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  • Writer's pictureMick

Artist Spotlight: Richard Speedy

When we think of photography, we think of the finished product right? That’s what we, the viewer, see. For photographers, a lot of thought is put into each click of the camera. What are you capturing? How do you see it? What do I want others to see? They take their own perspective, experiences, and aim to give the viewer something to walk away with. What’s our perspective when we see these photos? What goes through our mind when we look at it? There’s a lot to unpack in each picture. Sure, some pictures are just that, a picture. But, with most photos, you have to look below the surface to get the full picture.

Richard Speedy is a photographer originally from Princeton, New Jersey who currently lives in Hopewell, New Jersey. He has had a passion for photography since he was six. As his website states “When he was eight years old, he was making still life images in his bedroom with his Kodak Brownie Hawkeye flash camera. These were mostly dioramas of imaginary and far-off places, along with studies of specimens he gathered from his explorations of the outside world.” He graduated high school, then went on to study at multiple art institutes like The NY Institute of Photography & The Brooks Institutes of Photography. While he started off majoring in filmmaking, eventually he switched back to what he was doing years earlier as a kid, still photography. He relocated to the city that never sleeps, New York City. He started working as an assistant to some of NYC’s emerging advertising photographers which he describes as when he “began to find his own voice in terms of visual expression.” It sounds like moving to New York City was just the spark that he needed. Eventually, he opened his studio with fellow photographer Toby Richards, Richards & Speedy, where he did a lot of studio work for major companies while exploring and expanding on his own interests in photography. Since then, he has explored the world, took a liking to Mexico and New Mexico enough to move to both places for extended periods of time. He did this all with an “eyes wide open” perspective capturing the world through his lens along his journeys.

We get to see his perspective of nature, people, and subjects through his work. He has a variety of subjects and settings that he shoots. When you mix travel, a curious (and open) mind, range, and look at things through a different lens, you capture things in a way that others can’t. One project on his site that caught my eye was Dancing Moon. Speedy captures an Indigenous tribe in their element, in their home. He’s there, in the thick of it, and every picture in that project has emotion, detail, a story, and a beauty to it. All his projects do but this one stands out to me. Their land is vast and impressive. Their faces represent pain, pride, perseverance, and a hell of a lot more. We get to see them during a ceremony, celebration, and in their daily lives. He shows the duality, the young, old, tradition, and a well-rounded view of the people and their culture in general. The pride and tradition oozes from the photos, especially the one below. That does not even scrape the surface when it comes to his work. He has many projects that capture nature and life in a personal, detailed way. For a lot of his work, it comes down to angles and lighting. Both play a big part along with perspective. There are the photos where you are eye to eye or staring down donkeys in Los Burritos (did you get the reference?). Multiple projects where he captures pueblos and the surrounding mountains, land, and all the colors within those landscapes. In one instance, he photographs a set of horsehair nests. Yes, you read that correctly. Suburbanites and city slickers barely (or do not) know about things like that. Did you know there are horsehair nests in stalls, barns, and on farms? I sure as hell did not. There’s history, details, and a story behind every project and picture. Are you willing to look deep enough to see that for yourself?

Richard Speedy is talented and deserves more of a spotlight. He has been doing this for a long time. When we met at an art festival, we had a quick but insightful conversation. Just looking at his exhibit shows you that he is passionate about his craft. A photographer who captures such a wide variety of subjects throughout the world in a personal light. His photos make you look at the details. He has this deep appreciation for nature, art, culture, and the world. Looking at his stuff makes you want to travel and see more of what the hell is out there. He has a perspective that comes from life experience, curiosity, and exploring parts of this world that most others don’t get to see. If you ever see him at a festival, art show, or anywhere else, check out his exhibit. If you are into art and photography, you will not be disappointed.

Speedy’s virtual gallery Changing Tides featured on his site (Free & virtual):

All images in this article are property of Richard Speedy.

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