Photographer Stephanie McNiel has contributed to the glossy international editions of L’Officiel and Harper’s Bazaar and taken hautingly gritty (and equally beautiful) photos of Iowan family-run slaughterhouses and Angola prison annual rodeos. With fashion photographer Carter Smith and fine art photographer Jessica Craig-Martin as mentors, McNiel’s eye blends fashion and fine art photography for a new perspective on both the grim and the glamorous. For Farmhouse, McNiel’s says, “I believe that all places leave a sort of ghost as people come and go, leaving something in their wake. I found the place first, later conceptualizing what kind of person would have left the last mark.”
Scroll through the images above for more from Farmhouse and read below for more on McNeil’s perspective on the…
The photographer that popped my proverbial cherry: Sally Mann. Her book Immediate Family contains the most beautiful set of images I have ever seen.
A good image is… Something that makes me take a second look.
A bad image is… When I focus on the retouching and not the image as a whole.
The first time I held a camera I… dropped it.
Color versus Black and White? It always depends on the message one wants to convey. Although, it’s very annoying when I realize that someone has turned a bad color photograph into black and white in order to “save” it.
Analog versus Digital? This is a bizarre civil war. Digital has created an entirely new attitude of shooting that has opened doors of creativity simply because we are less limited by the expense of film. And if you know what you are doing, and have the right software, you can make digital images look like film if you need it to. However, if you don’t learn the capabilities of film, you become ignorant of all the cause and effect that is essential in making decisions about your images. Also people can fall victim to making the retouching take precedence over what was captured.
What’s something other than your camera that goes with you at all times? In my camera bag I carry a Christmas card that my maternal grandparents created in 1941. It is a black and white image of my mother and her siblings tied up on the couch, while my grandfather is sitting nearby reading the newspaper. Inside the card it reads Silent Night Holy Night. I come from an odd family with a very special sense of humor.
Photographer: Stephanie McNiel
Hair and Make Up: Andrew Fitzsimmons, Artists by Timothy Priano
Model: Tereza Janakova
Photographer’s Assistant: Leah Grant