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Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011

Blind Eye Studio: Following Bliss, Picturing Zombies

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For many wide-eyed Gen Yers bequeathed this forbidding economy, the impulse to "follow your bliss" can be akin to a death wish. To enterprising photographer Brittainy Dale Maloney, who opened Blind Eye Studio in 2010, it was a wake-up call. On Gallery Night this Friday, Oct. 21, she and her skulking reanimated corpses unleash "Zombie Pin-Ups," a horror-surrealistic photo series, against the vivacious setting of her Bay View Hide House studio space (2625 S. Greeley St.).

What's your infatuation with zombies?


I have this thing with socialism and the apocalypse, and the zombie phenomenon appeals to that. As humans we have this civilized sense about us. We're not animals. Being eaten by one of our own kind is a scary thought, yet there's this dichotomy with hot zombie girls.

Are you a vegetarian?


I'm not going to lie. I eat a lot of meat, high protein... It's my diet.

Does the greenish cast of your latest series signify anything?


Yes, decay and death. We shot the models in the park between 11:30 p.m. and 12. The contrast of the plants at night gives an eerie effect. Afterward we would go to local bars to promote our event in full zombie attire.

What are the challenges of self-employment?


Right now the field is saturated with hobbyists, amateurs and professional photographers. There were months when all my money was put into building the studio. Advertising and marketing yourself is time-consuming. As my mom, who's also my marketing manager, reiterates, "Sweat equity!"

Do you think artists should expect to make a living on what they do?


In a perfect world, yes, but you need a constant clientele base plus quality images and business skills to set you apart from an amateur.

How do you distinguish between an amateur and a professional?


An amateur is someone with a digital camera who may take a photography class, but it's not the main source of income and the images can be sub-par. Professionals invest their life in the field. I shot all through high school and continued my education at Hallmark Institute of Photography in Massachusetts to develop the technical and business side.

What do you do to keep the studio lights on?


I came up with this Red Carpet Party idea. It appeals to small groups of women who experience getting dolled up and photographed while strutting to music on a red carpet. We provide the drinks, food, hair and make-up stylists. It's about friends having a good time and feeling like celebrities.

Do you prefer to shoot people or objects?


I love to retouch photos and do my artistic thing. You can make people glamorous. Some artists photograph people like products, with no feeling behind it. I want my pictures to express an emotion that tells a story.

Photo by Brittainy Dale Maloney
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