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Rising Stars: Meet Paris Lewis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paris Lewis.

Hi Paris, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My photography journey started when I was about 9 years old. My dad (also a photographer) was in the process of writing a book at the time. We went to a graveyard for him to take the cover photo. Seeing him find the angles to get the perfect shot inspired me to want to take pictures as well. Before I knew it, I was given my first camera, a Canon Rebel XSI. I slowly started with landscapes when we traveled because I was intimidated by working with people. My mindset changed when I attended my first Warped Tour. Music has always been a huge part of my life, so naturally, I was having the best time at this festival. I remember standing against the barricade at Bless the Fall’s set and seeing photographers taking pictures of the band right in front of me. I didn’t even know that was a job at that point in time, but I knew I wanted to be one of those people.

From that moment on, I started bringing my camera with me to the smaller concert venues around town since I went to shows frequently anyway. I built a portfolio, eventually finding online music publications to work with. I gained comfort and confidence photographing people this way and started taking photos of my friends in my free time. I decided that I wanted to pursue photography for a career as my senior year of high school rolled around. Next thing you know, it’s 2020, and I’ve graduated with my Bachelors in Photography in the School of Communications at Webster University. Fast forward to now, I continue to photograph concerts and write reviews for an online music publication, photograph creative concepts with friends and models, and continue to learn and experiment in the world of photography.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Definitely not. I’ve struggled with confidence in myself and my work for a significant amount of my journey. Imposture syndrome is real. It can be difficult as a creative because you’ll find that any of the creative fields in the industry are very saturated, and you have to find ways to set yourself apart. A huge challenge that I’ve had to deal with most recently is self promotion and gaining a steady clientele. I’m just now tackling that obstacle and forcing myself to get out there, so I can produce art that I love and am proud of.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a portrait and concert photographer. I specialize in creative portraits, but I hope to get into the fashion/editorial side of things soon. First and foremost, I’m proud that I was able to find something that I want to do for the rest of my life early on. I’ve always had a creative bone in my body, but this outlet is the best for me.

Secondly, I had a dream at that Warped Tour date, and I’ve made it into a reality. I’ve gotten to photograph some of my favorite artists during their shows, and I can’t wait to see what happens from here.

Third, I’ve been published in publications and have had work hung in multiple gallery shows. It is surreal to see big prints of my photos up, watching other people look at them.

I believe my drive and creative vision sets me apart from other photographers. I’m constantly making mood boards and coming up with new concepts to shoot. I literally will itch to photograph someone after not doing it for a period of time. I want to do better and be better technically and creatively. I will continue to do so with every shoot I do.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Oh boy, so many people.

My dad has played the biggest role of all. He’s the entire reason I became interested in photography in the first place. He is my biggest cheerleader, and I will be forever grateful for that.

The rest of my family, of course. Love you guys!

My college professors: Bill Barrett, Claudia Burris, Tom Barkman, Jennifer Silverberg, Dan Dreyfus, and Greg Landrum. They all had their own fun ways of teaching their photo classes and made you feel like you could actually succeed in the industry regardless of how competitive it could be. Each class, project, and piece of information contributed to who I am as a photographer today. They made school so much fun for me, and I can’t thank them enough.

My college gals, Alivia and Elizabeth. We all met freshman year in our first photography class, and rode out the rest of the four years together. We all supported each other, asked questions, gave advice, and were each other’s subjects. They were the best photo pals a girl could have.

Rickie McCanna, owner and editor of MNSTRM Media. I found the outlet through a photography group on Facebook in 2018 and have photographed and written for them ever since. Rickie has given me the space to choose the shows that I want to photograph and pushes me to write reviews, broadening my skill set. It’s been such a fun ride, and I couldn’t have gotten this far in my concert work without her.

And finally, anyone who has given their time to let me take their photos. The people who have hired me as well as those who I’ve done a collaboration with. My work wouldn’t be the way it is now without them.

Pricing:

  • $325 for an hour portrait session
  • $150 for a 30-minute mini session

Contact Info:

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