Interview: Photographer Recreates Vividly Surreal Dreams

Digital artist Paxton Maroney has a growing portfolio of conceptual photography that explores the delicate balance between fantasy and reality. Growing up, Paxton was always interested in art, but it wasn’t until she found photography that her fascination grew and that spark of passion was ignited. After many years of vivid dreams that disrupted her sleep, she was finally able to channel that energy by creatively expressing herself using a camera.

Photographer Recreates Vividly Surreal Dreams

Paxton’s images have a strong focus on storytelling and often pair a solitary human element with a dark, whimsical landscape, inviting the audience to find their own meaning. With a growing career and endless talent, we can’t wait to watch where 2017 takes her.

We are grateful to get in touch with her for a Behind The Lens look into her creative photography. Scroll down to read her interview.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey into photography?

I’ve always had an affinity for the arts and photography has fascinated me most. My true passion for photography ignited around 2007. I actually was more interested in the post work at that time and retouched for others before I owned a digital camera of my own. In my opinion, being a creative while still having a vision for something is more beneficial than being technically sound with a camera. Anyone can learn how to use a camera, but, not everyone has the ability to use it as a tool creatively.

What are some of your interests?

I love to travel when I can. Am always in need of inspiring spaces and I can’t stay in one place to do that. I also love to paint, mainly watercolor. It might be the only time my thoughts are quiet. Painting is very therapeutic for me.

Your work is dreamy and creative, how do you stay inspired?

One of my biggest inspirations is music. I immerse myself in it daily. It feeds my soul.

How do you choose your models?

For the past 3 years, I have only used non-professional models. With the unposed natural quality I like, I need a natural subject. I enjoy seeing that in my images.

To you, what are the qualities that make a perfect shot?

If I can portray what I am trying to say without words – that is my perfect shot. If what I produce inspires or makes a connection with another individual, that makes me happy.

You’ve stated that photography has been an outlet for you, how has photography impacted your life?

Greatly. I feel like it’s my purpose to create using this medium. I feel it in my bones. Photography is an extension of myself.

From conceptualizing to post processing, how much planning goes into a shoot?

Conceptualizing is an interesting part of my work. My photos are actually dreamed of mine. I can’t explain how they come about, I can only assume they are my worst fears and greatest hopes coming into play. I try to sketch them out, but these days I have taken to writing small notes. Re-reading them usually will trigger that image in my mind so I can then prepare to create the layers using photography as most of my work is done using composites put together as if it was one shot. That may change in the future, you never really know how your work will progress over time.

How do you light your photos?

I prefer to shoot with non-directional light so that I can control that in a post. I love a cloudy day.

Do you use artificial or natural light?

Natural light!

What has been your favorite shooting location?

That is a tough one because I love so many places, but, California has my heart. I recently traveled up the coast of Big Sur.

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