Conceptual Portraits of People Surrounded by Repeating Objects

conceptual portrait surrounded by beach balls

Up and coming photographer Austin Tott has been attracting quite some attention as of late. The talented lensman from Seattle, Washington has been carving quite a reputation for himself by creating his odd, eccentric images of people overwhelmed or being assaulted by one recurring thing. Weird scenarios of the same item, but in large quantities, theme his bizarre photographs. From black hats, beach balls’, groping arms, flames, light bulbs, toy sailboats, snakes and even derby hats, Tott has a unique method of creating absorbing tales by putting his subjects in the midst of all this orchestrated confusion of repeating objects.

conceptual portrait surrounded by flames

“I’m not exactly sure why I do this,” he says. “I find it visually appealing, I suppose. I also like to take fairly normal, everyday looking people and put them in odd situations, but the situations have to have some sort of believability to them or else the photo appears too fake. I guess in my mind I’ve found a balance with all of that by repeating objects, because it would be possible for there to be many beach balls, or ships or light bulbs around a subject, a highly unlikely situation, but still possible!”

conceptual portrait woman on floor

Tott’s first encounter with photography occurred when he enrolled in a photography class in college. “I realized that I was spending much longer on the assignments than any other fellow classmates and, for the first time in my life, thought I had found what I dared to call myself passionate about! Shortly after beginning the course, I found the photo sharing site Flickr. Through that, I came across several conceptual photographers and my wonder for photography grew even more.”

man groped by arms

One may call Tott’s style as a eclectic, having elements of eccentricity and playfulness, but with also a dark and sometimes surreal underlying tone. “Most of all,” says Tott, “I’m just trying to draw an emotion from the audience and make them feel something. I hope that my photos have a cinematic feel to them which compels the audience to ask what happened before or after the scene.”

conceptual portrait man by lake with sailboats

conceptual portrait surrounded by lightbulbs

conceptual portrait surrounded by flamingos

Visit his website for more of his work here or follow him on Flickr.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.