Please welcome my guest blogger today Alyscia Cunningham, a photographer and author of “Feminine Transitions: A Photographic Celebration of Natural Beauty” a wonderful new book reminding us about real values. Check out Alyscia’s work at her sites below! Thanks www.Alyscia.com www.facebook.com/FeminineTransitions www.twitter.com/AlysciaCPhoto www.facebook.com/AlysciaCPhoto My Creative Discovery As I child I vividly remember cutting out Garfield comic strips from the New York Times in attempt to draw it. I used to trace but gave it a go free hand. To my surprise, it looked exactly like the drawing of Garfield, emotions and all. From there I began recreating all sorts of animations in my notebooks (I was a doodler in school and my notebooks proved it). In the 7th grade, I drew a picture of Tupac I had hanging on my bedroom wall. I was stunned! It was my first attempt drawing a non-cartoon character and it looked exactly like Tupac. I could now draw people. Or maybe it was always there but I never explored it. After that, I started drawing portraits of classmates for a small fee ($2-$3). I remember having someone different scheduled each week during a particular class (I can’t seem to remember what class it was and how I got away with sitting in the back, not getting any work done, yet drawing away). I first discovered my love for Photography when I took it as an art elective – Photographic Expression, while studying at Montgomery College. At the end of the course, my Professor was so impressed with my portfolio that he encouraged me to take the next course, Photography I. Discovering my passion for photography I did not stop at Photography I but continued with Photography II. By then, my Professor and classmates were suggesting that I consider a career in photography. Changing my major from Physical Therapy to Photography was the easiest decision of my adult life. My main focus is human images and how it can be incorporated with light and shadow. I use dramatic lighting in many of my images because it fosters greater interaction between you and the photographs, as you tend to analyze it a little more. Likewise, the use of close ups creates a sense of intimacy and usually draws a greater emotional reaction from you. Above all I love to convey a feeling of ease or comfort through my subjects. I believe my innate tranquility is of great help in doing so. My visions are the biggest inspiration for my creativity. I typically don’t plan a drawing or photo in advance. A visual almost always comes to me in pictures, including the idea for my book, Feminine Transitions. First I foresee it then use my camera or pen to capture what I visualized. In order to me to remember, I began to sleep with a journal by my bedside. I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning and sketch or write down the imagery that came to me. To this day it still amazes me how I see my images beforehand. How does one describe the logic in that? Science always seems to have an answer for the unknown. To be quite honest, it really can’t be explained. It is one of the beautiful mysteries of inherent creativity and the Universe.