PRO PORTRAIT: Photographer Ricardo Bouyett is Creating Stories, Fantasies, and Dreams.

Ricardo Bouyett finds art to be a very intellectual and intimate process. His creative mind and soul is filled with paintings, sculptures, architecture, photographs, music, film, theater; and his painterly and storytelling photography stems from a mixture of music and movie influences, as well as everyday life. 

“I like to think of photography as a plane in which we can extend existential thinking and exploration of the human condition that can be documented by a portrait, a still, a documentary picture, a fashion portrait, with whatever method of photography.”

The 19 year-old from Aurora, Illinois is currently studying photography at Columbia College Chicago and is just at the beginning of a life as a creative professional.

Early on, he found poems that inspired the music he sang in choir would fill him with visual imagery, and once he picked up a camera he discovered how to transform his thoughts into photography that he could share with others, and reflect back to himself.

Like many, Ricardo’s interest in photography was sparked by a Christmas gift of a Canon DSLR. His interest slowly grew as he began setting up photo shoots with friends, and then began a 365 project—taking conceptual photos every day for a year.

It’s hard to tell if his passion will turn to a profession—there’s plenty of time for that, but right now he is embracing fine art photography and learning differently styles and techniques—both through school, and by trial and error. “My biggest inspiration in photography is Brooke Shaden. Her work is very painterly and gorgeous and it truly inspired me to start exploring the world of fine art photography.”

Music also inspires him. There’s no reference to the songs for their lyrics in his work, but the music itself—the instrumentation, the atmosphere, the ambiance of the voice, is what he pulls from the songs and translates into his photography. “A driving force in my work is imagination, letting viewers into the corridors of my mind and how I view the world.”

Lately, his favorite Morten Lauridsen piece, "Soneto De La Noche" has been a source of inspiration, along with Eric Whitacre's "When David Heard," as has Florence Welch's song for The Great Gatsby,"Over The Love", which actually inspired my latest photo entitled "Let The Mourning Come."  

“I like creating stories, fantasies, and dreams in a sort of movie sequence that all relate to this sort of morbid theme of love. It isn't always morbid though; it can be sad and whimsical too. What I really like to do with my images, though, is to not rely so much on the camera for the final result, but to create a different world, or different realm of thought.”

Ricardo’s creative-driven life has many stories yet to unfold. But right now he’s focused on school projects and building his portfolio. It’s only the beginning for Ricardo—even now his interest in photography is spreading to cinematography, with a film series called “Lionheart” in the works. “If I’m happy with the results, I’ll release it, but I haven’t determined that yet.”

We can’t wait to see it. And see what’s next for Ricardo.

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