Artist's Story: Kerry Halasz

Name: Kerry Halasz

Occupation: Photographer

Favorite Studio Tool: Photoshop and RadLab

Artists you love: Sebastiao Salgado, Steve McCurry, Georgia O'Keeffe

Sources of inspiration: My dad, road trips and the incredible support I’ve had from family and friends since I started my photography journey. 

Favorite place to shoot: Anywhere in the Southwest of the US. And Morocco!

Most unexpected quality: Of photography? Accidental movement in an image. Of mine? I’m way more adventurous than I would have ever dreamed!

tree

What does your average day look like? 

I live just outside of magical Santa Fe, NM and the first thing I do every morning is look outside toward the mountains (in all directions) and the enormous sky to see how the light is illuminating everything. 

Often I’ll take my dogs for a hike and bring my iPhone in case I see something beautiful. Which is always. Once home, I spend time going through images I’ve captured recently and marking those that reach out to me. I’ll fiddle with them in Photoshop until they feel right. 

From there I’ll either list them for sale in my Etsy shop or print and mount them on wood blocks that I’ve painted for my local market. I usually spend some time on blogs and Pinterest looking for inspiration because, hey, there are a lot of talented people out there. 

A couple of times each week I’ll take a little road trip to the mountains or to one of the many historical areas here to get some new photos to work on. Also, it’s very dusty here, so I spend more time dusting my house than you can imagine! My husband and I often end our working day by wandering outside with a glass of wine to watch the sunset. 

cowboys

How would you describe your creative process? 

I love the immediacy of photography but have gradually moved a bit away from worrying about the technicalities of it and more toward making sure that the personality of every image I work on shines through via manipulating colors, adding texture or cropping in an unexpected way. 

The cool thing about photography is that you can take the same image and rework it many times over depending on how you see it from day to day. What I produce each day very much depends upon my mood and what’s been going on in my life. I also go back through my images regularly because oftentimes the rejects will suddenly jump out as some of my best work.

ferris wheel

What is the hardest part about being a creative entrepreneur? 

That’s an easy one! When you’re lucky enough to pursue something you’re passionate about, it can be very difficult to see it as a profit making entity. That involves putting yourself out there, becoming great at self promotion and the use of social media and having the confidence to trust that your work is something that people are willing to pay for! And then managing it all. It’s a challenge!

What tips would you give someone looking to buy art? 

Buy what you love! It doesn’t have to match your couch, or be by a famous artist, or be expensive.  If you love it and it means something to you, you’ll find a place for it. I have a lot of art in my home from all over the world and one of my favorite pieces is a painting of a Pan Am jet soaring above a layer of fluffy white clouds in a blue sky. It’s on a thin piece of roughed up chip board and I have no idea who painted it. I found it in a little shop in Michigan and paid maybe $20 for it. I adore it because I love airplanes and flying and Pan Am makes me think of my parents. Buy what you love!

dolphins

What would you say to someone who is convinced they lack creativity or artistic ability? 

I think that everybody is inherently creative. Creativity is really about having the confidence to try something and to think outside the box. Often we feel constrained by what we think is “right” or how we’ll be judged by others. If you have a hankering to create art, any kind of art, there are so many wonderful resources out there today to help you along. Take a class; on the internet or at a school. Pin a board of art or decorating that you love and think about trying your hand at something. Creating art can be so therapeutic; I would encourage anyone to take that first step and have fun in the process. You’ll never know where it might take you!


Love that advice! Thanks for your beautiful work and thoughtful words, Kerry. See more of her work here