Our Fantastically Flawed Featured Artist for the month of May is Martha Schuster of i see the moon photography. She specializes in children and family fine art portraiture in Los Angeles California. Martha creates the kind of images that you want to take your time viewing. Those that you revisit in hopes of extracting more each time. Her images are haunting. You get the sense that she takes each photograph with utmost sincerity and deliberation. Viewing her images through a computer screen seems almost like sacrilege. Instead her art needs to be seen hanging on the walls of galleries and published in books. She is that good. In the meantime, you can see more of her art by following these links.
i see the moon photography (fb)
How long have you been in business and how did you get your start in photography?
I have been in business for family and commercial work about 8 years now. Photography started for me very young. I always was fascinated by cameras and developing processes that continued on throughout high school and some of college. I became interested in a family business shortly after my children were born.
Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
I have written and rewritten my response to this over and over, as my list is so long, and branches out for so many reasons. I’m afraid I’ll forget someone…I know I will….but I have very vivid memories of poring over a photo book containing Henri Cartier -Bresson images in it as a child while visiting my great grandmother. I’m incredibly influenced by Sally Mann, Keith Carter, Francesca Woodman, Mark Tucker, Polly Chandler, Susan Burnstine, Ata Kando, Joyce Tenneson, Cig Harvey, Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark, Alain Loboile, Jock Sturges, Deb Schwedhelm, Jennifer B. Hudson, Tom McFarlane… oh the list is SO long, and they range from fine art to commercial, emerging and well known. Can I come back to this?!
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
I wish that I had known to slow down a bit. I wish sometimes that I had stayed with film. Film made me pause, appreciate, and truly cherish a moment I was aiming to preserve.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is my soul. I honestly don’t know that I could survive if I didn’t have preserved moments of time to hold on to, or a way to express what happens in my head.
What is the best part about being a photographer?
The bits and pieces of time that I get to collect and preserve. The dreams that I’m able to illustrate, the pieces of me that I’m able to leave behind.
If you could shoot with any photographer in the world, who would it be and why?
Oh gosh…see question #2. So hard to answer, but I’m going to force myself to choose one, which would be Sally Mann. Ok.. maybe two…Francesca Woodman. I would have loved to have had a moment with her. Why? Because I see so much of myself in their photography. I would love to have a little time to be with someone who might understand some of the darkness that floats around my head.
What is your favorite image you have taken to date?
There is a photo of my daughter the summer she turned 6. She was running around in her aunties hat, shirtless, flowing hair and temporary Farmall tattoos. She paused long enough to look at me. I’ve never shared it anywhere, but it, as well as some of the first photos I took of my son, remains my favorite.
How do you feel about breaking the perceived rules of photography?
Quite honestly, the pictures in my head don’t follow any rules…I don’t know how I could do it any other way.