Stefanie found photography as the perfect way of communicating her ideas during her studies at Hofstra University. Following her graduation, Stefanie continued her undergraduate studies in photography at Rochester Institute of Technology. She began with film as her medium but has since become a digital photographer. Her photo essays are extensive and have become lifelong commitments. She is a devoted photographer who will continue to use photography as a method of sharing her vision.
Since 1999, I have studied Realism through a lens. Realism is not a word used to describe photographs today. I took a documentary approach to this series to reflect our time.
I have always been an admirer of the artist, Edward Hopper. He was a master of light, balance, and composition. He created paintings that depicted his time. The 1930 painting, “Early Sunday Morning” had a soul-stirring effect on me.
How could I, as a photographer today, find a backdrop that replicated our society and mirrors Edward Hopper’s balance and composition?
I became a photographer trying to match one of the most iconic paintings in history.
For twenty years, I studied light, color, balance, and composition with a fire hydrant as the most important element in the series. Capturing human traces and documenting natural elements was of the utmost importance, but I knew Hopper’s paintings told a story.
At the beginning of 2019, I had a collection of over 180 photographs, but I was in search of something more.
On New Year’s Eve, 2019, I went photographing in Charleston, South Carolina. I chose a random alley to walk down. When I approached Church Street and Elliott Street, to my left was a cityscape that rivaled “Early Sunday Morning”. This storefront lit up my eyes and my hand went over my heart. I smiled and bowed my head in submission.
At that moment, I realized I would never match Edward Hopper’s painting. I took a deep breath, went down on one knee, and photographed a vertical.
After all these years, I realized I was just in search of my own, “Early Sunday Morning”.