Were you always creative and what was your earliest creation, in any medium?
Yes, I’ve always enjoyed creating. At an early age, I received a string art kit as a gift. Once I completed that pattern, I liked it so much that I would ask my dad to nail patterns to boards for me to (string) into pictures for gifts to give other people.
At what point did you say, “I’m an artist”?
I don’t know that I ever really had an “aha” moment for that. I spent several years in photography forums asking for, and listening to, constructive criticism. I suppose when I began getting fewer comments suggesting changes, I felt I might be onto something with my photography.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
As a junior high and high school student, I preferred photographing events over participating in them. I really didn’t know what I was doing with the camera at the time, but I knew I wanted to learn more. When I began dabbling in creating my own flower garden designs, I wanted to be able to take better photos of the plants. So, I bought a new camera and a few photography books and got to work learning all I could. I took a few classes along the way and practiced with my kids, my dogs, my flowers, and anything else I saw as interesting. Lots of inspiration!
What is your favorite piece (of your own) and why?
If you know me, you know I’m a butterfly fanatic. Several years ago, I spotted a quarter-sized spot of rust on the side of a building and was immediately drawn to it. The more I looked at the rust, the more it looked like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Thus “The Butterfly Emerges” was created and it remains my favorite to date.
What is your favorite genre of photography and why?
Macro photography is my absolute favorite. I love getting up close and personal with my subjects and capturing what’s not seen with a general look. Whether it’s a flower, a butterfly, a human hand, or even a dog’s paw, there are just so many textures and details that come to the forefront with a macro lens.
What is your take on black & white vs. color photographs?
I’m rarely a fan of black and white photography. Especially when it’s my own. I prefer color because it’s actually what we see every day. Vibrant, yet warm color just gives a happy vibe. You can’t go wrong with that.
What inspires you, in general?
I’m inspired by brilliant colors and textures. I really get motivated and inspired when I allow myself to think of new ways to photograph what others would consider mundane and everyday objects.
If you could be an artist anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m content to be at home, so I don’t think about going elsewhere for my photography, though I do think it would be fun to do some lifestyle photography in the streets of Italy or France. Those quaint cafes are always appealing to me when I see photographs of them.
Do you have a photographic series you are currently working on?
I recently worked on a few small series of images that combine the things I love most about photography – color, texture, small subjects looking large. I photographed succulents for a mandala series that I will likely add to in the near future and I’m adding to a teacup and kitchen utensil series as well.
And…where can people find your work? Do you exhibit? Local markets? Galleries? Website? Social media?
I currently have a solo exhibit at the Kirby Library in Bowling Green that will remain on display throughout August. I’ll have pieces in the upcoming Pennyroyal Juried Exhibit in Hopkinsville and the Glema Center Juried Photography and Art Exhibit in Madisonville. I have an online gallery where my work can be purchased (www.chereefedericophotography.pixieset.com). That gallery can also be accessed via my website and blog, www.chereefederico.com. Lastly, I can be found on Facebook at Cheree Federico Photography.
(Artist profile photo courtesy of Ella P. Photography)