Ally LaBonte

Artist Biography

Since making that decision to go to school for photography, I have had to prove to educators, to my family, and to myself, that I made the right choice. In order to do that I have pushed myself to go outside of my comfort zones as a person and as an artist. I have had to create new boundaries, expand on my creativity, and lose control while also gaining it at the same time. When I started school, I thought I would never be a portrait photographer, I found it uncomfortable and just felt they always turned out wrong, and now I can’t see myself doing anything else. I love working with people and I love when photography turns into a collaborative process between myself and the people I’m photographing. My primary goal as a photographer is to capture the already existing beauty of someone or something.  I want nothing more than for the people I work with to feel as comfortable as possible around me while having fun with the time we have. I have spent so much time working on the “classic portrait”, and for the last few years, when I had a chance to explore my work, I decided to push beyond the boundaries that I am comfortable with and come up with more creative concepts. This started with the idea of building the image instead of just taking it. As a visual person, there are few things more satisfying and exciting than coming up with a concept for work and executing it in such a way that the end product turns out exactly how I pictured it. I want to continue to be the type of photographer that makes ideas come to life.

Thesis Abstract

All photographs are created with intention. This is something that I have been personally exploring for some time now. For the last couple of years, I have explored what that means to me; what it means to have a certain purpose for my work. With this body of work, I researched narrative tableau photography. With narrative tableau photography images are constructed to reflect familiar narratives based on other media such as paintings, literature, movies, television, etc. I researched photographers like Cindy Sherman and Gregory Crewdson whose work has close ties with cinema and the feelings that movies and television provoke. Narrative tableau, and the work that falls under this category, evolves, and often reflects the popular media at the time. My goal was to continue my work with constructing images, focusing on the intentionality in each photo concept. Music is something that has always had an importance in society, and its impact continues to grow, and I wanted to draw on the power music has on people. After collaborating with my friends and family, each image in this body of work is inspired by an individual song and an individual lyric within that song. I came up with a concept for each image based on the song and lyrics chosen; some are more on the nose with the lyric, and some are based on a general feeling the song gave me or one of my loved ones. This project has allowed me to open up and be the most vulnerable I have ever been with my art. Each photo took hours of planning, scheduling, and setting up. Each photo was created with such specific intentions and with everything I have.