I want to create an alternate reality.

Bizarre, eclectic, original & individual, trend-setter, musical, artistic & creative, only a little ditzy, and i rather not be predictable but you probably saw that one coming.

I'm Megan, I'm a fourth year Photography student in PA. Well, Studio Art in general, I also have a Fabric Design minor and dabble in every medium I can get my hands on. I've had a huge passion for photography for about 6 years now, and I got my first professional camera at the age of 16. Since then there hasn't been a moment my life hasn't revolved around photography.

A little bit about my style of work: when I started out at college, I was strictly a straight photographer doing photojournalistic style work. I loved photography for its honesty and ability to show truth, rather than for gimmicks and the many untruths that a photographer is capable of creating. Photography has always had the ability to be either a very honest medium or the most untruthful of them all. My work, and what I thought I would continue doing, was very much focused on what I lovingly refer to as "the abandoned and abused places" as well as a lot of street photography because it was direct, candid and again, honest.

However, though I still adhere to this mentality when I’m out shooting, the focus of my work has changed greatly. In my sophomore year of school, I was having a rough time of it. There were so many personal matters that were really wearing me down, as well as the stresses of the course load I had, and it was becoming obvious. But it became obvious not through the emotions that I showed or what I told people but rather through my art. I began showing everything through my art. This was something so new and personal to me. It was difficult at first to share this work with people since I was so uncomfortable with revealing too much but eventually I realized that it was good for me and my art had taken a turn for the better. It finally meant something substantial. It was finally powerful. I began addressing issues and topics both societal and very deeply personal that I had not before shown in my work. My photography became a sort of substitute for the diary I had never kept. It gave me a release that I finally knew I needed.

My work is driven by my visions, especially from my dreams. And though this may sound depressing to some people, I have come to know that pain is my best source of inspiration. I feed off of my own personal pain. It’s not as though I go out and seek horrible situations but when they ever-so-frequently happen it’s not a bad thing, it’s a reason to make more art with an even deeper meaning. So if I didn’t have my art to express this through, I’m not sure how I would express it, but I have a strong feeling it would be in a much less healthy way.

As I previously hated working with people in posed images, I now work with people as my subject more than anything else. A lot of my work is self portraiture; most of what I show is very personal so I became my best (and most convenient) subject for shots like this. I also began creating "alternate realities," where I could photograph something surreal or slightly "off"; however, I do not create these alternate truths with many digital gimmicks and tricks, I physically create these things as I find it to be more involved and demanding.

My inspirations are mainly my dreams, social issues that I feel passionate about addressing, childhood images and stories that I interrupt and rearrange, personal themes, lyrics, novels (I owe so much to Plath) and surrealist work, especially that of Kahlo and Dali. The work of Cindy Sherman is very captivating and inspirational to me as well.

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Megan Combs
December 2006
I am:
Female and Taken
meganleacombs [at] gmail.com