Rex Ravita II
Since the invention of the camera in 1888, photography has been a hobby and passion for millions of Americans. In the modern age, anyone can be a photographer, especially with the advancement of technology in affordable cameras and cell phone cameras. The rise of social media has also increased the number of people interested in photography. This is due to the growing instances of people sharing their every move on their social media outlets. Many will argue that this advancement of technology has destroyed the art form of photography. Those who disagree claim that it still takes an artistic eye to capture a subject or perspective in a way that you can convey through your photography.
Breahna Crosslin is a Multimedia Journalism major at the University of South Alabama with a passion for photography. When asked her opinion on the idea of modern technology killing the art form of photography, she stated, “One may require more skill than the other, but I wouldn’t think of it as killing the art form. I think it’s pretty amazing that we have the ability to capture any memory we want, whenever we want, whether it’s with an iPhone camera or a DSLR. You can appreciate one without devaluing the other. Photography is all about perspective.”
Ms. Crosslin became interested in photography during her adolescent years. “I became interested in photography when I was around 12. My aunt was a photographer so she always taught me things and I would shadow her while she did photo shoots.” She also notes that the improvement of cell phone cameras did boost her interest in photography, as she had better access to take photos.
While Ms. Crosslin is very passionate about photography, she’s also very passionate about her involvement in social activism, and hopes to find a career in which she can utilize these two passions. “I am majoring in multimedia journalism, so I want to incorporate that with my other passion, social activism. I plan to work anywhere I’m able to combine the two and create projects I care about, whether it’s a news outlet or a human rights organization,” she said.
The increase in access to quality cameras has also made photography competitive, prompting photographers to add something unique and special to their photography. Ms. Crosslin finds that her specialty is highlighting unconventional beauty through her photography as well as being both diverse and inclusive. “For me, it’s very important that my photography shines a light on beauty that is often overlooked or not accepted by society whether it’s a model symbolizing an idea, or the actual model,” she said.
Ms. Crosslin’s passion for portrait photography comes from the ability it has to empower her subjects. “The other day I did a photoshoot with my friend and after I showed her the photos she thanked me for making her feel beautiful because she said she really needed it, and that’s honestly all I can hope for in my photography.”
Being raised in Biloxi, MS; Ms. Crosslin is no stranger to southern culture. “I love where I’m from, but I know the negative side of life in the South. I’ve seen discrimination my entire life, and have always felt compelled to com
bat it.” Her drive to combat discrimination is exhibited through her new ideas, photography, and subjects. “When I have an idea or a new concept for a shoot I try to think of the best person I can use to help portray it. This usually means promoting diversity and often asking one of my friends. I also love when people come to me with ideas and ask me to help them create it.”
One of Crosslin’s frequent models is Erica Dang. When asked about Crosslin’s photography, she said, “I love her photography because we can have a photoshoot anywhere. She always has a vision in mind and is so diverse when coming up with a theme for a photoshoot. She’s honestly just always coming through with good ideas!”
Though she only practices photography as a hobby currently, Ms. Crosslin hopes to build a strong portfolio and continue her passion in the professional world. “I am still in the very beginning stages of my photography and I am still learning and growing, but I am passionate about everything I create,” she proclaimed. While having a successful career in photography is difficult, Ms. Crosslin believes her skills and perspective are unique enough to have potential. “I think my photography is special because every shoot I do is so different from the last. I am always thinking of new ways to include people in my shoots and diversify my portfolio. I think it’s very important to promote diversity and showcase the beauty of others and their differences.” After being in Ms. Crosslin’s presence for a while, it’s easy to see that her passion for photography as well as social activism is deeply rooted and genuine.
When asked what the best advice she had ever received about being a photographer is, Ms. Crosslin replied, “You have to believe in yourself and do what you think looks good. It’s really simple, but you can’t please everyone. You have to shoot what you think is beautiful, and if others find inspiration or a unique perspective, then great, but you have to go from your own unique perspective.”
To view more of Breahna Crosslin’s photography, visit her Instagram page @bre.tmc