Cheryl Walsh, Southern California based underwater fine art photographer, is exhibiting her photographs at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts this summer during. “As one of the nation’s oldest and most highly acclaimed juried fine art shows, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts has offered a breathtaking showcase for artists and art lovers for 90 years.”
"As a traditional fine art studio portrait photographer, I combine classical lighting, backdrops, wardrobe, and posing to create photographs that convey a story. It just so happens that my studio is filled with water.
My studio, hidden away from the chaotic world, is a magical and surreal, quiet, weightless, intimate underwater space that provides me with a calm atmosphere that leaves me feeling empowered. My goal is to create artwork to share that feeling with others.
I tell my models: You are so amazing, so graceful, strong, brave, capable, confident, competent, you are so much more than enough. It's not that you can't breathe here, under the water, it's that you don't even have to breathe. That narrative changes their mindset so they feel relaxed and confident, as they should.
I work in the tradition of Pictorialism, a photographic movement from the mid-1800s. Photographers, for the first time, were using their cameras to create images that were painterly and illustrative. My process is to capture my subjects with technical excellence in camera, then in post-production layer photographs of textures, colors, and clouds to create an atmosphere, or world, that sets a narrative, thus creating images that are painterly and illustrative.
As a photographer who wants to create a photograph, an image printed on a piece of paper, I take joy in the creative and technical processes from beginning to end. After years of studying the fine art digital inkjet process, I proudly do all of my own museum-quality printing. I hand pick historically significant, archival Canson Infinity papers from mills in England and France, sized up to 44x64 inches. Their weight in the hand and unique texture, combined with vintage and elaborate custom frames, evoke a feeling of handcrafted fine art that I treasure.
Everyone deserves a special piece of artwork.
One that speaks to you, that takes you to another place,
an escape from the noisy, busy world.
Something that resets your soul.
It doesn't have to be huge and it certainly doesn't have to match your decor.
It just has to resonate with you.
As you pick out your clothes for the day, a small 5x7 framed print on your closet shelf can set your heart, mind, and soul in a positive light each day."
— Cheryl Walsh