Samantha Yancey

Loft: H413

I grew up in a small town in Mississippi that most people who actually live in Mississippi have never even heard of. Due to my father being in almost every aspect of the entertainment industry, I developed a love for art at a very early age. I began my journey in photography when I was about 16, using my daddyʼs camera to photograph anything and everything that I deemed interesting. My friends allowed me to “test shoot” them, and pretty soon I was photographing some of my classmates senior portraits. I realized then that nothing intrigued me more in photography than portraiture.

At the time it was simply a hobby, I had never imagined myself making a career out of it. I started college with the intentions of becoming an OBGYN, but quickly realized I could not condemn myself to a hospital for the rest of my life. Having an enormous love for diversity and art, I needed to be free, I needed to travel, I needed to see everything this universe had to offer me, and I needed to document it. My first step was moving out of Mississippi. I did some research and ended up at the Art Institute of Atlanta, where I received my Associates Degree in Photographic Imaging in September of 2012. Iʼm happy to say that with hard work I received “Best Portfolio” of my graduating class, as well as several academic awards. I am now working towards being able to travel to various countries and document my experiences, with hopes of creating books of each area I visit. The series of images I will be showing are from my small hometown in Mississippi called Leesburg. I wanted my first book to reflect where I come from. Occupations of these people range from farmers to politicians and everything in between, but all are simply “good ole country folk”. While photographing these people, as I do with every person I photograph, I sat with them, I talked with them, I got comfortable and made them feel comfortable in my presence. Alot of shots were taken in mid-conversation, I very rarely “set things up” or “pose” people. My direction comes from the vibes that are given. I photograph the moment, the energy. That is how Iʼve found that I get the best images.