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ERIC ALANIZ                             

The Dark Side of Fine Art Photography  Corpus Christi, TX

How long have you been doing photography professionally?

Two years ago I started photographing professionally; mostly weddings, but I also did a lot of band photography too. I started getting burnt out on that, so about a year ago I started focusing more on my fine art photography and developing my own style and since then it’s just taken off.


I know that when it comes to using programs and photography there’s a learning curve. How did you realize what you’re genre and style are?

There’s a new generation of photographers. Back in the day photographers had to know their stuff. There wasn’t a screen on the back of the 35mm cameras that shows what you’ve just taken, whether it was a good enough picture; you had to take many shots and develop them before you knew what you had and if there was anything worth keeping; you really had to know your stuff. So now everything is right there in your hands, displaying information as you go. Nowadays, photography and computer skills go to hand in hand. If you don’t have the computer skills, even if you can take a picture, you’ll be behind.

One thing about my style is that I’m committed. Once I get an idea I’m committed to it, so I shoot the subject, and edit. I don’t go back and refine or sit on the idea, picture. Sometimes it will only take me 45 minutes to do the whole thing; sometimes it can take me a whole day but once it’s done, it’s done, and I move on to the next idea. My style is anywhere from sci-fi to fantasy, to dark and creepy.

I think the biggest influence on me is that I’m into horror movies. I grew up watching werewolf movies. No vampires, just werewolves. So I like the dark side of things, and I call my genre the dark side of fine art. Right now I’m working on a portraiture series in which my subject, family member or model, is shot and then I add my style. For example the model is covered in mud. In another one the model’s hair is wrapping around her head. I am also working on a gas mask series.


I really like that series. It has an apocalyptic feel to them. I especially like the one of all the men standing in a field next to the fuel tank. Was that just one person?

Yeah, that is my buddy Chris Routh and for that shot I just had him stand in different positions all around the tank. I took all those shots and then layered them to make it look like a crowd. I also have one with him sitting in a chair in an empty field by a refinery staring at a blank TV. That one has gotten a big response on Facebook and people have been asking how to buy it, but because I was still just starting out and didn’t have that set up. Now that I’m showing in galleries, I’m hoping to sell some.


Did you go to school for photography?

I went to YouTube University. (laughs) I just YouTube and Googled all the things I was looking for between photography, Photoshop, and the other programs that let me manipulate the photos so that I can get my ideas across. I studied and took from their abilities, so that I could accomplish what I wanted to do.


How did you get involved with the 361 Photographers Network?

Philip Perez and I are the ones that started this group as a way for the photography community to network and to share resources. Now, I believe there are over 1,100 people in the group and a good hundred, maybe 200, which really contribute to the group. The group is made up of everyone from absolute beginners to professionals, makeup artists to models to photographers and more. The best part is that everyone works together from where the shoot will be held to having models with their hair, makeup and clothing done by people who specialize in those fields and the photographers are able to come up with these images we wouldn’t have been able to get before.


You’ve been doing this for about two years and now you have gone out and found your own thing.

Yeah, I’m doing things I’d like to do. With ideas that I think would be cool. That’s how I came up with the birds coming out of the suitcase. I have a suitcase from a client I did a newborn shoot for. We used it as a prop and after the shoot she gave it to me. I was on a pier one day editing a wedding shoot and I was thinking that it would be really cool to find a way to use the suitcase. Maybe I could have it half open; maybe something would be coming out of it, so I asked Chris if he was busy. We went to one of the empty fields on Ocean Drive and took pictures. Then I edited it in Photoshop, because that’s where the magic happens, and “poof” the suitcase has birds flying out of it.


So what are your goals? Where do you see your photography taking you?

Well, at New Year’s I made three resolutions. First, is to push my photography. Second, I wanted to be published and third I wanted to be shown in galleries. So the year is halfway over I work almost exclusively with my own photography and I’ve been published in six publications, seven now. And in September I will be in two gallery shows and a third in October. Now I’m seeing where else I can take this.


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