Today we’d like to introduce you to Flossie O’Riley.
Flossie, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
As a young girl, I watched my grandfather and mother take beautiful photographs as a hobby. In high school, I inherited my grandfather’s single lens reflex film camera, signed up for a black and white photography class with a full working dark room and I was hooked. My college career included art classes and multiple disciplines in photography trying to learn all that I could about the art medium. I graduated with a BFA in photography from University of North Texas in Denton and immediately started a family with my newlywed husband. Taking time off to raise and home school five children, all the while taking photos of my family, personal interest and family portraits as favors for good friends. After my youngest turned one in March of this year, my husband encouraged me to go full time in photography and pursue my passion to capture stories. Even though it’s been a spare and scattered opportunity for portraits since my first capture 20 years ago, it’s very much like riding a bike as it all has come rushing back over the last two months since starting full time freelance photography. I am thankful for the families that have trusted me to document their story and I look forward to where this journey will lead.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I specialize in portraits using digital photography and sometimes film. I believe that everyone has an interesting story to share and find our concept of identity to be most fascinating. My work reflects the individual, highlighting the aspects that they identify as descriptions of themselves. I encourage laughter, story-telling and truth to come through whenever possible and the overall experience with the individual translates into the images. Basically, if we are having a good time, the image will be better even if posed. When working with me, there will be conversations of our beauty with in and how we are all important, even during the simplest of portrait sessions.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Photographers can easily get wrapped up in buying the shiniest gear, and worrying if only they had the best gear, then they can achieve something great. It simply is not so, and after interning or assisting with successful commercial photographers, half of the gear we used was D.I.Y. built, duct tape, PVC pipe and creativity. Sometimes when I’m frustrated, I will watch YouTube videos of top photographers using toy cameras, cameras made of plastic and hope, to take beautiful pictures to prove that it’s not the gear but the ability to see past the lens. If you want to advance in photography, learn to see the end picture and perfect problem-solving skills. Be encouraged when some of my best artwork in college was made from free items or really cheap and managed to create something beautiful.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen on my website, flossheaphotography.com or on Instagram @flossheaphotography. If interested in supporting, book a session for portraits for family, couples, children, and head-shots.
- Website: flossheaphotography.com
- Phone: 3132441922
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: flossheaphotography
All photos by Flossie O’Riley of Flosshea photography