MEXTURES HIGHLIGHT: @KATIETEIX

MEXTURES HIGHLIGHT: @KATIETEIX

 This week we turn our focus to the work of Katie Teixeira (@katieteix).  Katie's photography and self portraits always set themselves apart in composition and creativity and always represent an invitation to connect.  After a lengthy negotiation, we finally managed to commandeer a little of her time in hopes that we might learn about her life, photography and artwork.  We pieced it all together here so that we could share it all with you.  Learn along!

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Hey!  My name is Katie Teixeira and I live in the tiny state of Rhode Island in the beautiful northeastern part of the US.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?

Oh man…. Time to resurrect the memory.... High school…. I am very much and always have been an introvert. I had a small circle of friends but we were all extremely close. I was into the arts, music and songwriters like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty (RIP).  I kept good grades and did the student thing well, but never liked school. Like most (or should I say all) teenagers, I was trying to find myself and was always searching for a creative outlet. My bedroom walls often posed as a blank canvas. White walls were taken over by hands wielding sharpies or cheap paint. Then they (bedroom walls) transitioned to painted black (queue the Rolling Stones music) and plastered with tie died tapestries and rock n’ roll posters. I have, without a doubt, found myself and who I am and what I am passionate about in my more recent years. But I believe all of the paths I crossed and journeys I made up until this point in my thirty-something years on this planet, have created the me I am meant to be.

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WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

I want to continue to be what I am right now - happy and loving my life.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?

My favorite comfort food is banana, walnut chocolate chip (and sometimes coconut in the mix) pancakes. My husband makes the BEST. My mouth is watering just talking about them.

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

The cat. Paws {hands} down.

WHAT TWO CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARENTS?

My Mom & Dad – they’re celebrities in my eyes and I wouldn’t ask for anyone else to fill their shoes.

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WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM?

My Instagram followers might be interested to know that I only have vision and movement in my left eye. My right eye is prosthetic. I lost my “real” right eye at the age of 2 to a form of childhood cancer called Retinoblastoma. Growing up [feeling] different, I was very self-conscious and camera shy. I would avoid any situation that I thought would present the opportunity for people to notice my “difference” and stare or question me about it. It took many years but I’ve grown to accept the fact that this is me, a part of my journey, a piece to my road map. That acceptance boosted my self-confidence; and that has given me the drive to do things I would never have done in those years of feeling different. I smile if people stare and I can tell them my story without wanting to run and hide.

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

I had an awesome childhood. One thing that I'm always reminded of and very nostalgic about was our yearly family camping trips. We'd pile into the mini van, packed to the ceiling and head 5 hours north into the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The camp grounds on the Kancamangus Hwy (also known as NH rte 112) were first come first serve. So you'd scout out which grounds had the best sites for the next trip - and hope to be the first ones there to get it. It was always a week long adventure and tent camping at it's best. Lots of fire cooked meals, swimming in the mountain streams, and long drives up the winding mountain roads that often turned to dirt and took you to the most beautiful outlooks. My husband and I still carry on this little tradition that I was brought up with. I've always loved being outdoors and appreciate what nature has to offer.

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HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?

I've always had an interest in photography and the arts. Growing up I had a Polaroid, then a point and shoot camera which I'd always have with me and snap pictures wherever I would go. There was a time when I would always have one of those {insert a film brand name here} disposable cameras in my bag! Who remembers those?! Snap, spin spin spin the wheel, hold the flash button down, and snap - repeat. The interest turned into passion about 6 years ago when my husband put my first DSLR camera and iPhone into my hands (thanks my love xo). Photography is a constant creative flow and that alone keeps me interested. There is so much you can capture in every day life. From there, if you still want more, there are endless editing methods and applications that can help you turn that everyday capture into something more. Something you have created in your mind. Possibilities are endless and I love it.

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HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?

Absolutely. Social media has played a huge role in my work. The exposure I’ve received from putting myself and my work out onto Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc. has been incredible. My work has been exhibited in the US and internationally; Rome, Portugal, Canada… Word of mouth and sharing of posts/pictures is what has gotten me to where I am today with my photography sessions and commissioned work.  It’s also an inspiration to me. I love the feedback (positive & negative) and engagement with other creative individuals. I’ve connected with so many wonderful people who share the same passion in photography and art as I do. Wether it be online friendships, or real world, I’m grateful to have connected with them.

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IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU HOPE TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?

Connection. I want the viewer to connect with what I am putting out there. My work varies from macro, nature & landscape shots to self-portraits. I want the viewer to feel like they’re stepping into that landscape scene. Feel the environment and energy that particular shot has to offer. As if they were right beside me when I took the shot. Or be able to smell the essence of the flower I’ve captured. Feel the texture of the leaf or fern I’ve zoomed in on. When I shoot and edit self-portraits, my goal is to evoke an emotional connection between the human and natural elements in the photograph and then portray that in the end result.

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HOW DO YOU TEND TO APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS FROM START TO FINISH?

I have two different approaches when it comes to my editing. Which approach I take depends on what I am looking to achieve in the final image. If I’m looking for a simple more lifestyle like image, with minimal editing, my first step is opening that picture in Mextures to adjust my tones and get the mood I’m looking for. I tend to lean more towards the sombre, darker more earthy natural like tones and feels to my images. My favorite is the “X-film” textures pack. I love to toss the Brick, Crisp or Indigo filter on my images with the multiple layering mode. It always gets me to that deeper toned mood I’m looking for. You’ll always find that pack in my formulas with the multiply or soft light layering mode. I’m also fond of the Atmospheric pack. I love how I can manipulate lighting in my images with the Barren filter, or Optimism. Again, these are often in my formulas with the multiply or soft light layering modes. I often go into the film adjustments and pop through some of my favorites to see if it’ll make the image sway more towards the look I’m aiming for. I find Punch, UV, F-Fortia Fade & Astia to be my go-to’s. They usually give me that dark black background I’m looking for when I’m editing images like my self portraits. I also adjust temperature, saturation and fade in Mextures. Once I’m happy with the image in Mextures, I move into Adobe Lightroom Mobile and finish up with some fine tuning of details until I’ve reached the look I was aiming for.

If I’m working towards a more involved digitally edited image, I will often start in Union App to do any blending of images that I want. Once I’m finished in there I move into iColorama for my blurred or more artistically involved edits. Next is good ole’ Mextures. I take the same steps in here as I mentioned in my first approach. In a more involved edit I may also add some grit and grain to the image. A few of my favorite filters to get some grit and grain are the Yololomo and Blizzard filters in the Grit and Grain pack. I like to use the lighten layering mode for these. I find it doesn’t alter the tones in the image, only adds the grit texture I’m looking for. I’ll also use the Lincoln or Tesla filters in the Emulsion pack for some added grit and grain textures. I like to use the lighten layering mode for these as well for the same reason, it doesn’t alter the tones of the image. Just adds that extra layer of texture. Once finished here, I again move into Adobe Lightroom Mobile to finish up some fine tweaking.

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WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEXTURES THAT MAKES IT A VITAL PIECE OF YOUR EDITING PROCESS?

Mextures is used in every photo I edit on my iPhone. The filters and options in the app give me the ability to produce the mood, the tones, the textures and the look I want in my photos. This makes Mextures a vital piece in my editing process

WOULD YOU MIND SHARING A COUPLE OF YOUR MEXTURES FORMULAS WITH US?

1. Lollipop UVUPLII - I created this formula for a self-portrait. The Barren, Optimism & Insidious filters allowed me to manipulate the lighting while the X-Film textures with the soft light layering mode gave me the tones I was looking for. A little bit of the Organic filter with the multiply layering mode from the Dust & Dirt textures package, the F-Astia film filter and some adjustments provide the dark, green hued moody look I wanted for this photo.

2. Lace SCUAFBN - This formula was created for another self-portrait. This formula will give a dark background and some gritty textures. Optimism & Insidious provide some lighting manipulation. The Taffy & Frosted filters from the Vintage Gradients package added a little extra light play too. A handful of X-Fim layers and some layers from the Grit & Grain and Dust & Dirt packages topped off with the F-Superia film filter and a few adjustments give the nice deep tones and textures that finish up the look with this formula.

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3. LACE (II) VHCACRV - This formula is great for a close up flower/nature shot. A handful of Light Leak filters, some Landscape Enhance layers a few layers of Barren from the Atmospheric pack to manipulate some lighting and a dash of Dusted grit and Prussian_Blue Intensity. Finish it off with he Punch film filter and a few adjustments and your flower or other nature goodie will have a nice deep moody finish.

4. Golden BQSBITE - This formula was created for a self-portrait that has a lot of natural back lighting. Only a few layers in this formula. A soft light layered Frosted filter from the Vintage Gradients package. Topped off with a bit of lightened Indigo from the X-Film pack and a little darkening from a multiplied layer of Barren from the Atmospheric package. Finished off with some adjustments and your natural  lit background photo will have a nice golden glow.

5. Hands YEMGQTG -  This is a black and white formula. I used some soft light layering with the Barren & Optimism filters to obtain some extra light where needed. A layer of Taffy with the multiply mode made the light even better; while a final layer of Brick in the soft light layering mode made the blacks and whites in the photo just right. Throw on the F-Superia film filter and make some final adjustments and Hands was created.

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PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES THAT YOU'VE CREATED: WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM THAT MAKE THEM STAND OUT TO YOU?

This first piece is my favorite from my ‘hands’ self portrait series. The light and shadow play in black and white really speaks to me and of course my ‘extra’ arms & hands are key to this edit. ‘hands’ is my favorite series that I’ve created to date. Pieces from this series have been exhibited internationally and I hope to keep adding to it throughout the years

This 2nd piece is a more recent self portrait and edit. The simple fact of hiding behind the dried hydrangea flower and pop of green from my dress is what makes this a current favorite of mine.

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WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT MOST INSPIRE YOU?

The people who have inspired my photography are endless.  I’ve connected with so many talented individuals on Instagram and in real life.  If I had to chose one who inspires and influences me the most, it would without a doubt be my hubby, Kevin (@k_teix). He inspires and influences me just by being by my side and supporting my passion for photography. Pushing me to follow my dreams, set and reach my goals.  I wouldn’t be where I am today with my photography if it wasn’t for him.

See heaps more of Katie's work here!