Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

 

Portrait taken Kemani Saunders of Kali Morgan

Earlier this week I was on my way to class and I ran into a woman I had never met before, but eventually I became grateful I did. She asked if it would be okay to snap a photo of me and my friend because she thought we looked fierce. Although it was a bit odd, we still posed in front of some classic UNC-Charlotte brick for this spontaneous moment in time to be captured forever.

I later found out that this talented stranger goes by the name of Kali Morgan. She happened to be a junior here at the university pursuing a degree in Anthropology and enjoyed doing film photography. Kali has a wonderful eye for capturing breath-taking images and I got the chance to sit down with her and get to know more about what she loves to do.

 

Me: “If you had to give a simple definition of what passion is what would you say?”

Kali: “Passion is something that you want to do for the rest of your life. Its something that inspires you every time you do it.”

Me: “So would you say that film and photography is your passion or is it one of many?”

Kali: “It is a passion of mine, and it is also one of many… I never really thought it was until I quit shooting for a while, and when I picked up my camera again it was like ‘wow’. It was just like an euphoric feeling for me.”

She went on to talk about her passion for journalism as well and her main goal to become a photo journalist some day.

Me: “How long have you been interested in photography?”

Kali: “I started shooting photography about six years ago but in the past three years I got interested in film really because I enjoy the process of it and the genuine look of the photos. I think when you take time on a photo and have to really put every aspect of it into perspective, it makes you think more about the composition and makes it more meaningful to you.”

Taken by KaliHoganPhotography

Me: “What was the journey like to get to this point of realization about your passions?”

Kali: “A lot of my life has been about me trying new things and it started with music… then I found that in my depression I was thinking too much. I couldn’t stop thinking and I wanted to capture the images that I was thinking of and portray those things that I could not get out of my head.”

Me: “Has there been any people who have helped you develop your skill once you took that initial step to capture these images?”

Kali: “For sure my boyfriend, he has been a film photographer much longer than I have. When I first met him I was just getting into it and he showed me a whole new world and different perspectives. His level of professionalism gave me a different view of what photo journalism could be.”

Upon asking her if her inspiration was influenced by what she imagined and/or who she interacts with, Kali went on to speak about her plans to start a new Instagram page focusing on documenting her experience when meeting new people. She stated:

“I meet new people quite a bit and I want to try to capture the things that I fell in love with in our first conversation.”

Me: “When you capture your images, what are you intending on communicating and/or preserving?”

Kali: “I do mostly portraits and some landscapes. In my landscapes I am trying to encapsulate a feeling I had in that moment of time. With my portraits, if it is really personal or an idea I had, it would be an emotion I am trying to portray. However if I am doing portraits of close friends I want them to have a sense of confidence and beauty in themselves.”

Kali has also had experience in taking wedding and prom photos. Most of her projects include images from her travel adventures. She enjoys the freedom of being able to capture things of her own interest stating that, “I want it to be meaningful to me… I want my art and my feelings to be portrayed how I distinctively want them to be.”

Taken by KaliHoganPhotography

Me: “Talk to me about some of your proudest photos you have captured.”

Kali: “One of my favorite achievements I have ever done is of my best friend who is camera-shy. It is one of my all time favorite pictures I’ve taken because she just instantly came out of her shell and was feeling so confident and so beautiful. I was happy I got to capture it.”

 

 

The other piece Kali talked about is called “Entomophobia,” which if you did not know means, the fear of insects. This piece is classified as scanography and she made it with a printer scanner.

Kali: “It was my first memorable piece.”

View “Entomophobia” below.

Scanography by KaliHoganPhotography

Me: “Have you ever experienced any doubt or downfalls?”

Kali: “I think every photographer does. There are many great photographers and just as many photographers who are pretty nasty people. I feel like I see a lot in this area. There are a lot of other communities that are warm, welcoming and have an understanding that this is not a competition. That is what gives me doubt. But if your photo’s are worth fighting for then you need to produce something great”

 

Me: “How have you impacted the community so far or are you still in the process of developing yourself to get to that point?”

Kali: “I’m still in the process… however I feel like that might be a selfish term for me to say. I can’t identify that statement, I can’t solidify that but others may be able to. I definitely feel like I have tried to bring a sort of documentation photography into the scene to show that ‘your life is cool, its worth living through, take some pictures’. Its neat!”

Me: “If it was a perfect world how would you want to benefit the community?”

Taken by KaliHoganPhotography

Kali:”I feel like a lot of photographers try to, and I am still trying to, open the window of exposure. A lot of photographers don’t realize it but they shoot pictures of mostly white, skinny women and we need to open that up to see women of color and women of size. We need to see people of size, and people of the trans community. Like, these are groups that photographers are only grazing over and we need to dig deeper and show the world how beautiful these people truly are.”

Me: “Any advice for new photographers or anyone in general?”

Kali: “My advice for photographers could resonate with anyone. Take your time, don’t be scared, don’t be shy of what you’re trying to do in photography or in this world as a whole and always keep an open mind.”

After taking time out to get to know more about Kali Morgan I began to realize that our first encounter actually was not that spontaneous after all. It was an intentional moment, on Kali’s behalf, that was apart of a larger purpose to capture beauty in all of its diverse forms. On that day Kali Morgan captured not only a picture worth 1000 words, but also an image worth more than 1000 other spontaneous moments.

If you would like to get in contact with Kali Morgan or see more of her work, follow her on Instagram and Facebook @KaliHoganPhotography.

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