Each month, a featured photographer taps into the imagery that inspires his or her creativity.
The things that inspire me feel like an extension of myself. They are the textures that cover the
walls of my imagination, the artwork that I am most proud of that captures my attention, and the
objects that my characters play with in the images I create. My inspiration comes from building
up a playground of the imagination, and making that space come to life around me.
(clockwise from top left)
• This is a spine I found while exploring the
forest, complete with hundreds of maggots!
It has been cleaned though, and now I
keep it for inspiration. I love death and
• Doctor Who, because there is no
better source for finding your own
uniqueness, importance and humanity.
• I have always felt that the life force of the
earth moves through the veins of a leaf.
• An underwater image I took just for stock
while I was in Hawaii, but every time I see
it I am reminded of places we can only
• Lanterns are particularly meaningful
in my work, symbolizing a guiding light
for otherwise lost characters.
• An antique saw.
• My own framed artwork, and though I love
hanging others work around my house,
I keep a special place for my own. If we
cannot be inspired by what we are doing,
we probably aren’t doing the right thing.
• A magnifying glass my sister gave me
that I first used years ago in a surreal
• Being dirty and playing in the mud makes
me feel connected to the earth. I make sure
to get my hands dirty at least once a week.
Brooke Shaden is a fine-art photographer
specializing in dreamy self-portraits. She aims
to capture fantastic realities within her frame.
Using painterly techniques and the square
format, traditional photographic properties
are replaced by otherworldly elements.
If we cannot
be inspired by
what we are doing,
we probably aren’t
doing the right