THE ART OF OBSERVATION
About Leigh Ann
How can I put in a few short sentences about my life's journey as a photographer? I honestly cannot.
Photography is a never-ending, evolving state of mind and a continuous reach for growth and knowledge. My work isn't the same as it was 20 years ago and I guarantee you it will not be the same 20 years from now.
My work today is a reflection of where I am today and what I have experienced over my lifetime. I have learned that trends don't last, poses are forced and seeking perfection in people and in my work is boring. My belief is that photography is at it's purest state when you simplify it and capture reality, not create it.
One of my favorite documentary photographers, Elliot Erwitt once said " Photography is pretty simple, you just react to what you see."
"When people look at my work, I want them to
'feel' it, not 'see' it." - Leigh Ann Edmonds
I discovered photography at the age of fourteen. Before then, I had always been involved in art and music, so photography felt natural to me. I would take my camera out with friends and soon started taking photography classes. My senior year in high school, I was hired for family photos and pageant head shots as well as shooting for the school annual.
I felt led to pursue photography in college and without hesitation, I graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a degree in studio art and journalism and later interned and assisted other professionals in the commercial and journalism industry before having the confidence to break out on my own as a full time freelance photographer.
I eventually ended up falling into the realm of portrait, family and wedding photography but after 15 years of shooting, I felt restless and unfulfilled in my work. I felt as though I still had not reached my potential with how 'I' saw myself as a photographer. Posed sessions never allowed for much depth to the images that I knew I was capable of.
It wasn't until 2020, when the pandemic forced all businesses to close and hault bookings that I finally, for the first time in over 20 years, was I able to just shoot for me again. It was during this time that I discovered my own vision. I was in control of my own work. I didn't feel the need to appease any client or teacher on an assignment.. I was free to just go out and shoot with no expectations.
I discovered my voice again as a creative and not just as a photographer for hire. I started shooting and developing my own film again and returned to the basics of photography. I learned the value in my own vision without feeling the need for validation from others about my work.
In my 20's , I wanted everyone to like my work.. in my 30's, I wanted my clients to like my work.. now, in my 40's, it is a priority for me to like my work.