20-year-old Luke Ferrell's unique photography style highlights the simple things

Jonathan Roberts • Jul 22, 2019 at 10:21 AM

An artist since childhood, Johnson City native Luke Ferrell always knew he wanted to do something with art, but it wasn’t until he got to East Tennessee State University that he found out what kind of art.

As a kid, Ferrell liked to draw, and started getting serious about art in high school. When he got to ETSU, his plan was to do digital art work for video games, but that changed when he discovered photography.

He’s since left school to pursue photography full-time, and is using his unique style and blend of composition, lighting and editing to forge his own path in the photography world.

Ferrell briefly: 

Current camera: Panasonic G7

Dream camera: Fujifilm GFX100

One lens to use forever: 50mm f/1.2

Favorite place to shoot: Buffalo Mountain

Favorite Tri-Cities restaurant: Freibergs

What got you into photography?

Mostly people on YouTube. I started watching a lot of photographers on YouTube; I thought I was really passionate about art, and the plan was to do digital paintings for video games, but I kind of lost interest and a new interest came — photography.

What’s your favorite part of being a photographer?

Pretty much that you can create whatever you want and show people how you see the world. You can take a photo of whatever you want and edit whatever way you want. It’s just a great way to express yourself.

How would you best describe your style?

As of late, my editing style and also my shooting style has changed. Right now, I’m mostly focusing on really heavy shadows and my style is more simplistic — it’s more everyday type of items. I mostly focus on lighting, composition and color and I’ll take a photo of anything I see that looks interesting.

What makes your style unique?

I’d probably pick my shadows. A lot of photographers don’t like to shoot in really heavy or direct sunlight, but I love shooting in direct light. I love the really heavily contrasting shadows and super overexposed highlights if you edit it correctly. There’s a balance between harsh shadows and highlights that you can bring out in a lightroom.

What advice would you give to somebody who’s looking for a change or not happy with what they’re currently doing like you were in college?

For me, happiness is my first priority. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing then I think it’s worth really any amount of time to chase whatever will make you happy. And if you need to drop out of school — take some time to think about what you actually want to do — then I say go for it.

You can find Ferrell and his work on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/luke_ferrelll/ or on his website, www.lukeferrelll.com. For those looking to get in touch with him, he can be reached by email at photo@lukeferrelll.com or by phone at 423-946-1443. 

The Press is always looking to highlight new artists, if you have a suggestion for a Featured Artist, email Jonathan Roberts at jroberts@johnsoncitypress.com or Brandon Paykamian at bpaykamian@johnsoncitypress.com.

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