Neal Schlosburg – Storyteller | Artist | Portrait Photographer: The mood of an image is a shared experience between artist and viewer.
I explore energy, emotion, and sensibilities with my images and their titles. My goal is to have an expressive exchange; from one soul directly to another. I converse with light, shades, tones, textures, shapes, and words to tell a story and convey my humanity. I use my artistry to give voice to another person’s humanity. Life is diverse, so too are the stories.
As an accomplished professional portrait photographer, Neal Schlosburg has created a style of portraiture that is stunningly unique. These portraits have been showcased in Professional Photographers Magazine, Artsy Shark’s Featured Artists, numerous exhibitions, both solo and as a contributing artist and as the bestselling book My Picture Tells A Story on Amazon’s Best Sellers List for Black and White Photography.
Neal is a storyteller who uses his camera to bring to life portraits that are singular, vibrant, and distinct. These portraits have garnered the attention of Jimi Giannatti, former Photo Editor for SPIN Magazine and past Photo Editor-in-Chief of Live Sounds Magazine who wrote, “Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen Mark, and so many more, all leave an indelible personal stamp of themselves within each photograph they create. Having this ability to capture an image that comes from their heart, as much as it does from their mind, is a gift. My dear friend Neal Schlosburg has this gift.”
Music and photographs were the two passions that inspired my formative years. I first experienced photography through my father’s family photos. I especially was intrigued with the development and outcome of images with the early Polaroid cameras. It’s one thing to see the images when my father showed them to us, quite another to watch them develop.
My first involvement with photography wasn’t with a camera; it was in a developing lab at summer camp. There was a darkroom where we made contact sheets. While that experience was limited, it was a springboard into a creative future.
My artistic creativity blossomed during my final two years of high school. In my family, voicing feelings was not welcomed, and certainly not encouraged. Through charcoal and pastels I started to express my feelings. Looking back, my strongest expressions were in the form of sharp contrasts when using charcoal. The more complex ones seemed to emerge when I used pastels. There was something very cathartic about getting my fingers into the pastels as I blended and formed the textures and colors. At 19, not long after high school, my hands weren’t as cooperative as they had been. It became difficult to continue using charcoal and pastels. I bought a camera.
During the time I progressed as a photographer, two major influences impacted me as an artist and my trust in sharing emotions. The first was a group of close friends that helped me believe it was safe to share my feelings without being judged. The second was my introduction to the work of Alfred Stieglitz. In the early 1900’s, Stieglitz was one of the first, if not the first photographer to declare that photography was art. I was taken with his images of the human face, and to me, some of his photographs were reminiscent of works in charcoal.
Through those growth years, my interest in portrait photography evolved. Originally it was business portraits, but along the way I gravitated towards candid images of people. Along with Stieglitz, two other photographers influenced my work. The first was Herman Leonard, legendary jazz photographer. I loved the real time feelings that his images conveyed. I got the vibe of being right there in the room, front row center, watching, hearing, and feeling Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many others create music magic. The other was brilliant photographer Jimi Giannatti. Jimi’s iconic work on Through These Eyes, portraits of seven iconic African American artists living and working in Los Angeles, gave me a window into their souls through his masterful lens art. The inspiration that these three photographers gave me are my artistic building blocks for My Picture Tells A Story.
Music has been an essential part of my life, and it entered the creative process in an unexpected way. Looking at one of my fine art images, a large delicate white flower with linen like petals, my dear friend Gail, said it reminded her of a beautiful wedding dress. The moment she made that comment, Billy Idol’s White Wedding played in my head. Since then, all my images are named after a song title, an album title, or a band name.
Studio 17 is located in Artists & Makers Studios flagship art center complex in Rockville, MD.
The art center currently hosts three galleries for exhibitions in it’s 13,000 sq ft studio complex with more locations coming soon.
Located in the heart of Rockville’s White Flint/Twinbrook business district, Artists & Makers Studios is a 13,000 sq ft complex consisting of 43 studios, and is home to 65+ creatives.
Studio 17 is where your Stories are photographed.