From the photographer: I grew up in Nowheresville, Ga. I don’t find self worth in my work. It’s not who I am. I have no glamorous story of picking up a camera as a small boy. I have never developed film in a dark room. I don’t really know how I got involved in photography. But I find an inexplicable joy when all the elements come together to create an image that goes beyond one dimension. View Austin’s work here.
What do you want to do after college?
This has been haunting me. Of course, I would love to figure out how to make a living making the pictures I like, but that is not such an easy goal to reach. I’ve got a few months to figure it out. It will all work out. I’m pretty good at painting houses.
Who are your current inspirations?
I really like Alec Soth’s work. But I draw the majority of my inspiration from my friends and classmates.
What brought you to photography?
There was nothing that brought me to photography specifically. I think I was one of those kids who decided in high school that they wanted to travel around the world and look cool with a camera.
Are you working on any projects currently?
Yes. I have been working on a project for around a year and a half about a certain neighborhood Bowling Green, Ky. The neighborhood is segregated from the rest of the city. It’s kind of a take on modern day classism. I’m also continuing an essay about bad dreams, or a collection of images that makes me feel like I am in one.
In what ways do you hope to grow as a photographer?
Besides improving my shooting abilities, I would hope to grow in my outlook as a photographer and what it means to be one. I am first and foremost a person. Photography is what I do, not who I am. I think I need to grow to realize that and then the people I am photographing will become more important than the photographs themselves. Haha, I guess you could say I hope to grow more as myself and less as a photographer.
What mistakes have you made along the way?
Wow. All of them? I think the biggest, but also one of the most important mistakes I have made/been making so far, is allowing photography to become too important to me. I find it easy for myself to get caught up in who’s shooting the best pictures, winning contest, or getting published. It can drive you insane.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting school?
To suggest a student or recent graduate for the Emerging Talent series, email Maddie at madd...@gmail.com