Cassie Bagent Photographer  
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artist statement

When it comes to photographing I have two fundamental beliefs.

  1. Photography is like life: there are no guarantees.
  2. Fear is something which is meant to be conquered and by doing so, this can lead to creativity.

The current photographic images from the New York Nights, Coney Island and Jelly Fish portfolios represent steps I have taken to conquer two of my fears with the assistance of my camera.

One fear that I initially had was of New York City. Having grown up in the Midwest, I had preconceived perceptions of this city as being a very big, daunting, and even a dangerous place. However, I was interested in finding out what New York City was all about. Over the years, I have made numerous trips to New York, exploring different parts of this city. I have used my camera to capture various intriguing parts of the city to which I have been visually drawn, whether it be Times Square, Central Park, Madison Avenue, the Village, or even the Statue of Liberty - there is just so much visual material to see and photograph in that city. It has become a city of many visual adventures for me to explore. A couple of years ago while in New York, my explorations led me to a strange, wonderful, and seemingly timeless place called Coney Island. I have been visually drawn to Coney Island ever since. For the last several years I have photographed at Coney Island whenever possible.

The second fear that I have is one that is common amongst most photographers, and that is the damaged negative. Of course, I must say that I have "intentionally" damaged my negatives in order to obtain some of the resulting photographic images that are contained within the Jelly Fish and Coney Island portfolios. That process occurred when I first shot images of the jellyfish, the resulting negatives were fogged for some reason that is still unknown to me. Determined that there was something on those damaged negatives that could produce a printed image, I bleached one negative to see what would happen. This process worked, and I loved the final resulting photograph. The risk involved in this process is that one does not know how the final image will appear as a result of the bleaching. I was truly inspired by the risk of not knowing whether or not this process would actually work.

Finally, it is because of my own belief in taking risks with my life and conquering my fears that many of these images have come to be. The "not knowing" is something that I have come to embrace as a photographer.


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