Since the photographers featured in the Local Photographer Showcases in each city are supremely talented and excited about reaching new audiences with their work, we will be regularly featuring them to give you more insight into their work and their experience Crusading. Next up is Shannon Leith from the LA Crusade pop-up:
Tell us a little about your background as a photographer and where you are now with your work.
When I was young I had no idea I was creative. I thought I'd be a 4th grade teacher when I grew up. I somehow was inspired to be an art major in college even though I had no art background, and have been a photographer ever since. I graduated with my BFA in photography from Biola University in 2009 and had a 6 year stint of photographing weddings that lasted until the end of 2012. I closed down my business so that I could focus on applying to grad schools and to concentrate more on my own fine art. Right now, I'm working on a project where I photograph USPS Mail Trucks every time I see them. I'm interested in the mail system because my best friend and I have been sending each other a post card every week for 3 years, so I'm documenting the thing that brings me that piece of connection with her.
How did you hear about the Crusade, and what were your initial impressions?
My college photo professor, Kurt Simonson was participating and told me about it, and I immediately thought: "now THIS is something I could get behind".
Were you excited to participate in the Local Photographer Showcase? Why or why not?
YES! It was an honor to be asked, and I love events with no strings attached. No money, no buy-in, no rules, no theme. The whole thing felt very grassroots and genuine, which lines up with the type of life I want to live.
How did the event go for you? Was it like you expected or different? Better or worse?
I had lots of long conversations. I expected things to be more like a flash mob: tons of people for a short amount of time, but there was more lingering than I expected which was refreshing. It was better than I thought it would be, because it produced actual connections and conversations instead of being a free for all where people mobbed you to get free art. Ha, I guess I thought I'd have people jumping me. That didn't happen.
What do you hope will come out of the experience for you - personally and professionally? Do you think those are realistic expectations?
With an event like this my only hope was to have human to human interaction, and that completely happened. I think a lot of us photographers are getting tired of online relationships and conversations, so something tangible and real was exactly what I needed. I would be fine if nothing happened professionally----- I'm not expecting to get a show or something big out of doing this. I just wanted to be present with people on the day of the event, and to me that made it a success.
Tell us about the image you gave away at the event and how to see more of your work.
I gave away this rainbow spectrum image that I took with my iphone. You can find my work at shannonleith.com/blog, and my most current work is on instagram! (shannon_leith).