Diane DeMelo has been tinkering with digital photography since 2000. For her, storytelling through photographs is a powerful medium because photographs convey messages and moments that are forever captured. The photographer's job, in essence, is to become a storyteller or a visual narrator.
Taking on the challenge of photographing Joe's art work has made her a better, more reflective photographer, she admits. "My immediate thought was that this work was so riveting and unique. I had never seen anything like it before. I felt it had to be captured and shared with others because art connects us to our basic humanity and interconnectedness."
Wanting to take her photography to another level, working with lighting posed a challenge at first because previously Diane preferred shooting in natural light. She admits to learning a plethora of things from working on this project. "I learned so much because I had to do research on lighting techniques and experiment with what worked best." Everything from building a light tent, to choosing the right backdrop, to many technical aspects involved in lighting a peach pit, a plastic body or a wire figure just right, in order to capture and highlight the emotion expressed in the sculptor's work was her primary goal. "I learned to manipulate light; to bounce it, to reflect it, and to diffuse it. The learning process, from start to finish, fascinated me and my technique improved along the way. I made a ton of egregious mistakes at first but that's how I learned - that's how we all learn in life. I'm still not done learning."
Through the photography, she wanted to bring the art to life and give it an essence of its own. The word photography is a combination of two Greek words, 'photos' - which means light and 'graphos' which means to draw (or write). "I'm essentially writing with light," she says. "These characters - every one of them - tell a unique story. I wanted to bring out the essence, emotion and expression in each piece of art and bring it to life through photographs. I would carefully study each piece and then compose a story with it. Ultimately it's the viewer's responsibility to interpret a story because a story can be told in a multitude of ways, which is part of the art and beauty of storytelling. It was a chance for me to take something I love doing, which is taking pictures, and create a visual narrative from them. I'm honored to have had the opportunity and privilege to photograph this collection of work and bring it to a higher level for all to appreciate."