Regina Fleming is an eight time internationally award-winning photographer for both her portrait and wedding photography. A native New Yorker, she has travelled the world recording and documenting people, their lives, and their cultures.
What were your early experiences as an artist like? How early did you begin creating?
As an early photographer, I was very excited to learn this new craft. Although I have always had a love for the arts and all things creative, it was after becoming a model (after graduating college with a B.S. in Criminal Justice) that stirred my photography curiosity. As a model, I noticed how different I looked (good or bad) after being photographed by different photographers. I watched all the lighting set ups, the cameras that were used, and the lens being used and I was eager to learn more. I went back to school and earned an A.A.S. in Photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and the rest was history! I had always collected books with black and white images and I loved photographing in black and white. The very first time that I developed a black and white roll of film I knew that this is where I belonged.
I was born creative. I remember how I would perfectly color when I was really young and how I loved art classes. In the sixth grade, I took a sewing class and began making clothing. I learned how to crochet in the seventh grade and later began knitting as a young adult. I played instruments throughout junior high and discovered the art of calligraphy in high school. I was transfixed by black and white photography. The images always told a story and looked as if someone had really stolen a moment in time. The images of the civil rights era really resonate with me and play a big part in how and what I photograph; stirring meaningful, storytelling imagery whether I am photographing fine art, portraits, weddings, or events.
Who or what in your life influences your work the most?
My influences come from so many places, it is not just one thing. However, there is one person who tops my list. The life and work of Gordon Parks was instrumental in my admiration of both photography and all aspects of the arts. He was such a Renaissance man; exceptional in all mediums, including photography, music, writing, and film, and was so ahead of his time. I am also influenced by travel, life experiences, the Black experience, fashion, other photographer’s work, interiors, and films.
What is the one thing you hope your viewers walk away with after seeing your work?
I would like for people viewing my work to feel some type of emotion. I would like viewers to walk away thinking about what the image means to them, and I would like them to want to go deeper than the first glance of the image. There is always a message to be perceived. There is always a story. There is always a reason for this image to exist.