Photography Annual Submission Spotlight:
Melissa Carter Pierschbacher


Careful surrealism

Melissa Carter Pierschbacher practically ruled the Graphis Photography Annual of 2013. She builds strange, complex environments around very interesting models, letting one or the other dictate the initial direction. Cannon Man won a Platinum award. Her recreation of Marie Antoinette dans le feu de la passion earned her a Gold award. The Peasant also was awarded a Gold.

About Cannon Man she wrote:

Assignment: This image started out with a request from the model to be in one of my images. After receiving a picture of him, I knew I had to somehow show his strong physique. During that time, I came across the helmet. After weeks of thinking about it, I slowly pieced together this surreal image in my mind.

Approach: I envisioned the Cannon Man being a surreal character in a foreign, flat, barren land. I had to travel to Utah to photograph the right background for him. I added the final touch to the composition when I found a replica of a Spanish Armada cannon. In the studio, his skin was enhanced by sponging on copper paint, which also gave him a futuristic feel.

Results: Overall, my goal was to transport the viewer into an unknown land defended by an army made up of one man.


About Marie Antoinette she wrote:

Assignment: I have always been fascinated with the history behind Marie Antoinette. Visiting the Louvre greatly changed how I see the art form of photography. I fell in love with the emotion and lighting depicted by the great paintings by artists from the century of “The Enlightenment.”

Approach: My goal was to bring the passion, and all that comes to mind when we think of Marie Antoinette, to the photography. I wanted to create an image that would make the viewer feel like he or she were catching a glimpse of a private moment.

Results: The result is a colorful portrait of someone who knew how to live large, and would never suppress her desires.

Also of interest, check out this video of the Marie Antoinette shoot. We believe it reveals the fascinating extent to which the environment around the models was replaced.

Our Photography Annual 2014 competition features the most compelling and influential photography of the year. Prizes consist of gold and platinum awards, with winning entries published in the Photography Annual 2014.

To submit your own work to the Photography Annual 2014 competition, click here. But don’t wait! The final deadline for entry submissions is coming up quick.

All of Melissa’s submissions to our various competitions over the years can be found here. To view more of Melissa’s work on her own website, click here.


2 thoughts on “Photography Annual Submission Spotlight:
Melissa Carter Pierschbacher

  1. Melissa Pierschbacher is the most talented, the hardest working and one of the nicest students to ever graduate from the commercial BFA photo program at The Art Institute of Atlanta.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *