Photographers James Reddington & Maggie Shannon
Photography: The art of capturing a moment. When one takes to thinking about professional photography, one might not necessarily imagine that the photographer is thinking in terms of narratives and stories. However, this is precisely the primary emphasis of the work by James Reddington, who was joined by Maggie Shannon as guest speakers at The Art Institute of Michigan in Novi. Reddington and Shannon attended the School of Visual Arts together in 2013.
Reddington is an artist and photographer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He keeps the focus of his work on memories, dreams, narratives and the notion that photography can bring them all together. Reddington opened the lecture with an exhibition of work from his thesis that was based on this very notion. Early in his portion of the presentation, Reddington made an interesting connection between dreams and memories, saying, “[After] doing some research, I found out that the part of our brains that we use when we visualize memory is actually the same part of our brain that we use when we dream. To your brain, a dream and memory are kind of like the same thing.”
Reddington went on to explain that when he took to creating his body of work, he uses this connection between dreams and memories to inform his approach by saying he used it as a starting point for his work.
Maggie opened her portion of the presentation by explaining that she grew up off the coast of Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard. She went on to point out that Jaws, the 1975 blockbuster directed by Steven Speilberg, was filmed there. She explained that she used Jaws as her starting point for her thesis work. Examples of her work featured scenes and props from Jaws—and even one instance of a setting where there was a shark attack that occurred while her project was being completed.
During Shannon’s presentation, she explained what she found inspiring and that “I was kind of just exploring my town in a different way—through the glass of a 4 by 5. [It] was a lot of fun.”
During the lecture, Reddington and Maggie also touched on professional experiences in the field. Maggie spoke about her experience with VICE, an online news and opinion platform, where she work photographing political events. Reddington gave advice on finding talent by explaining that the key to finding professional talent is in contacting agencies.
Certainly, it would be easy to take away from this the lecture that Shannon and Reddington are both talented and intellectually engaged professional artists but I think that only scratches the surface. In my opinion, the real takeaway is that the faculty who work for The Art Institute of Michigan, not only have excellent chops, but are well-connected professionals that can liberally assist by providing a profound professional network to students. #AiProud
To watch a video of their presentation click here.