Eye Candy Thursday: Visual Poet Keith Carter

Written on June 23, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration

I am alway encouraging clients to look outside their field for visual or business inspiration. So many wedding and portrait photographers limit their information gathering to what’s going on within the industry, keeping track of what peers or industry leaders are doing. When you’re only looking to each other, is it any wonder that you look alike?

In terms of looking outside your industry, I mean looking beyond the wedding and portrait business. You could look to commercial or fine art photographers, for example, or to other art forms like sculpture, ceramics, painting or jewelry design. And don’t forget the masters. They’re always there for you, whenever you have a moment and need a little inspiration.

I love art and artists, and so I want to share some personal inspiration with you today. I’m feeling rather like doing this on a regular basis, so please let me know what you think.

One of my favorite working photographers is Keith Carter. He captures everyday elements of life, “reminding you of things you’ve deep down always known but somehow forgotten, because life has a nasty habit of simply becoming too daily, too dependent on thought at the expense of feel,” says an essay by Bill Wittliff.

Mud lovers, 1990

Mud lovers, 1990 (c) Keith Carter - Total adoration! My birthday's coming up next month...

Spend a moment with each photograph, and just absorb it.


Raymond, 1991 (c) Keith Carter


Jessamine's Gown, 1994 (c) Keith Carter


Giant, 1997 (c) Keith Carter


White Owl, 2004 (c) Keith Carter


Polka Dot Wings, 2008 (c) Keith Carter


“Keith Carter is one of the most renowned fine-art/editorial photographers working today. An internationally respected educator and workshop leader, Keith holds the endowed Walles Chair of Art at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he received the highest honor given to faculty: the University Professor Award. He has published 10 books of his expressive images, including his most recent, A Certain Alchemy. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,” says his official bio from Santa Fe Workshops. Yes, he teaches there.

Oh, and one more thing, he is self-taught! For anyone who has felt like they don’t know enough because they don’t have a degree, look at what can be accomplished with a desire to learn and perseverance.


P.S. Which is your favorite and why? Share in the comments below.

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  1. Katarina
    June 23, 2011

    I’ve loved Keith Carter’s work for years…I have a huge book of his photographs…I was looking at his PhotoEye portfolio just yesterday :)
    My fave isn’t here…it’s the Elephant & Stars photo.

    • Kate Watson
      June 27, 2011

      Nice one. Thanks, Katarina!

  2. Greg Williams
    June 23, 2011

    Great work from Keith Carter here. As I gaze these images, they just sing to me with a feeling of surrealism and contemplation. Love every frame.

    • Kate Watson
      June 27, 2011

      You’re absolutely right, Greg. Definite surrealist elements and so visually compelling. Thanks for commenting!

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