ARTIST SPOTLIGHT : Sienna Renee Photography
... the photography of Whitinsville, MA native, Sienna Renee Clough, will be highlighted in the shop window at The Maker's Waypost. Through our brief encounter planning her photo installation, I was able to sit down with Sienna and learn a bit about the journey and voice she's developed over her years as a working artist. I have to say that I was very impressed by her positivity and persistence to keep after her passion! I went away from the interview with some creative reassurance myself, and remembered how as artists it's so important to keep that sense of community and hold one another accountable when our persistent grasp for success can so often be a winding path through smoke and mirrors.
Here's a little excerpt from our conversation:
1) Hi Sienna, could you tell me a little bit about your background in photography and what got you interested in the field?
S: Hi Cydney! I’d love to. I seem to find that people remember this pivotal moment in their life when they became interested in their craft but I don’t have that one moment. I began taking photos in middle school with my first camera phone of flowers, woods & the ocean especially. I have always loved light. Since I was a kid, I have memories to this day where all I remember is what the light looked like & nothing else. I get excited recording light with my camera & how it touches the world around us.
C: It's interesting to hear your take on your early impressions on choosing your path. Especially since a lot of makers can over analyze their focus over time just to be about what their audience wants to see or buy. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best one: to do what excites you!
2) Tell me a bit about your travel-based photography. What made you choose this specific subject matter?
S: These photos I have for sale are from the Amazon in Colombia, Utah and Washington State. I focus on the details & simple beauty of every day life in the places I go when I’m shooting. I want to bring to light the wonder & loveliness I see in the people & places & hopefully do it well enough for the folks who are looking at the photographs to see it too.
C: Well this work definitely does evoke that sense of wonder. Even in the simple act caught in your photo above of an individual tending to a plant. Just from viewing it with no context, I see this as an ordinary task regardless of reason to provide income, nourishment, or joy; but the moment is amplified by it's documentation. My knowing it's sourced from your travels through the Amazon isn't even necessary to find it fascinating, so in my opinion your purpose is achieved.
3) Are you working on a new series right now?
S: I am currently in the process of moving to Washington Sate in the next couple weeks so, yes! I’m excited about the people I will meet & new environment I’ll be in. I’ve always wanted to spend time interviewing & photographing folks I meet in a simple set up & feel like I’m slowly beginning that!
4) What advice would you give to other photographers trying to make a living off of their photo work? Is it hard to separate your commercial work from the artistic vision you are passionate about?
S: I say to anyone who is passionate about something in the arts, keep on chugging & do not put unnecessary pressure of making money on it, especially at the beginning. There’s a book called "Big Magic" I believe all creatives should pick up & read. It includes a lot about the pressure artists feel about “making a living” with their craft & how vital it is to focus on the craft itself & keep it safe from that stress; the rest will come.
C: Very well put. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights with me! I'm so excited to see what you do next in Washington State.
CLICK BELOW TO SEE ALL OF SIENNA'S PRINTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM THE MAKER'S WAYPOST.
SEE MORE OF THE ARTIST'S WORK AT SIENNARENEE.COM . INTERESTED IN MULTIPLE PRINTS OR ANY OTHER PHOTOS FROM HER WEBSITE? SIENNA WOULD BE HAPPY TO TAKE YOUR PRINT ORDERS! CLICK BELOW...