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ePHOTOzine Member Feature: KT Allen - Here we find out how KT Allen first got into photography and what drew her to digital manipulation.
KT Allen joined ePHOTOzine back in February and her growing portfolio of digitally manipulated images is something that's really starting to gain a following as well as a growing collection of awards. To date, KT's received 27 User Awards, 6 from Guest Editors, 9 Highly Commended Awards and 8 received the Editors Choice Award.
ePHOTOzine wanted to find a bit more out about KT and what influences her and how, in the first place, she was driven to begin creating her digital manipulations. Here's what she said:
"2010 was the hardest year of my life, the end of one era and a new beginning. I was a web developer working in a successful design team. My career was successful and life was good.
However, my daughter, who was born with a disability, seemed to crumble overnight. She went from a main stream high school to a hospital ward, living off morphine and a cocktail of medication. She was born with no proper hip joints and things went from bad to worse. We knew it would be a long journey so I gave up work so Jazmine could be nursed through the multiple surgeries.
I needed something to occupy my mind and fill in the void and transition from stopping working, which was when I thought about photography. I bought my first DSLR in 2011 and joined an amateur photography club called Wigan 10 in 2012. I started actively entering competitions in April 2012, approximately 12 months after I had first picked up a DSLR.
I put my Wacom pen to the tablet, dried my tears and began to create. All I needed were the right people to support me, but more importantly to believe in me. I wanted to create images that came from the emotion within. I built images in my head, even if I knew they were nothing like those on the club scene and I am sure there are lots of people don’t like or understand my images. To me images are like songs, you can’t sing them unless you feel them.
The first surreal composites I made were crazy and contained elements I had gathered when walking lonely evenings at the hospital. Old Fish Jack, actually contains a photo of Jazmine snorkelling in the sea the previous year, before everything went downhill and a sculpture of a fish at the hospital had reminded me of that wonderful memory. I touched the fish sculpture and cried, because what I was feeling was how free she was in the water, yet outside of the water she couldn’t walk without sticks and pain... at that moment I knew what I needed to create, I needed to put that memory and emotion into an image.
Since then I have poured my heart and soul into my images; I have laughed and cried with them, I have sung and screamed at them but most importantly, I have lived and breathed them.
I think it is a misconception that you must have a vast amount of equipment or years of photographic experience to produce a good image. You need heart and a fire in your belly as someone once told me. Never judge yourself by others work and never think you’re not good enough. Photograph for the love of it."
You can follow KT's journey through her ePHOTOzine portfolio as well as on her own website (www.ktallen-photography.co.uk) which showcases her work as well as the processes behind some of the shots.