Eluding Sleep © Samantha Goss
Samantha Goss is a Charleston, South Carolina, based conceptual photographer. She creates whimsical portraits that are romanticized versions of adventure, dreams, and life experiences. With a cinematic quality, each image appears as a moment in time that tell a story about the experiences of life.
She always had a passion for art and anything to do with music. While other children socialized, Samantha kept to herself and learned multiple ways to entertain herself without having to worry about the social pains that peer pressure offered. Learning to sing, play piano, and draw, she always had high expectations and dreams for herself. Traditionally a fine art drawer, she found other ways to express her ideas and make them come to life. Photography captured her heart at a young age and continues to grow every day. Not having any prior education, she taught herself many photographic and editing techniques that she still uses in her works today. Now she displays her biggest fears, her largest dreams, and her darkest thoughts for all to see and come together as a community to connect.
"I love telling stories with my work and I feel like the majority of my work is based on both of those concepts. I try to keep my style but make the stories relatable so connecting with others is a lot easier. My work is based on my life experiences and dreams. If something is happening in my life, you can guarantee it will end up as a conceptual image later on.
What I do to take these ideas and translate them is I write them down, meditate on them, and the draw out my concepts. If it’s a heavily manipulated image, drawing it out helps me to remember and keep things in order for when I go to photograph an image. I’m also not afraid to fail. There has been so many images I’ve tried to create and would have to go and photograph them multiple times based on mistakes I’ve done. As annoying as that it, I learned a lot from it and I think that’s the beauty of failure. You can always learn from your mistakes and the next time you go to shoot you’ll be better and know exactly what you’re looking for out of your images."
"I’d highly suggest anyone that does photography to start out in a dark room and learn everything you possibly can. You’ll notice more and take more pride in your work. With darkroom work you have to make sure everything is as perfect as possible in camera. While you can dodge and burn and even do some other manipulation works, the darkroom isn’t photoshop and it’s not fast and easy by any means.
After you get that perfect shot, you have to make sure you don’t expose your film or reel it too fast so it doesn’t cause static. That’s not the end of it either. You have to then process the film which you can definitely do wrong as well. The temperature of the chemicals need to be just the right temperature in order to not over process it or under process it. You have to make sure you fix the image or else you’ll lose it when opening the container. After all that is done, you have to rinse and dry the film and make sure that there is no dust so it won’t adhere to the emulsion. Also, water spots… those will be the bane of your existence. You can go back and clean them later but they’re annoying. You have to store them away so they don’t scratch either. That’s just the basics of processing your film. You haven’t even got to printing it yet. When you go into printing you can either scan the negatives and print from a printer or print them from an enlarger on light-sensitive photographic paper."
"As a kid I’ve always loved surreal imagery and they didn’t even have to be photography related. I love fairies, dragons, unicorns and worlds that aren’t our own. So movies, shows, video games, paintings or anything that was related to those fantasies have always inspired me. I just loved the idea of being able to fly or do magic! I truly wish to continue what I’m doing in hopes of connecting and inspiring other people to express themselves more."
About her statement, Samantha Goss says "We all have ideas, stories, and dreams. I make mine come to life through my work. Not only am I expressing my inner most personal thoughts, I am also exposing other people’s as well giving them the okay to feel. With my work, I’m letting my audience think, get lost, and even become part of the images itself. We all connect somehow and how I connect to other people is through photography. I’ve always thought that where my words fail me, my images speak.”