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Rising Stars: Meet Randi Rheaa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Randi Rheaa.

Hi Randi, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I discovered photography at a young age when I received my first hand-me-down camera. While the camera held little of my interest (much like anything else at that age) It wasn’t until 2006, when I received my first Digital Camera and I re-discovered photography. I attended college to study journalism, but photography pulled me in a new direction. As much as I wanted to capture the reality of the world, it became a very dark place. My path changed as I found myself taking portraits of people that intrigued me. There was something magical that happened when someone stepped in front of my lens, I was able to create an image of someone from my perspective. I was able to create beauty instead of capturing destruction. I became obsessed with the concept of beauty. What was beauty? Where did beauty come from? What dictates what beauty is? How do we achieve beauty? The concept was hard to wrap my head around, so I used photography as a tool to define beauty. As I progressed as a photographer, it was becoming a pipe dream to be a conceptual fashion photographer. The concept or idea of creating a person of beauty and how I defined beauty within the frame using conceptual thinking and elements of fashion was divine. I created a series of images called Dysmorphobia early on in my work that was based on the world’s socially constructed idea of beauty and how it affected women. After presenting this personal series, it opened up a new perspective on where I wanted to take myself as a creative.

Over the years, I have worked with many unique and inspiring creatives where I was able to develop my overall vision as a photographer. The concept of socially constructed beauty remains, but the mystery to define beauty is ongoing.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The path that I have traveled thus far has really happened at the right pace for me. As a photographer, it is essential for many other elements to fall in place in order for your overall vision as a creative to come through. Although this journey has taken me down many side roads, I continue to navigate through any roadblocks embracing all of the positive and negative forces that come with being a visionary.

If there is one struggle on my journey, it is the constant evolution of change. Photography is an art medium that requires you to evolve continuously on your journey. It is a form of art that is transformative.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My personal work stems from the concept of socially constructed beauty standards, which is in essence unrealistic. To believe that one’s beauty is value is where self-objectification happens. Beauty should be woven in aspects of life to create balance. The exposure of light within my frame also allows me to invite others in to embark on my journey.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
The most meaningful advice I can give to anyone is never say no. It may be the door that leads you to where you want to be.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Maddi Silva, Charlie Price, Alexandria West, Hannah Walker, Vanessa Whitmarsh, Daja Herrera

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