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Photographer and author Terrence A. Reese on ‘Reflections’ and iconic images

Photo courtesy of Terrence A. Reese

Photo courtesy of Terrence A. Reese

Known professionally as TAR, Terrence A. Reese chats with rolling out to discuss his career as a commercial photographer and his book Reflections, which is “a black-and-white documentary-style photography series, that captures the personal living spaces of renowned African Americans whose lives and careers have addressed the fundamental political, economic, and social realities of the 20th century and beyond. In each photographic image, a mirror is strategically placed and, the subject is reflected in it. Reflections liberates the eye to move about within the boundaries of the image, not encompassing it all in one glance. The exercise reveals the unforeseen and true nature of the individual. It is the challenge of locating the subject’s image in the mirror that becomes an intriguing and rewarding experience. Each image is accompanied by my personal written memoirs of the photo shoots that further draws the viewer into the space,” he shares.

Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two? For me inspiration comes from the talented people I associate with… my Elders, the kids I teach. The places I go… art fairs, Museums.

What led you to art in general and to your art form(s) in particular?
To create something that had never been done before was a priceless challenge.

Have you and your artistry ever been involved in traditional business? If yes, how?
Yes. I am a commercial photographer.

In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets do you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful?
The ability to write … there’s nothing like being able to explain your concept to the masses.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
I stay open to new ideas.

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about art and/or artists?
Not that I can think of.

How do you map out your goals?
Create something people from all walks of life will enjoy … that’s what my “Reflections Series” does.

How do you measure your success?
How many children enjoy my work.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see or use as examples to emulate?

My peers are mostly twenty years older than me. Orson Wells, Gordon Parks, Sen Powell, Eleanor Roosevelt …

Name two of your top role models: one in the art world and one from outside of it.
Gordon Parks… my high school teacher/father Mr. Curry.

Terrence A Reese book Reflections

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
Citizen Kane, Roots,… exhibition of “I Dream a World”

Why do you consider continued learning important?
Every day. One can learn something that can make them a better person the next day.

What role does art have in the community? What role would you like to see art play in the community?
Art should be first! The children always open up to the creative process, which helps them learn things better.

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Social media allows an artist to talk directly to the people.

What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life and/or career?
Facebook changed everything along with the Google Maps.

Please define your personal brand.
Dependable, Knowledgeable, Secure… Multi-Talented.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Positano, Italy. It’s easy to relax and write there.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
People’s heart.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I did that already. I gave all my money to charity and started over. I tested my faith, because I believed in what I had to offer.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
Selflessness. I am nobody. I will become respect base on my ability to be helpful to others. I have create Reflections images of 75 Iconic figures. I plan on creating 2,000 or more in total.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Google… when I came up with the concept of Reflections there wasn’t Google. By the time… I finished everything I was going to say about my subject was on Google. So a friend suggested I write down my experiences with the icon.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Detailed, to make a person feel like they are in the room with Me.

What books have most impacted your life (or life as an author)?
The Bronte Sisters Complete, A Man called Ove, James Maxwell’a series starting with Enchantress, Eleanor Roosevelt, The age of Miracles…

What books are you currently reading?
Between the World and Me [by Ta-Nehisi Coates}

Why this author?
I wanted to know his point of view.

What new authors have piqued your interest?

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your latest work?
No. The science of seduction has been enjoyed by all of my readers.