Untitled 2011
© Laurelle Sparks

“Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.”

This statement is one that has inspired me for a long time. Early on my interest in photography started with exploring the past and what we as humans leave behind and the feelings that go along, most often called urban exploring. I am not necessarily inspired by one person rather than by a style of photography. I enjoy browsing the internet for other people/photographers interested in the same type of style and that's where most of my "inspiration" comes from. Once I came to MIAD I felt like my style was lost or that I never had one because I chose to try things entirely different and foreign to me. I only did this because I really thought that was what everyone was looking for. And I found myself constantly reaching for reason to explain why I created what I had. At a certain point I realized I wasn't really being true to myself. I stopped caring what people thought/wanted and did my own thing. That's when I took this photo. What I had discovered while at MIAD is that I really liked working with people in my photographs. Combining that with my interest in urban exploring led me into what I believe to be one of my most successful series of photographs to date. If I had to compare this to any other artist I found it to be similar to Walker Evans, who's has been one of my favorite photographers, as well as David E. Jackson. There's truth to my work but I also like to tell a story. I found that this is really the direction I'd like to go in for the rest of my time here at MIAD.

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