The Visual World of Fine Art Photographer Sinden Collier
As a fine art photographer, I go beyond merely capturing what is in front of the camera. I manipulate my reality like an artist, using a camera instead of a brush. My intention is to create visual experiences: Sometimes that involves using a cinematic approach, by telling a story and setting a mood; other times it is catching the magic that light and shadow communicate.
My work engages with a wide range of emotions. I don’t explore solely my inner thoughts and feelings but allow the viewer to experience whatever may arise for them. I never dictate what to feel or think; I only hope there is something they might relate to.
I often overlay my images with other scenes or textures I have photographed, be it a landscape, sky, water or buildings, to produce an ethereal effect. I first created multilayered images with film and darkroom techniques. Now, I achieve those imaginative and aesthetic qualities through digital tools. You can see the influence of — and my love for — surrealism and French cinema through my choice of lighting and use of black-and-white and color grading.
I’m completely self-taught. I became a professional photographer after a career as a singer, songwriter and musician. I always had a keen interest in photography, and many of my music friends and colleagues encouraged me to pursue my passion full time.
When I think about creating visuals, Joe Cocker’s song “Space Captain” comes to mind:
Once while traveling across the sky
This lovely planet caught my eye
And being curious I flew close by …
Sinden Collier is a photographer based in Houston. In 2001, she was the first Black female photographer signed by Getty Images. Collier’s “Trains of Thought: Welcome Aboard” received an honorable mention on Elizabeth Avedon’s list of 2017′s best photography books. Her photographs have been featured in magazines and advertising campaigns, both nationally and internationally. In December, Collier’s work is being shown in “Citywide African American Artists Exhibition” at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.