Over to You
Austi V Campbell’s ‘dual personality’ self-portraits carry a message of hope
Three photo stories packed with brilliant shots, plus all your rants and raves
My favourite type of photography besides landscapes and sports is fine art photography, and my ongoing series entitled ‘Self Centered’. It is based on memories from my life. In each image I recreate an event, thought, or emotion that had an impact on me, and will hopefully have an impact on the viewer. The aim is to encourage anyone who’s facing some kind of difficulty to see that they are not alone, and that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
I portray both characters in each image – I shoot multiple images and merge them in Photoshop. For simpler shots I’ll be armed with my D700, one or two strobes, my wireless remote and a tripod; for more ambitious shoots I use studio lighting and bring my good friend and assistant along to help. Each shoot takes several days, if not weeks, to prepare (I spend
a lot of time at thrift stores getting props) and the shoot itself takes a few hours to set up and complete. I’ll take multiple shots to get the best poses and positioning; it’s important to be as precise as possible. If I’m on my own I’ll sometimes just wing it, and try to envision interacting with myself to get the most natural outcome. I keep the editing to a bare minimum, because I like my photographs to feel as authentic as possible.
Tough Love  is about the relentless battle waged by the mind… the ongoing negative self-talk. “You’re not good enough and you never will be”. We all experience that constant chatter that keeps us from reaching our own greatness. I wanted to put this fight into physical form.
In Scars of Ink  I’m giving myself a tattoo of a Nikon FE. After a long struggle with depression and unhealthy habits in my early 20s, I decided I needed to make some big changes. Fast-forward nine years and life is awesome, but it wasn’t easy. During this ‘cleaning up’ of sorts, I would feel void, absent and numb. In order to get out of that place, I started to get tattoos that had meaning to me. The physical sensation while getting the tattoo was like jumper cables jolting awake a dead battery. It was that extra jolt I needed to remind me “Yes, you’re still alive Austi, so get movin!”
As a young adult, sometimes I would pray for someone to just
It’s important to be as precise as possible… I keep the editing to a bare minimum because I like my photographs to feel authentic
Rescue Me , but ultimately I realised I had to rescue myself.
This series has been a healing process, both personally and, I hope, for those who see my work. So many people struggle silently, or know a loved one who is struggling, whether it’s with addiction, depression or any number of other issues. It means the world to me when I can help other people through my art, by letting them know that they’re not alone.
01 To ugh Lo ve Nikon D700, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO200
02 Rescue Me Nikon D700, Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, 1/4 sec, f/2.8, ISO400