don't ignore the absurd or the wild. Go after it and exploit the insanity in your work."
Caroline is 18 and a senior at Crean Lutheran High School in Orange County. She has been doing photography for around 5 years. Her passion started unknowingly when she picked up the camera her mom had laying around. She says that she “always gravitated towards being around cameras and was always super interested.” She began taking photos and realized she really had a passion for showing the world what she sees. She continued to share her passion in contests, at school, and with me. Not only has Caroline grown into an amazing artist herself, but she has helped others, like myself, become better and better. Caroline also tells us that she paints and does other visual arts, not just photography. She says that “it helps [her] figure out what [she’s] thinking.” It is a way of expression that benefits her a lot.
I asked her what inspires her most and about her creative process, to which she says the creative process itself “and watching other people create amazing art.” She goes on to talk about successful pieces and what she has learned from art competitions. “I have learned to always do the crazy ideas and do stuff that people usually don’t see. Those are usually the most successful pieces.” Caroline talks about how you need to take the necessary risks to make those outrageous and interesting and out-there photos. That is what is going to push your boundaries and make you a better artist. She has been building a portfolio to apply to art school and she recently heard the news that she got accepted to The School Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) for Fine Arts. She says that she is very excited to attend next year and wants to continue with conceptual art and showing emotion through photos.
She says that she has learned a lot through her photography ventures. The most significant thing she's learned, however, is that again the extravagant, bizarre, and really outside-the-box thinking will push you to your best. She urges everyone to not ignore the absurd or the wild. Go after it and exploit the insanity in your work.
Her tips to the readers are to just pick up the camera, phone, or any way you can take pictures, and just do it! You won’t regret starting something that could have an insane impact on your life. And, most of all, “shoot things you’re passionate about.”
You can check out more of Caroline's work here: https://www.carolinefordsphotos.com/
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.