Though a lot of photographers seek to bring a soft touch to weddings through their work, Atsen Murry takes his clients’ most celebrated moments to another level. Very few artists provide quite the insider’s view through photos as beautifully as Atsen Murry – the photographer behind ‘Pixel Stories’.
Murry’s Pixel Stories is a collection of photographs of ordinary people looking extraordinarily beautiful. Given his popularity, we wanted to learn more about the technique that makes it happen. Thankfully, we recently had the opportunity to ask Atsen a few questions about his work and what makes him tick.
- How did photography happen to you?
I spent the first 15 years of my life in Nagaland. I have always had the bent of mind and cravings of an artist. In the beginning, I found a creative outlet in music, especially in composing tunes. I am still into compositions – sometimes with musical notes, and at other times with light. I did try out some conventional pursuits because of social pressure, like getting done with my pre-university degree in science from Shillong and subsequently switching streams to study Arts in Delhi University. But I always knew they were just distractions. My heart pined to be an artist. After graduation, I took up my first job as a guitar instructor in Delhi.
When was the first time you realized you were going to be a photographer?
My pursuit to be an artist eventually led me to the USA in 2006. That same year I bought my first decent phone with a camera. I went crazy taking tons of pictures and some of those pictures caught the eye of one of my professors. He called me to his office one day and handed me his personal Canon DSLR. That marked my accidental entry into the world of photography.
As a photographer who didn’t see it as a job, I was in a simple pursuit of beauty. Anything beautiful I saw was my subject. Thankfully I lived in the beautiful mountains of South Carolina so there was no shortage of subjects to shoot. Three years later in 2009, I moved to Chicago and that’s where I fully blossomed as a photographer. I still had no intentions to be a photographer. I was only there to learn music. But, my friends started asking me to shoot their engagements and weddings. Many others started asking me to shoot their family portraits. So, I began juggling between composing music and photography gigs.
- What is your favorite genre of photography?
It is hard to pinpoint a genre because beauty expresses itself in many different forms. But if I were to choose only one, it would be portraits. Throughout my extensive traveling my primary fascination has always been with people and cultures. That doesn’t keep me from shooting beautiful landscapes and occasionally, even wildlife. I don’t think I will ever be able to limit myself to a certain category although I would like to keep my primary focus as portraits.
- Where or from whom do you draw most inspiration from?
I am deeply inspired by photographers like Steve McCurry and Rarindra Prakarsa. I also draw a lot of inspiration from wedding photography as it has a little bit of everything. It allows me to experiment with multiple facets of the wedding – from pre-wedding to the actual formal event to post wedding shoots; plus, lots of faces! That’s also the reason why I owe my fame mainly to my wedding photography.