Press: A Q&A with photographer Sam English

By Jo Anne Triplett for LEO Weekly

December 21, 2018

Sam English ( came to photography, to use his phrase, “later in life.” So, he dislikes it when people say that “they aren’t creative or don’t have ‘an eye.’ I bet otherwise. Pick up a camera and start taking pictures of something that interests you. Try it, spend time, fail, succeed, try again. If not a camera, try writing, painting, drawing. I’ll bet there is something inside of you that is creative. Just start.”

LEO: What type of artist are you?
Sam English: Photographer. That said, I still have a hard time admitting to the ‘artist’ label. I try to be an artist. I think about it. I would like to be. But, I really wrestle with that label as I work full time in commercial real estate and have a bunch of finance degrees.    

What is your earliest childhood memory that involved art?
My earliest good memory involving art was in seventh or eighth grade, and when we were working on drawing or clay projects in art class. I created a few pieces that were pretty good. It didn’t take. For the next 30 years, I didn’t do anything that would be considered art until I picked up a camera later in life.

What came first, your interest in photographing ballet dancers or your work with the Louisville Ballet?
Dancers in their studio space. The Louisville Ballet studios have large windows and natural light spills into their space. I thought then and still think that the combination of sunlight and dancers in rehearsal would be different and fun to capture. Most people see the finished performance onstage with costumes, sets and stage lighting, but the rehearsals and quiet moments in the studio are just as beautiful.

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