Photographer Brooke Shaden explores the juxtaposition of darkness and light in her subjects. As a self-portrait artist, she becomes a character in staged dreams that are inspired by a childhood filled with intense imagination and fear. As both the creator and the actor, Shaden controls her darkness and confronts those fears.
After studying films for years in college, Shaden realized her love of storytelling transcended across media. She deepened her photography practice, and in 2008, began to take on character roles herself. In her surreal portraits, Shaden works with recurring themes, often gravitating toward death and rebirth and the cycle of beauty and decay.
Ultimately, Shaden considers her process to be equal parts discovery and creation, following her curiosity into the unknown to see who her characters might become. Shaden believes that the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes, and experience into a representation of one's potential.
While Shaden’s images come from personal exploration, her goal is not only to satisfy herself but to show others a part of themselves - art as a mirror for the creator and the observer.