Art Photographer Roger Seawright has been a photographer for 20+ years, picking up his first camera at the age of 18.
“I don’t know where my photography talent comes from,” he said.
Growing up in the inner city of Detroit, “The Motor City,” where nearly everyone was struggling for a job or a position on the manufacturing lines for GM, Ford, Chrysler, opting for a fine arts career, wasn’t the obvious choice.
“Being a photographer is probably one of the most impractical careers a person can have living in Michigan,” Seawright recalls. “Especially being an art photographer in the Midwest, where the attitude is one of practicality.”
While his peers were opting for practicality and seeking vocational opportunities in blue color fields, Seawright was drawn to his camera.
“Most of the people I grew up with became carpenters, plumbers, construction workers and cooks. You know practical down to earth type of jobs.” he remembers.
“Being an art photographer didn’t seem like it was in the cards for me. But it happened regardless.”
During his first photography class in college, Seawright’s professors saw raw talent in his shots and encouraged him to pursue photography and build on his talent. But it was not without struggle. Growing up in the depths of Detroit in the 80’s and 90’s did not offer the typical childhood experience. Seawright struggled and was on his own at a very early age. When he picked up his first camera, he saw the world differently and it showed in his images. He worked in and out of photo labs, trying to make ends meet, he learned even more about processing, color theory, lighting and composition.
At one point, without a place to live or the means to survive, he turned to the U.S. Military. Joining the Navy, he was seeking stability. It is here, where his photography career took off. Without the pressures he faced in childhood, Seawright now had access to official training, and equipment.
“The military isn’t the best place for an artistic mind but having access to a great deal of equipment does have quite a lot of benefits.”
The training was beyond what he could have received enrolled in the local community college.
When he left the Navy, Seawright embraced photography as a career. He worked as a commercial photographer, architectural photographer, and event photographer. But through it all, his love was art photography.
“The thing that most people don’t understand is that you can capture a beautiful image anywhere and on any kind of camera,” he is fond of saying. “It's the photographer not the camera.” Seawright’s portfolio of art images include many shots that were taken in the garden that his mother-in-law has maintained in their home. Whether he is shooting with his Nikon or with his cell phone, the images portray the beauty in the world, as he sees it.
“I’m as much amazed by the art I produce as anyone that buys from me. People often comment on my talent and my pieces in amazement, asking how I produced it, but this art is a complete aberration.
” I don't know where it comes from.”
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