The more I photograph

The more I photograph, the more I discover something about myself and about life. Art itself is the study of life. You make observations about the world you live in, or how it looks to you and you recreate than in an art form. Of course there is more than one way to study life, but art, I feel, is the one way that will permeate you completely. You begin to feel and understand the world with both your soul and mind. Everything becomes an art piece after you become an artist.

My main frustrations with art have involved the growing stages or getting sufficient attention for certain pieces. It is unfortunate and strange that the artwork of mine I like the most have been the ones that have received the least attention, but it is extremely understandable at the same time. I see things in the image that the audience doesn’t, so the select few that are willing to delve deeper into what the image means to me will be the ones fully enjoying it. Each piece I choose to display online is a “success” for me, but they are many I never reveal.

It is almost comical how much I fling myself into a frenzy because of a failed art piece. It happens often, even when what I created wasn’t bad, but simply not what I had envisioned and could be better. In those moments I am at my lowest, fully convinced that I am the worst artist in the world and don’t deserve the kindness and praise that was given prior to the consequent failure. The only remedy to this antagonizing disappointment in myself is a successful image. Not necessarily successful in how it is received, but something that I love and understand. Unfortunately, though, the healing powers of the success are short lived, because it is never long before I want to create another piece. If it fails, I am again thrusted into a momentary depression. It is definitely a strange way to live. It also doesn’t match who I am, because I am generally quite upbeat, and often a bit weird, but I have a serious side to my personality as well that ties everything else together.

Despite being fully aware of how far I have previously fallen into depression when unsuccessful, and apprehensive at it’s reappearance, I push on. Most of the time I never fully know what I’m pushing on to, and my end goal is not in the end, but in the intricate process of growth. It is through the reoccurring experience of failure and disappointment in myself that shows me how much more I have to learn and strive for. That if there was true perfection each time, it would be too easy, and life would cease to be wild, full of surprise and unpredictability. Though my failed shoots, I was given chances to see places I am lacking. Even though it is physically painful for me to fail, I know deep down that it is helping my life and my heart. So I continue to explore this funny life that we are in though the art that I create and by fully being who I am, without comparing myself to the more charismatic or business-minded artists, but to myself the day before. Only through that can positive growth be achieved.


My file names


Had a long day of photo editing. Quite tired. My solution to it is to nom on oranges with a creepy face.

I just realized that I give my files funny names while I’m editing them. I was a bit frustrated the last few days with this one photo. I couldn’t figure out the framing, the mood for the image, or what extra elements to add. So yesterday when it started to come together a bit, I named my file “Finally-going-somewhere.psd”. I should have a new picture really soon! 🙂 Oh so exciting ❤

Hope that everyone has a splendid weekend!



The World Needs Artists

for-web-4Today I wrote out my answers for an interview for an online magazine. The questions were straight-forward, but those are usually the questions that are the hardest to answer. Why do I do what I do? It is the type of question that is both healthy and extremely frustrating at the same time. Why is that?

 The art of individual expression has been lost to many, I believe. We are told to repress how we feel because it isn’t accepted within the society. To break free from the status quo is something unfathomable and often talked out of. They feed us fear and we tend to swallow every bite, just because we want to fit in. We want to be loved and accepted.

 The truth is, there is not one specific reason for why I do what I do. I just know that there are feelings within me that cannot be expressed solely through words, so I seek a better creative outlet. My forte lies within the artistic sphere rather than the linguistic. But now they are telling me I must have a reason for my art. I am not allowed to create simply because I enjoy the feeling of expression. I must now incorporate hidden social and/or political elements into my work; if I don’t, how am I supposed to get respect as an artist? I must explore themes that concern the world, and not just my own personal agenda.

 Who knows, maybe in time my art will encompass that. There is a good chance that as I mature I will become more intertwined with that way of thinking. But as for now, I create for myself and the people who feel the same way I do. We are misplaced, misshapen, and don’t always understand the world, but we are ready to.

 The world needs artists. But once you start telling one that their ideas are wrong or stupid, then begins the slow death of a hopeful soul who thought they might make a change. Maybe not a global change, but in themselves. That is oftentimes the best kind of change there is, though, because that is exactly how you change the world. One person at a time.



My Facebook:  Reylia Slaby Photography

10 Things Photography Teaches.

A few of the things I’ve learned from photography. I usually re-learn them all each time I have a photo-shoot.


1. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.

Sometimes I’d go on a photo-shoot and know from the start that it wouldn’t work out. The models weren’t right together, I compromised the prop or location, or I just wasn’t feeling the idea. This has happened a lot. But I grow from the mistakes. If you aren’t feeling it, then there is something you should change. This applies to every facet in your life.

 2. There will always be another photo-shoot

I’m usually in a  bad mood if I don’t have a photo-shoot planned. If I get lazy and don’t make plans, I ask myself, I have about 50 ideas drawn up in my sketch book, why am I not making any plans to have them materialised? Then i get out there, shoot, and feel a bit better. When I finally do finish up a photo-shoot and have it edited, a deep satisfaction rests upon my soul and I can sleep well that night. But then the next day I feel like I have to create something just as good or better. I ended up repeating the same cycle where I was depressed because I didn’t have anything planned. There will always be another photo-shoot.

3.Everyone is more beautiful than they think.

So many people tell me “I could never model, I don’t have the look for it.” Being a good model has very little to do with how you look, and everything with your attitude. It is the ability to pull emotions from deep inside you and show that through your expression and body. It is being willing to wade in dirty waters and stand in the rain because you believe in the artist and the idea. That means more than a pretty face.

4.You will get stuck, but you will get out.

At this period in my art, I get stuck a lot. I don’t have the resources I wish I had and I can’t travel to beautiful locations. So I find myself using the same area again and again, and trying to squeeze everything I can from that particular place. I end up losing inspiration. But, I always end up finding another location close by that I missed, but is just as beautiful. It is an art to see old things in new ways, and I use that to escape from my rut.

5.It’s OK to use your breakup for inspiration

I’ve shamelessly used my ex for ideas. A lot of people have commemorated me on this, because they wouldn’t do it themselves. They would be scared about how it would be received. They wonder if it is healthy to display your feelings where everyone can see. Let me tell you, if you can find healing through it, it is healthy. As long as you don’t disrespect anyone through your images then feel free to use your pain as an advantage. If I can take all my negativity and turn it into something beautiful, then that is a hope I will carry with me for the rest of my life. That there is beauty in pain.

6. Art helps you understand yourself

Art reveals to me my weaknesses and my subconscious struggles. There are so many questions I have, so many problems I don’t know why happen, but when I throw art into the mix, things became a lot clearer. Or when I am having problems thinking of new ideas for photography, how I am during those times reflect my current state of mind. Can’t focus? Are you scatterbrained? You want to do everything at once? It is rarely art’s fault, but helps you discover the side effects of something that can be poisoning you.

7.A failure isn’t a failure.

When I had my first “failed photo-shoot” I was devastated and I felt incompetent. I was so scared that I would never take a good photo again. But I found out that my so-called failures had nothing to do with my talent, but everything to do with my state of mind and how well I planned out the shoots. I was rushed, I wasn’t thinking clearly, and what I created was the product of my sloppiness. I’m lucky because when it comes to my conceptual photography I can afford to be sloppy, because it is all about understanding yourself and finding out the things you need to change.

Once I had a shoot fail because I had no soild idea attached to it. I didnt see the path in how I would edit it or what the story was. But about four months later, I saw it differently, and I managed to create something that meant something to me. So the shoots are never a failure, either you learn something from it or you save gems for later to re-discover.

8.People don’t see the mistakes as well as you do

Don’t freak out over the mistakes, because the chances are, you are the only one who can see them.

9. Simplicity is key

Whenever I think that I need fancy equipment or extravagant props, I always look back on my most popular photos. In “To Cut Your Ties” all I used was a some string and a scissors as the prop, and yet I balanced it in a way that it was aesthetic. You don’t need more than you need to create something beautiful. All you need is your idea and your determination to see that idea come to life.

10. Just do it.

Do not procrastinate. This has got to be my biggest downfall. Some days I spend so much time feeling low that I end up getting nothing done. They say that procrastination is the fear of failure. I would believe that. You fear that what you do won’t effect anyone, that it won’t mean anything, that no one is going to care. Prove yourself wrong.