Photographer & Digital Artist
Rachel Owen is a photographer living and working with her husband and son in the Chicagoland area. Right out of high school Rachel began working as a wedding and portrait photographer and is currently evolving into her true passion, green-screen photography, and digital compositing. As an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert she often merges photos of her subjects on green screen in the studio into miniature objects or even combines multiple photographs to create a new setting that does not exist in the real world.
Many describe Rachel as a “self-taught” artist, but she has an aversion towards this moniker and contributes her knowledge to the study of many master artists. Although she has no formal degree she jumps at every learning opportunity she can; online classes, private workshops, art blogs, museum lectures, and college textbooks are just a few of the ways she appeases her ambition for education. Considering education her third-highest life priority she makes studying imperative daily practice. You can often find her wandering the Art Institute of Chicago with a favorite book in hand, frequently Symbols and Allegories in Art.
Rachel's primary goal when photographing anyone is to make the person in front of her lens feel empowered and to have that empowerment show up and provoke the viewer. Her images are often described as surreal and whimsical, and they take the viewer into a fantasy to blur the lines of reality and fiction. Rachel describes her desire to create as a fundamental energy in her soul that hurts more to keep in than to let out.
There is something deep inside me that begs to be let out. This spark weaves a central thread of hope, rebirth, love, perseverance, and transformation through my very existence, and this is the mark I want to leave on the world. My work most often ponders moments that threaten to sever these foundational seams in my life. I approach my art akin to that of a classical painter with every detail per-visualized and sketched. I am drawn to photography for the unabashed truth in the capture, but as in life the truth is rarely what it seems and the start is often unrecognizable from my end result. I revel in the power to add beauty or disfigure, to create a world of bliss or trauma. Invariably the person in front of my lens becomes a mirror of my own aura. I have to break down all my walls to get behind the walls of the person in front of my lens. There is an incredible vulnerability and trust required to capture the likeness of the soul. This is where I find the most joy; this is the part of my work I take the most pride in.
From here I insert my subject into the digital world I have created. Often every element in my final image is photographed separately. Never using stock images, I take joy in photographing every element myself. When traveling I bring my camera to every rare and exotic location always scouting for a unique article of furniture, piece of wall, or unusual creature that may find their way into a composite someday.
I was born to create; that is one of the clearest things in my life, but at the end of my journey I want to be known more for what I have inspired than what I created. My passion is so intense it hurts more to keep in than let out, so I create and keep creating as long as life flows through my veins.
Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert
WPPI Master Photographer
Light Space Time: “Created In Isolation” Group Exhibition 2nd Place Photography Division for Alone
Light Space Time: “Created In Isolation” Group Exhibition 4th Place Overall for Alone
Portrait Masters: Teen & Senior Portrait Division 2nd Place Silver Award for My Perfect Day
Portrait Masters: Contemporary Portrait Division 5th Place Silver Award for Life
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Hollow
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Letters to Santa
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Wonder
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Strength
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Fly Away
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Copernicus- The Burden of Discovery
Light Space Time: “Figurative” Exhibition 3rd Place for Beautifully Broken
WPPI The Annual: Gold Award fpr Letters to Santa
WPPI The Annual: Gold Award for Life
WPPI The Annual: Silver Distinction Award for Waiting For My Price
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Best Friends
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Warrior
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Hollow
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Fly Away
WPPI Mast Photographer Award
Gallery Seven: “Art of Illinois” Group Exhibition, Lockport IL
PPA: North Central District Competition Sealed Image for Copernicus- The Burden of Discovery
PPA: North Central District Competition Sealed Image for Marie- The Downfall of a Queen
PPA: North Central District Competition Sealed Image for Until We Meet Again
WPPI First Half: Silver Award for Beautifully Broken
WPPI First Half: Silver Award for Till Death
Portrait Masters: Silver Award for Seeking Adventure
WPPI The Annual: Silver Distinction Award for Outrun
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Copernicus- The Burden of Discovery
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Imagination
WPPI Second Half: Silver Distinction Award for Until We Meet Again
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Untitled
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Reflections of A Double Exposure
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for Sir Reginold
WPPI The Annual; Silver Award for The Charade
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for: My Demons
WPPI The Annual: Silver Award for: Sabrina