Stephen’s photographs grabbed me immediately. I was taken with the beauty in the light, the subjects, and the simple images which pull you into a special place. This place, I believe, is made up of strong imagination and mystery. He shared some of his work with us and shed some light on what goes on in his head when creating. This is Stephen Beadles:
Ashley Arabian: What kind of settings do you commonly use when shooting?
STEPHEN BEADLES: I find that I normally gravitate towards large open spaces and remote areas. Nature is my favorite place to shoot and I enjoy finding settings in nature that seem like quiet havens, untouched by humans. I’m also a complete sucker for any type of abandoned building or even just an empty room with a window.
A: What do you shoot on?
STEPHEN: I always shoot on manual and I’ve noticed that I tend to use longer exposures just as much as shorter ones. I love the eerie glow that can be achieved by exposing shots for a few seconds at night.
A: Is there anyone you look up to?
STEPHEN: When it comes to art, the list of people I admire and look up to is endless. Just in general, I truly look up to my family and friends, they’re always looking out for me and their unconditional love renders me speechless.
A: What subjects or themes do you tend to tap into? Why?
STEPHEN: My subjects are usually whoever is available, which most often is one of my three beautiful sisters. My themes are completely erratic and inconsistent to some degree. I love the idea of using photography to give someone a glimpse of a narrative in progress and letting their imagination fill in the before and after. Most of the time people have completely different interpretations of my images than I had in mind. I normally tend to shy away from anything that sets my photographs in a specific time period, that way they can preserve certain timelessness. Often I’ll become slightly obsessed with a specific theme, such as fire or artificial lighting in nature. My themes stem from what I find is beautiful, such as fire for instance, I’ve always been quite a pyromaniac.
A: Is there a method to your madness?
STEPHEN: No method here, just a lot of madness and not enough sleep.
A: Is there anything you can’t do without when shooting?
STEPHEN: Besides my camera there’s not much I can’t live without, but its always great to have a good friend along for the ride. I love shooting with friends because they always see completely different things and open my eyes to new ideas and angles.
A: Have you ever struggled to be an artist? (Y) What does this struggle add/take away from your work?
STEPHEN: I wouldn’t say I’ve struggled to be an artist but I have struggled with what I want to do with art and what role I want it to play in my life. I used to believe art could only ever be a hobby, but recently my mind has been shifting and I’ve been perusing my art as a career option as well.
A: Does music have an influence on your work? What does your playlist look like?
STEPHEN: Music has been important in my family ever since I can remember and is definitely the main source of my inspiration. My playlist is quite random since there is no genre of music that I don’t enjoy. A few artists I’ve been listening to recently are:
Needtobreathe, Tyrone Wells, Regina Spektor, Imagine Dragons, B.o.B., The Civil Wars, Birdy, Little Jackie, P!nk, Mat Kearney and some Nicki Minaj (although I’m not proud of that).
A: If you were to live in any city in the world, other than the one you are in now, which would it be?
STEPHEN: Currently I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, but if I could choose anywhere in the world Venice, Italy would top the list. I visited the city for the first time last year while backpacking through Europe and fell very much in love with it. I love cities where you can wonder around and get lost and discover little hole in the wall places to sit alone and think.
A: What are you currently reading?
STEPHEN: I just recently began reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. I am terrible at making the time to read, but when I find a book that grabs me I become a complete bookworm. My most recent obsession was the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, definitely one of my favorite books of all time.
A: If you could choose any superpower, what would you want to have?
STEPHEN: I’ve always said that if any superpower could be mine I would choose the gift of flight! There is nothing like feeling a strong gust of wind and I imagine soaring through the air at superman speed would be the most thrilling thing in the world. Plus I can’t imagine the amount of gas money it would save me (goodbye ATL traffic).
A: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
STEPHEN: This was definitely the hardest question, but after much debate I’m going to go with a wolf. My reasoning solely being that I love wolves! I tried to think of something much more philosophical, but that’s as good as I could do. They’ve got that perfect mix of beauty and ferocity that I find fascinating.
A: Any quotes to live by?
STEPHEN: 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging