The publication of The Silhouette’s Fall 2016 is fast approaching and I had the opportunity to exchange emails with this semester’s cover artist, Bryanna Dering. Bryanna is currently spending a semester abroad but, fortunately, that didn’t stop her from sharing her beautiful work with us back here in the States. She had a gifted eye for capturing dizzyingly beautiful shots and reading her words about her artistic process was equally as captivating:
What is your favorite medium?
I would say my favorite medium is photography. There's just so much freedom in it, so many possibilities to explore.
What subjects do you find yourself capturing?
I find that I tend to capture architecture and landscapes the most, which makes sense since I'm an architecture major. But I've noticed that my focus in architecture has changed throughout the past few years I've been photographing. I started out as more of an overall building person. Then as I kept getting more intrigued, I started focusing on doors that I found interesting. Eventually, I moved on to building details. About a year ago, I went on a landscape photography spree. This summer, I was really interested in walls, especially ones that were weathered. Recently, I've been more interested in the spatial qualities of a building. And I'm sure my interests will continue to change as I continue experimenting.
When do you feel your art is most successful? What's your favorite piece and why?
I find that my work is most successful when I capture the emotion of a space in the photograph. It's hard to say how this happens, but I think a lot of the time it comes across through light and shadow. Composition can also make or break the photo as well.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the things I see everyday. I tend to be very attentive to my surrounds when I walk around day by day. I'll just be walking down the street, and I'll see this wall that most people would just walk by without even thinking twice, but I'll see the texture, and the way the pipes cascade down the side, and I'm just totally intrigued. This happens way more often than it should. Sometimes I'll be going on a run in a new city, and I stop every minute and pull out my phone to take a photo. So it's more of a photography exploration than any real exercise.
Do you have a set of people who you always share your work with?
I definitely share my work with a good amount of people. My mom loves to see my photos just to know what I'm up to, so she'll ask to see a few usually. I ask opinions of some of my friends, too, mostly on post processing thoughts. Plus, I like to share my favorite photos on Instagram. I find that that's a really great way to get inspiration as well. Not in what to shoot, but in the style of photography. I'm not sure if I have found my style yet, but I think I'm definitely getting there.
What do you feel are the benefits of sharing your work (in a class, an exhibition, etc)?
There are definitely numerous benefits to sharing my work. Most of the time, it's just to people I'm friends with, but they give me critiques, which are incredibly important for me to improve as a photographer, little steps at a time. Sometimes, I don't even seek out critique, but it just happens, and that's the best to me. I find it really great to share my work with other photographers that I respect, because they really know what they're talking about. I've never really thought about sharing my work in an exhibition before, but maybe with time, I'll get a chance to do that. I have been thinking about making a journal with all my recent photos lately, though, but we'll see what happens!
What is a medium of art that you haven't worked with but would like to in the future?
I haven't really experimented much with portrait photography, so I think that's one of my next steps. The little I have done with it though, has been pretty challenging for me. But I've learned that photography is one of those things where, the more you enjoy it, the easier it is to practice and improve.