There is no denying the fact the photography world is full of opinionated people who want to share their ideals of what art is with the rest of us. Sometimes they’re bold approach comes off as overbearing, perhaps a even a bit pompous. The difference between those types of people and Tyler Shields is that Tyler, who is often referred to as a controversial photographer, understands that sometimes creating controversy can be beneficial to his more traditionally styled work. In his talk at last year’s Luminance conference, Shields shares his story of how he was able to use racy and contestable images to become a major game player among fine art photographers. Take a few minutes to watch the talk and take a look at some his photographs below:
Shields explains that he is not trying to create chaos with his images; however, producing images that catch the public eye, such as the bloody scene between the two Hunger Games stars below, draw attention to himself as an artist.
Instead of compromising his beliefs as an artist, he turns that attention to his more grounded works. To Shields, a man who regularly receives death threats by the tens of thousands because of his art, it’s all about capturing peoples eye. According to his experiences, for every person who is offended by one of his pieces, there is another person who will love it. Being able to take the heat is a major part of his approach.
“For me, my thing is I take it maybe too far. Maybe it’s not necessary to do this, but I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I had done this, or wish I had taken this photo, or wish I’d climbed out on that tree branch. As a photographer you have the ability to create moments that can never be duplicated and that will last forever, but you have to be willing to go that extra mile to get them. My advice to you all is to find the thing you want to say to the world and say it.”
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