Robyn Swank

Written by Big Smile Staff

Posted Sep 1, 2005, by GG-.

What influences your images? History books and dreaming about the 1700's.

At what point in life did you come across photography as your tool of expression? Since, I can remember. I've had a camera all my life, but when I was about 17 I really started noticing how beautiful photography can be and started teaching it to myself through practice. I used to only capture pictures of my friends and so on, but then I realized how it can be so much more than just tangible memories, you can create entire worlds and stories through one image; imagined memories.

Have you had any gallery shows? Yes, and I have lots of work in galleries all over North America, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Victoria, New York and some other weird states I don't remember.

How can we get a hold of prints? My website.

Have you done any photo-graphy for any bands? Yes, indeed. I photograph lots of local bands in Victoria, which, lately is a hotspot for a lot of up and comers. I've worked with my very favorite, Hank and Lily, on many occasions. Watch for them, they are going to be famous soon!
Do you do your own makeup for your shoots? Most of the time, yes, and I am going to be learning more FX soon so I can do full on crazy prosthetics! Sometimes the models have their own idea of makeup, so they do it. I always try to work together with my models and clients to achieve what we both want.

Where do you plan to direct your photography in the future? I'd like to keep doing bands since I feel that I don't do the same old thing with brick walls and can give a band a certain image that not many do. Where I would really like to go is darker or strange fashion photography and I would love to shoot for magazines and maybe do some makeup ads.

Are you working on any projects now? So many. I won't jinx them though. At one time, I am usually working on at least 10 things, all different mediums: scripts, comics, photo shoots, short films, dolls, and cabinets of curiosity… I can't calm down. I have to always be making something. It's more interesting than not making something.
What kind of camera do you use? Canon Digital Rebel and Pentax 35mm, and the power of unicorns.

Do you use any digital media in your work? I have a penchant for Photoshop. It allows me to “antique” my images, although someday I would like to experiment with the origins of photography and developing to get the true-antiqued look.

What kind of responses do you get from people who view your images? Most of the time people who are interested in my style are looking, so it's quite positive. Other times I get, “Ughh! Why is that girl naked and covered in blood? I don't get it.” So then, generally, I ask them if they want to talk about unicorns with me; or go on a picnic. I really do like picnics.

Do you use any other mediums as a form of expression? Oh yes. Photography is just one thing I do. I would love to get more into film-making, especially set design right now, as well as continue to make art projects such as cabinets of curiosity (shadowboxes, they were popular before the 20th century), dolls, hand made books, sets and just anything else that occurs to me.



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