About Alex

Photography is a creative outlet for me. It's a way to express feelings through form and shadow, and capture fleeting moments of wonder and awe-inspiring beauty. Photography is something I do for enjoyment, and I'm driven only by the challenge and enlightenment of achieving personal artistic goals. When I'm not out taking photographs, I make my living as a software engineer in Seattle, Washington.

I first picked up a camera back in 2001, after seeing some of Helmut Newton's fashion catalog work. I have always found the bold aesthetic of fashion photography fascinating, but its sterility and lack of soul frustrates me. Newton's work was different. He empowered his subjects with drama, passion, and conflict, making them just as compelling as the clothing they were trying to sell. This kind of visual storytelling is very emotionally resonant with me, and it's what I seek to achieve in my own work. To me, photography is all about creating and capturing a mood that evokes a strong emotional response.

For years my creative compass has been pointing towards female empowerment through fashion and firearms, or more simply, girls with guns. You can see this theme dominating my artwork as well. My biggest frustration with the genre is that most of what I see lacks style, drama, and emotional context. The prevalent attitude towards women with weapons seems to be overt sexuality, with intent to titillate the senses rather than evoke a deeper emotional or psychological response. My goal is to elevate the genre from exploitation to art, and create images that no one else bothers to try. I want my images to tell stories and explore feelings. I want to take the cold aesthetic of fashion photography and infuse it with personality and human warmth. I want to mix bold lines with soft curves, strength with vulnerability, edginess with innocence, and drama with absurdity. I want to develop a style somewhere between "Vogue" and "Soldier Of Fortune." I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.

Rather than listening to me ramble on about my artistic visions, let the pictures do the talking instead. If you like what you see or would like to work with me some time, drop me a line at alex@alexsmits.com. All that I ask for is courtesy, honesty, respect, enthusiasm, and a professional attitude.

Given my particular artistic niche, I feel compelled to talk about safety and liability. I take firearm safety very seriously, and I never use real guns or live blades in my work. This is for my safety as much as it is for everyone else's. A safe and comfortable work environment is my primary concern, so I only use theatrical props and Airsoft-type pellet guns.

If you would like to know more about the man behind the camera, you can check out my personal web site at www.alex-in-wonderland.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

 


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