Fruit headdresses, saturated lighting, 70s disco pumps – Stephanie Agudelo takes posed photography a step farther with surrealism and an affection for bright colors.
Agudelo was 15 years old when she picked up a camera for the first time. At 30, the St. Petersburg-based photographer is practicing her art around the clock between working as an art curator at Coastal Creative, a local media studio.
“I started taking photos candidly, because I always liked the idea that a photograph stores a moment in time forever,“ Agudelo said. “As I’ve explored more, I realized I like creating that moment.”
Originally from New Jersey, she doesn’t label herself a native northerner. Agudelo and her family moved from New Jersey to their native home of Colombia before coming back to the states – specifically, the Sunshine State.
She did her time studying the arts, and received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at the University of South Florida before settling in St. Petersburg.
“I think St. Pete has changed my art in the best way,” Agudelo said. “You’ll notice a lot of fruits in my images. It started when I placed a kiwi in between my subjects’ pantyhose – I liked the color, the surrealism.”
Agudelo didn’t stop with fruit. Her subjects are typically surrounded with props: a disco ball, bubble gum, anything that strikes interest. The shots are direct: There’s stark eye contact amongst the shimmering makeup and tinted glosses.
“I will and have shot men, but women are more willing to get behind the camera and work with bright colors and makeup,” Agudelo said. “I just focus on the passion in my work.”
For the first time, Agudelo is shooting full-time in her studio at Coastal Creative, 2201 1st Ave. S. In between sessions, the photographer fills the converted warehouse that is Coastal’s ever-changing gallery.
She knows artists, and artists know her.
“I’m never too critical with what I want or what I think when choosing the artists,” Agudelo. “I look for bright colors, interesting work, but I want this to be a space for all types.”
For more, find Stephanie Agudelo on Facebook.