Montana Fine Art Photographer, Kene Sperry, has traveled the world with camera in hand, photographing all that has light within it. Sperry believes that light is within all, and connecting to it allows for one to be more present in the moment.
"When I photograph, I surrender," said Sperry, "I open my heart and receive, and then something takes over me. My work is not just about pretty landscapes, it's conveying a message, so that people can be reminded that there's light within them."
Sperry's story began when he was 11-years-old. Though he struggled to express himself with words, he possessed a real curiosity of wonder, light and space. At a young age, he realized that we were all infinite beings. This awareness would later shape his career.
Eventually, Sperry found himself with a camera. Finally, a form of expression for him. In high school, he began taking art classes, where he learned about space, line gestures, contrasts, and depth, as well as was given opportunities to display his work for others.
"The passion for me is just keeping the wonder and awe," said Sperry, "The curiosity that was in the beginning. Always staying intrigued with new insight."
Sperry attended college at Washington State University where he studied photography and entrepreneurship. Photography, because he loved the craft, and entrepreneurship because he loved being a part of the manifestation of the creative process.
"I liked the idea of creating value in the world," said Sperry, "I teamed photography with entrepreneurship because I just liked the idea of creating value in the world.
Sperry says that when his camera is in hand, it's like a oneness, an extension of his hand. He says he can do it in his sleep. It's like riding a bike.
While in college, Sperry had a number of stellar professors who helped equip him for his career to come. After college, Sperry moved to the mountains that he would never leave in Montana.
Knowing that digital was on the run, Sperry attended Rocky Mountain School of Photography to learn more about the digital aspect of photography. Shortly after, Sperry began shooting weddings, thus launching his photography career.
"Photography to me is just painting with light," said Sperry, "it's one thing to learn about the camera, and another to paint with it."
Sperry acquired experience in many areas of photography throughout his career including portraits, commercial, weddings, lifestyle and more. His career took him all over the world, photographing in iconic cities in Italy and New York and beyond.
"I photographed weddings all over the world," said Sperry, "I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed connecting with others. People are so unknown. Everything is new."
Some of the weddings that Sperry photographed were celebrity and political weddings. He says that it wasn't so much about the people for him, it was all about the love and hope surrounding the day.
Unique to Sperry, he finds the universal emotions of joy, anger, sadness, peace and wholeness in each of his subjects. Through the lens of photography, emotion is what he captures.
"I love weddings," said Sperry, "because people bring out their best for weddings. They show up fully."
Sperry refers to his portfolio of wedding photos as a "palate of people showing up, with hearts that are open and loved."
Sperry ran the wedding photographer gamit for a while and eventually transitioned into the commercial photography scene, where he photographed for the State of Montana. Eventually, he entered the scene of Fine Art Landscape Photography, where he strives to capture emotion, in a frame, the gravitating light within each of us.
"I'm not trying to sell anything," said Sperry, "I'm only trying to tell the universal story that we're all connected, and we're all more similar than different."
One of the main inspirations for Sperry is the light that dwells within each of us. He says that there is no light without darkness, but he also claims that the darkness is not all bad. In his own experience, he found the light within himself through the darkness that was revealed.
"I want all people to be seen, heard, and loved," said Sperry, "so I started giving myself that. I started seeing, listening, and loving myself more. By doing that, I have been freed to give abundantly in both life and photography."
In the last year, Sperry decided that his message and art needed proper representation in order for the story to be told in the world. Because of this, Sperry confronted Courtney Collins Art Gallery.
"I like how Courtney has a high bar for her gallery," said Sperry, "It was a perfect fit."
Sperry believes in his message behind and within his work so much that he hopes to get more people representing him, to have a greater impact on the world.
He claims that reaching out to Courtney allowed him to learn from her expertise, as well as an opportunity to get his message and work out there to collectors.
His first show with Courtney is March 18, from 4 - 8 p.m. featuring his series "Significant Other."
Significant Other is a project featuring pairs in nature. A lone skier sketching serpentine lines into the side of an unnamed mountain. A bison trudging through a harsh snowscape. Rows of pine trees, stark against a flat backdrop, contrasted like the black and white piano keys.
"When I photograph," said Sperry, "I am in the complete frequency of love. I'm absorbing all the love that's in the light. It's all love, it's all duality, it's all balance."
Whether with his feet on the earth, drawing inspiration for his next shoot, or aiming his camera from high above in a helicopter, Sperry strives to capture, in a frame, the gravitating light within each of us.
"When I shoot, I surrender," said Sperry, "I open my heart and receive, and then something takes over me. My work is not just about pretty landscapes, it's conveying the message so that people can be reminded that there's light within them."
There is so much more to Kene Sperry's story. The Artist talk at the Wilson Hotel, was followed by an artist reception at Courtney Collins Fine Art Gallery, March 18, 4 - 8 p.m.