An artist in every way, Kimberly Seabury creates captivating multiple exposure photographs that combine different aesthetics and moods. We sat down with her to talk about her work, musings, and creative process.
Hello, Kimberly! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Please introduce yourself!
Hello, Lomo! I am Kimberly Seabury, a fine art film photographer. I’m 29 years old, and currently dwelling in Salem, Oregon; originally from Santa Maria, California. I also work as a Photo Technician at Photovision, so even when I’m not shooting, I’m still handling, processing, and scanning images.
Who is Kimberly when not shooting?
I am a whiskey drinking, "Frasier" watching, constantly on-the-go woman. When I’m not taking pictures or working, I’m either going on long walks and pondering the existence of life, or spending quality time with my friends.
Tell us about how you discovered photography.
The very first time I started to see as a photographer would be when I was eight. I was on a long car ride with my father and my siblings heading back to Oregon from Idaho. He started telling us about how someday technology was going to become so advance that all we would have to do is put special contact lenses in; blink our eyes and that would create a photo. From that day forward I would pretend to have those contacts in, and every time I would see something beautiful or special I would blink my eyes and take an imaginary image.
Fast forward to a 16-year-old Kimberly, who would steal her father's point-and-shoot digital camera when he wasn't looking. Growing up with depression, it was my outlet to create my own version of beauty when I couldn’t find any within myself. I taught myself how to take pictures, but it wasn’t until my early twenties that I started getting interested in film photography. I took a film class at a community college and absolutely fell in love with what film could do for me. I have never looked back into a digital camera ever since. This year, I was invited to help assist the teacher of that same film photography class that launched me into the photographer I am today.
How would you define photography?
I don’t really like the word “define” because it's a little too permanent for me, and I may change my mind as years go by. If I had to try and sum up what photography means to me it would be the process of trying to capture the most precious moment before it fades; locking that emotion down, and freezing it, forever burned into a negative that will always be there for me to look back on, remembering those memories that bring me back to that time and place.
How does your professional work differ from your personal?
I’m not sure they really differ that much, I enjoy doing both. I guess the one thing would be more creative control on my own personal projects. From the wardrobe, hair, makeup, location, theme, and model, I get to decide on all of it. Sometimes though it’s nice just to show up and take pictures.
In what area do you feel most comfortable in?
Nature. Film. Women. Magic.
What’s your favorite subject? Where do you draw your inspiration from? What fuels your creativity?
My favorite subject would be nature. It’s just so easy on the eyes. I draw my inspiration from movies, dreams, music, and my own imagination. Usually what fuels my creativity is the hope of someday becoming even better than I am now. I’m always striving to outperform my past self, and that helps me put more energy into new shoots, and coming up with new ideas.
Your double exposure photographs are stunning. How and when did you realize that this could be a fitting medium for your concepts and ideas?
I didn’t really think about it fitting into my medium, I just love experimenting with new ways to shoot film. I got really good at it, so I just kept practicing and doing it because it came to me fairly easily. It’s just something that I try and incorporate into my shoots to give them more of an artistic and creative perspective.
In your opinion, what makes multiple exposures stand out?
Personally, I love it when they capture the model's soul a little bit, while still having a sense of mystery. I always try and make my double exposures slightly more ghostly than pretty.
Is there a formula that you follow in your creative process?
Not really. I kind of have to know the model a little before shooting with them, that way I can pick up on who they are and how I can best utilize their strengths during the shoot. There’s nothing worse than trying to make someone something they’re not. Those types of shoots never work out for me, because you can always see the discomfort in the model's eyes.
How do you make your models feel comfortable during a shoot?
I will try and make them laugh a lot and let them know I will never post any bad pictures of them on the internet (ha). That usually makes them feel better. I will always try and set a mood for them as well by playing really relaxing music and music that fits into the theme we’re going for.
What would be your dream destination for a shoot?
Anywhere that looks magical or like it came from a fairy tale. Iceland would be amazing, but I think anywhere has the potential for greatness if you search hard enough. Different themes with different people kind of get you in tune and makes it easier to find where you to go with them.
How would you describe your style in five words?
Whimsical, mysterious, bold, moody, and magical
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good photograph?
To me, a good photograph would be one that draws your eyes in and lets your imagination run wild. It provokes an emotion in you that you can’t explain but you still get a feeling of oneness with the photograph and the story being captured within that image. If it resonates within your soul, then I think that is the making of a good photograph.
What’s your favorite photograph? Why?
I think my favorite photograph that I have taken would be “afterglow.” It’s currently on display at the High Street Gallery in Salem, Oregon, along with some of my other double exposures. You can check it out on my website as well under the “prints” section. It’s a true double exposure taken with an old camera in my bedroom. I wasn’t sure this picture would even come out because it was so dark in my room, lit only by candles. I also used myself and the floor as a tripod when taking the picture, kind of in the back of my mind thinking that the photo was going to turn out blurry, but I was so wrapped up in the beauty surrounding me that I wanted to try it out anyway. What I didn’t expect when I got my film back was a perfectly exposed, and sharp double exposure that also drifted from just an image to a whole different medium, like a painting.
What would you say was the greatest challenge for you as an artist? How did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge is to have the freedom and time to actually take the photos you want to take. When you work so much you start taking fewer pictures that are interesting because work can suck up so much of your focus. Setting aside time to cultivate ideas and concepts is one thing I need to focus more on than spending my time and energy elsewhere.
What camera/film/accessory setup do you use in your professional and personal work?
I don’t have a true preference about the type of film I use anymore. I know what type of film to use for specific weather, location, and color, so it varies for me. Most of the time, I'll always be carrying around Kodak 400, 160, and Fuji 400h. I’m currently shooting with a Mamiya 645 pro TL, Canon 1v, and a bunch of vintage film cameras.
Any photographers/artists that you follow religiously?
I try and not focus on anyone else’s stuff, but someone who is a dear friend to me that I look up to as a photographer would be Dmitri Von Klein (also known as Monovita). He and I have kind of the same mentality of what makes a great photo. Our friendship helps me see his personality within his photographs, and because of that, I can relate to them.
Who’s your dream collaboration?
A raven, wolf, and unicorn.
Do you have any upcoming projects? Please talk about them.
I currently have a lot of upcoming projects but they’re all just swirling around in my head and I haven’t decided on anything. I just know I have to do photography at some point and when I meet the right person I can kind of put them into a specific theme that I had been brainstorming.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
I’d probably be an acupuncturist because I really love alternative medicine. I enjoy spirituality and anything that makes your brain open up to other possibilities, and raises your level of consciousness.
What would you like your audience to take home after seeing your images?
I would like them to be able to look at my pictures and feel inspired by the realms you can create within your own imagination. I would love for them to feel a sense of fantasy and mystery within my photographs. For my pictures to take them into another world and make them feel good, even if only for a minute.
Any last words for our readers?
Take photos that your soul will enjoy, not for anyone else.