Billy Newman


It all started in an eighth grade creative writing class. I was working on a research paper about the Chattahoochee River and decided to include some photographs. Armed with a Kodak Instamatic camera and embarrassingly chaperoned by my mother, I drifted down the river in a rented inflatable raft. That day, I snapped through a roll of film with the same fluid momentum as the river. When I got the prints back, I was awestruck. My hands held the same images that I had seen days earlier. Sorting through the small square photographs, I realized that my life had suddenly changed.

At UNC/Chapel Hill, my plan was to major in physics until I showed a D in that subject. Shooting and working in the Daily Tar Heel darkroom consumed my life. It was time to transfer. At Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara CA, I thrived, but I loved photography so much I was wary of making it my profession. I had seen many commercial shooters become bored and stale with what was once their passion.

Fascinated with the physical and chemical processes of photography, I majored in Color Technology, and so I kept on shooting. I moved to New York City where I opened a custom Cibachrome photo lab. During business hours I made reproduction quality prints for artists such as Andres Serrano and Sandy Skoglund. In the early morning hours or at dusk, I would explore abstract compositions in New York's urban environs.

Eventually, I left the print-making business and moved back home to Georgia, where I turned my lens to nature. Through forests, meadows, and colorful undergrowth, I found mysterious images that our mundane daily visions overlook.

For a short time I taught at The Showcase School and The Portfolio Center, both in Atlanta. Now, I work full-time as an independent fine art photographer. For the past several years, I have been shooting abstract photographs of flowers and botanicals.

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