You just recently spent some time at the PHLEARN studio, shooting a tutorial with Aaron, how was that?
Yeah. Oh, my goodness, it was a dream. I’m a really big fan of PHLEARN. This is my second time with Aaron; I met him for the first time at Adobe MAX. But, getting to actually know him, and the team, and just being there in Chicago was amazing. I spent four days there. The first day was just preparation, and then the next three days were shooting.
PHLEARN is basically the building blocks of my education of Photoshop. It’s the only YouTube or teaching service for Photoshop that I ever stuck with because it was free and it was really well done and I could understand it.
How did you get started in photography?
Well, I started back when I was 13. I found an edit account on Instagram around 2013, and this is also around when Instagram was just starting, so everything was still kind of new. I found this account of another teenage girl who was also doing surrealistic edits of herself. She would have these crazy photos where half of her head would be coming out of a frame, or she would be coming out of a cloud.
I wanted to figure out how I could do that because I was fascinated. So, I stalked her, basically, and found what apps she used and what camera she used. I didn’t have any resources or even a phone back then, so I used my mom’s iPhone 4S for a lot of my self-portraits in the beginning.
I would place it against the wall and run and take a photo, and then edit with some apps I downloaded for free on her phone as well. Eventually, I really fell in love with it and started to post my own work on Instagram. Then, after a few months, I asked for a DSLR for Christmas and my parents were like, “No, it’s just a phase, you’re going to grow out of it, you’re 13.” You know, people that age go through phases really, really quickly. But, I was like, “No, no, I really like this, I really want a DSLR.” So, my parents finally gave in; somehow, I convinced them. After that, people started to be more attracted to my art on Instagram. I started posting more.
My mom is actually an artist, so she had Photoshop. That led me to experiment and see what the heck Photoshop was; it was so different from all the apps I’d been using. I continued using Photoshop and found PHLEARN on YouTube and that’s how I basically learned – through PHLEARN videos.