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Photographer Feature Friday: Get Conceptual with Alex Eischeid

New on the Luxe Blog: Photographer Feature Friday! We're so excited to kick off an inspiring series of photographer interviews with conceptual artist and fine art photographer, Alexandrea Eischeid (@alexeischeid)! 

At Luxe, we value elevating community and delight in uniting photographers with one another for inspiration, friendship, mentorship, and growth - this interview series will aim to highlight inspiring photographers and creatives who share in this goal to inspire, educate, create, and connect!

We connected with Alex about her journey, her process, and sought advice for learners and creatives want to dip their foot into conceptual photography, self-portraits, or even just learning Photoshop but find themselves intimidated or struggling with personal reservations or barriers to getting started. 

Alex is an award-winning photographer, mentor, and educator with an endless source of inspiration and a contagious drive to create. From expertly capturing childhood with a mix of authenticity (no forced smiles) and whimsicality, to creating mind-bending conceptual pieces using herself as model, she has a body of work that is dynamic and immersive.

We hope you'll find yourself as captivated with her artwork (and vulnerability in offering peeks behind the curtain) as we are!




Introduce yourself! How did your photography journey begin?

Hello! My name is Alex Eischeid and I am a conceptual and fine art photographer based in Norman, Oklahoma. I am a wife and mother to two young children. My photography journey began like so many others. I bought my first DSLR when I was pregnant with my son ten years ago. I am self taught and learned how to shoot in manual mode by volunteering at my local animal shelter so they could have decent photos of the animals that were up for adoption.


If you could go back to day one and tell yourself anything, what would it be?

Comparison is the thief of joy. Your year one is someone else's year ten. Keep the blinders up and stay true to your heart. Your successes and opportunities will come when the time is right and when you are ready.

I feel like I've been able to do this pretty well thus far but to have that reminder early on would have been very beneficial to my confidence and self esteem.


You create stunning conceptual artwork! What is your primary source of inspiration? 

Thank you! I am inspired by just about anything and everything from music to movies to my family. I think my biggest inspiration though would just be my own experiences in life. I always encourage my students to observe and reflect on their life and their interactions with their people. There is opportunity in even the most mundane of tasks. I feel like I'm always in my head thinking and reflecting and I truly annoy myself sometimes because I wish I could just put it on mute lol. But I do try and embrace it because that's where a lot of my ideas come from. Just with my head always in the clouds.


So many people want to create, but tend to come up against barriers that halt progress or stop them before they can even begin. What’s a barrier or barrier(s) that you’ve overcome in your pursuit of art? 

I haven't overcome this barrier because I believe it's something that I will forever have to work on but it's the fear of judgement from others. I'm hesitant to call myself a self portrait artist because a small portion of the images I share do revolve around my children, but about 98% of my work is self portraiture. I've been able to work past a lot of my fears and that just took time. But self portraits are so vulnerable. You are putting yourself out there for everyone to see and judge and a lot of my work is very personal and holds deep meaning. So, you have to let your guard down a little bit. That's why I struggle with social media sometimes and admittedly, majority of the time I just post and ghost. By doing that, I try not to concern myself too much with what others think. I'm not sure if it actually works or not lol. 


You have an amazing sense of expression and movement that certainly makes your work stand out! The movement appears fluid and in-the-moment – how do you accomplish this? 

Majority of the time I am shooting when I am home alone so I can be a little bit more free with myself. Oftentimes, I'll turn on music to really get into it. My first dream was to be on Saturday Night Live (I am a terrible actress though) but I've always had the desire to play someone else even if for just a few minutes. I really enjoy just being in the zone and losing myself in the process. And if I look stupid, who cares? That's the beauty of self portraits- no one has to see if you don't want them to! 


What got you into self-portraiture? Does being your own model help in terms of executing your creative vision? 

I've always taken self portraits but it wasn't really until 2020 that I heavily dove into them. Mentally, I was in a pretty rough state and with every self portrait session, it was like I was allowing myself my own time and attention. That was something that I desperately needed. In January of 2021 I started a month long self portrait challenge to celebrate my birthday and it just lit a flame in me. It was like I was realizing my own potential and the stories you could tell all by yourself. Being my own model definitely helps with executing my visions because there are zero expectations. If it works, that's great, if not, we'll try again another day! There's not a lot I won't do for an image either lol. I would never ask anyone else to potentially hurt themselves for the sake of a photo but I know my own limits and capabilities. If I'm sore for a couple days, I'll be fine! 


What is something that you think seems harder than it is from the outside until you try it for yourself (either in terms of photography or editing)? 

Self portraits and Photoshop! Many of my students are beginners and are like why the heck did I join this class, what did I get myself into, I don't belong. But once you let your guard down, and are okay with just being with your own thoughts and feelings, the potential is there. And the same goes with Photoshop! Once you learn the basics, you can pretty much figure the rest out. Self portraits and Photoshop together? The possibilities are literally limitless!


Your portfolio seems to be as diverse as your creative POV, do you have favorite genres of photography? 

I truly love fashion photography and conceptual photography. Although, I don't follow a lot of conceptual photographers. I think it's really important to stay true to myself and my vision and when we bombard ourselves with outside influences, it can start to skew our views of our own work. I think just about everything has been done before and not much is truly original but if I can limit just a little bit of that coming into my brain, I know I am being authentic to myself and my art. Fashion photography does influence my work though. The way that clothing and makeup and lighting and lens choice can impact an image is so dynamic. I will welcome fashion photography with open arms any day haha.

How would you say client work differs from your conceptual art? (Or how do you translate your conceptual technique to capturing something like a wedding day?) 

I don't take on a lot of clients these days because my children are getting older and time with them is the most precious thing to me right now. I do realize how fortunate I am to be able to make that decision. With the few clients I do have now, I do integrate more off camera flash into their sessions and take a more conceptual approach as far as planning goes so that our time feels more intentional. My next big shoot coming up is at a state park called Little Sahara in northwest Oklahoma. I modeled for another photographer (and took a few self portraits) a year and a half ago so I'm excited to now be shooting there again but this time with a couple models alongside another photographer friend. I am the creative director so I'm planning the outfits and makeup and the whole vibe we want to achieve. I know I want it to be a mix of Dune and Outerspace. I'm so excited just talking about it!


What is the most common question you receive about your work? As a conceptual artist, do you get more questions about how you capture your images or how you edit? 

I think the most common question I get is what inspires me. There is so much variety in my work that it often feels chaotic. But I don't like to stick to just one thing. I don't think at my funeral people will talk about how organized and well curated my Instagram grid was lol. If I feel like an image needs to be bright and colorful I'll do it. If it needs to be subdued, that's what I do. Lighting choice, color grading, the colors we use, will all play into the story we are trying to convey. And not every story is the same. I also get a lot of questions about how I capture my images. Majority of my images are composites so it's a lot of fun to play with our sense of reality. A lot of what I do is really very simple- just a little Photoshop magic!


How do you engage with digital resources like Photoshop Overlays? How are they helpful in bringing a concept to life?

I love utilizing overlays. I think especially with what I create, they can help me bring my far out ideas to life. I do try to use as many of my own images as possible for my work but I obviously can't go out and capture my own nebula lol. If I can support a small business that does supply these products to enhance our images, I am more than happy to do so. It's a win win for everyone!


We are so thankful to Alex for her time, and honored that she was able to use some of our Luxe overlays as materials in creating some recent artwork! If you are interested in stepping into the world of conceptual art, a great first step is learning to composite with overlays! You can view the rain overlays Alex utilized in her stunning "Sheltered" image featured in the cover image here, or adventure into creative use for skies like in her "In Dreams" piece. The options are limitless with overlays, and learning to apply, blend, and mask together two images to create a clean composite is a key first step to overcoming the fear of learning Photoshop that so many people encounter. Learn more about overlays via our latest article discussing overlays in depth here! You can follow Alex on Instagram here.