Rising Light is an article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. This month we introduce Chantiana Staley at the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Chantiana Staley is wrapping up her final semester at the Savannah College of Art & Design and you can tell she is already thinking about heading out into the ‘real world’. While she will no doubt make the rounds in her native Charleston, her goal is to move to New York or California and give it her best shot as a working photographer.
Her prime interest is portraiture, but based on the images displayed on her website she is equally adept shooting still life and landscape.
Chantiana picked up a camera for the first time back in high school, and since that time she has managed to hone a fine sense of composition. She understands how to frame her subject and visually crop into the core of the image.
Chantiana admits to being somewhat a control freak, which works to her advantage when it comes to her photography. She learned how to take pictures shooting available light, but having had a taste of studio lighting, she quickly realized what she can do with a couple of packs, heads, and light modifiers. Like most photographers who ‘see the light’, she much prefers controlling the light rather than have the light control her.
When asked which of her photographs is her favorite to date she takes a short pause before deferring to her series of monochromatic dance photographs, which are admittedly influenced by the work of Alexander Yakovlev, a dance photographer whose work Chantiana greatly admires.
To freeze the model and the splays of powder flying around the set, Staley used Profoto D4 Air and a pair of Profoto AcuteD4 Heads with Profoto Softbox RFi 1×6′ positioned on either side of the model. Thanks to the more-than-ample power output and short flash duration of her Profoto flash system she had full confidence she is able to capture original images that emulate the spirit of a photographer whose style and technique she respects and admires.
The studio still life of spices – which she styled herself, is another side of her work. To capture this image she used a Profoto D4 Air with an AcuteD4 Head fitted with a Profoto Softbox RFi 2×3’ positioned directly overhead on a boom stand. As with most of Chantiana’s work, it is simple and elegant.
Chantiana Staley makes no bones about the fact that she has high expectations for herself. She also knows photography isn’t always the easiest career path she can choose from. Regardless, when asked to describe her dream assignment she took a short breath and with more than a hint of conviction said, “I want to take an official White House portrait… I want to photograph the President of the United States”.
A box of donuts says she does!