Virginia King, Portland Photographer

Virginia King, Portland Photographer

We had the opportunity to interview one of our featured artists in the Portland store, Virginia (Ginger) King. Ginger is a photographer originally from upstate New York.  She first moved to Portland, OR in 2001. After spending some time in the good old Northwest, Ginger relocateted to Germany in 2008, where she was able to take amazing pictures! Recently she has moved back to Portland, and now we at a.ell design and atelier, are able to feature her wonderful works of art! So without further ado, let us start the interview!

a.ell : Ginger, why did you decide to get into photography?

Ginger: Well, there were two key moments that I can remember. The first was when I was about 11 years old.  I had a little point and shoot camera.  Our neighbors across the street had a garden with pink roses, and I decided to take a picture of one. My dad really liked the picture.  So much so, that he had it blown up to a 8x10 size photo. It was the first time I realized that I could actually take pretty pictures.  As an 11 year old it left a big impression on me.  A second major influence on my interest in photography was my Aunt Christine.  She had a Nikon FE (all manual) camera and she let me use it.  During summer vacation as a kid, she taught me how to work the camera, and about the basic concepts of creating an image.  This experience also really nudged me forward on my journey to finding photography as an art form.  I have really been dragging my camera around with me, taking pictures wherever I go ever since.

a.ell: Is there anything you want people to know about your artwork?

Ginger: That’s a good question!  Mine is really a process about capturing what I see around me. It’s very much about capturing natural light and moments. It’s not about creating a picture or moment, rather it’s about seeing it.  For me, part of creating art is removing what’s not necessary, so framing can be a big part of my process of capturing moments and feelings. It’s like taking a whole view and focusing just on the parts that really make it interesting.  For example, a fallen leaf or a stone sitting just so will look different if you can remove the noise around it.  

a.ell: What inspires you to take a photo, or capture a moment?

Ginger: My number one inspiration, like many photographers, is the way the light falls on a subject or scene.  My reason for taking a picture could be as simple as that, or it could be the starting point of my interest in the subject. The other main reason has to do with the moment changing. I am focusing on something interesting and then, something changes - someone walks into the frame, there is a shift of light, a breeze - or anything else that could create a sense of movement, or change the picture with something spontaneous.

a.ell:  Do you have any of your own work hung throughout your house?

Ginger: Oh yes, my house is like a gallery!  Over my couch I have nine frames of my photos all in black and white. Two of them are actually drawings from a childhood friend of my original photos. It’s really neat to see a moment that I captured in a style other than photography, not to mention drawn by a lifelong friend.  I also have a lot of portraiture throughout my house. I like the idea of (family) portraits being art, since they reveal stories of our lives.  Overall, I believe photographs are important in representing life and moments, and I think my house reflects that.

a.ell: Of your photos, do you have a favorite?

Ginger: Yes - and it changes over time.  My current favorite photograph is a wintertime scene of the street I used to live on in Germany, which is very old and remarkably beautiful. It is also the biggest canvas print I’ve ever had produced, measuring about 24x36 inches.  I just had it printed and I’m really pleased with it.  To me, it feels like you could be standing in the street, looking up at the buildings on either side.  This print is also available for sale at a.ell atelier in Portland.

a.ell: Where do you see your art going in the coming years?

Ginger: I would like to see my art in other people’s spaces; anywhere where people are trying to create a welcoming space -  whether that be an office, living room, bedroom or studio. I really just want to share my work and have it become meaningful to others in whatever way makes sense for them.  Stylistically, I am aware that my art art changes.  I don’t have an ambition for my next style - my approach is fluid.  I like the look of my current work, I appreciate my historical work and I look forward to seeing how my style changes over the years to come.  I know that it will, but I can’t say how it will and I’m okay with that.

a.ell: Thank you Ginger!  We look forward to working with you, and sharing your photography with our art loving fans.


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