#4Artistsin4Weeks: Denise Stephanie
For the fourth and final installment of #4artistsin4weeks, we are showcasing the work of talented teen photographer, Denise Stephanie. Below she shares what motivated her to start photography.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your selection of images for #4artistsin4weeks?
I chose to share a few images I shot on a trip back home to St. Vincent, where my family is from. I grew up visiting family there a lot during the summers, and was brought up fully immersed in Caribbean customs and the music. Both sides of my family have strong ties to the island, whether by birth or heritage, so it was inevitable I would too. This is the beginning of hopefully many more photos of my second home.
Q: Who or what inspired you to share your vision of the world with others?
It came out of hunger and pride. When I was in middle school I was inspired by the colors and brightness of Pinterest mood boards, but couldn’t see myself in the images themselves. Not seeing fellow West Indians when searching “aesthetic” made me want to make images that were. I had only seen Rihanna as a successful woman from the West Indies, and wanted to see more people represent our beautiful countries.
Q: You recently shot your first magazine cover with Marie Claire; how does that photographic process differ (if at all) from the way you shot the selection of images for #4artistsin4week?
I love being on set. There’s something about working with a team that’s so fulfilling and fun. We all come together for the same goal and have each other’s back. As expected with a commercial shoot, there are basic shots that are needed for an editorial spread. I, along with the Marie Claire team, had to keep in mind where the final product will air. It’s about finding a balance between checking the boxes while letting your creativity and style shine. It’s a fun challenge, and they trusted my vision.
With personal work, I always aim for essence. How can I capture something I feel and love so passionately that is intangible and make it visible? With this collection of pieces, I let my roots in fast street photography and my portrait view blend together. A beautiful mix of planning, purpose, and patience for that decisive moment.
Q: When people look at your images how do you want them to feel?
I hope that my images feel real, that people feel the essence and intimacy I live for and try to fit in my frame. Satisfaction and ease, with some welcomed reflection.
Q: Which photographer, dead or alive, would you want to collaborate with?
I would love to work with Ronan Mckenzie. We are similar in that we both make our work personal, regardless of the gig. Elements of ourselves are present in each image. I love to see her go back and forth between mediums, her photography is just as strong as her cinematography works.
Follow Denise Stephanie and her body of work @thedenisestephanie.