Aug 192012

Virginia’s work first blipped onto my radar on Facebook, via my pal Jarred Gastreich. I was impressed with her frequent collaborations with various burlesque performers around town, but I soon realized that Virginia is also a talented painter and digital artist. Her recent set of underwater portraits was especially well-done, and we had been talking about an STS session for a while so we decided to pull the trigger.

While we were discussing the shoot, Virginia had mentioned that her building had a rooftop patio. As usual, when someone says “Hey, wanna shoot on the roof?” I had to say ‘HELL YEAH”. Fortunately the weather was pretty glorious too, so I opted to shoot natural light. For the entire session. That’s right, natural light. NO FLASHES. I know, right?

Eagle-eyed readers of this blog (of which there are at least one) might recognize Virginia from a past STS session featuring Bill Sawalich. Bill teaches photography at a local university where Virginia is a student, and she was in his class the night I was there for his session. She is currently finishing up her photography degree, focusing this semester on the ancient cyanotype process in the darkroom.

Virginia’s painting background infuses all of her work with an artistic quality, but her fine art photos are particularly interesting. She showed me one piece that I thought was a painting, but she explained that is was actually a photo collage consisting of images from a neon “OPEN” sign. Pretty cool stuff, and further evidence of Virginia’s boundless creativity.

Here is some more of her work, and her website is worth checking out as well:

While Virginia is making a living in photography with a steady stream of portrait work and assorted projects, she hopes to eventually move into documentary journalism. With her eye and artistic style, I am very interested to see how her journalistic work evolves. Virginia works hard, and is committed to making her way on her own terms so I have no doubt that she will find success in this loonie business.

PS – While shooting on the roof, we were joined by Virginia’s feline companion, Raja. Can’t pass on that photo op.

PPS – Virginia has quite the green thumb.

PPPS – She also has the coolest photographer tattoos I have ever seen. They read, “Expose for the shadows. Develop for the highlights.” Sage advice.

PPPPS – More Raja. So sue me.

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