Angie McMonigal

Tell us a little about yourself.

I currently live in Chicago with my husband and 2 kids and am a photographer. My focus is on architectural photography with a preference toward shooting in a minimalistic, relatively abstract way. I’m a detailed oriented person by nature and this tends to come through in my images as well.

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When did you start photography?

I started photography as a hobby about 15 years ago and this gradually grew into something more over time. About 10 years ago I had my daughter and decided to stay home with her. Around that time I began doing a fair amount of portrait work, something I kinda fell into given my kids and my friends having kids. Not-at-all anything I set out to pursue, in fact, photographing people still makes me nervous. I did this for about 6 years and with a move back to Chicago about 5 years ago I decided to let go of the portrait work and get back to finding out what made me fall in love with photography in the first place. After much experimenting I began to notice I was drawn to photographing architecture in this abstract way.

Have you always shot in monochrome?

When I began photography in 2001 I was shooting film, developing and printing my images in the darkroom. So, black and white is where I started. There’s also something about it that feels timeless and allows a level of clutter to be removed from the image. It’s generally my preference but I do have a tendency to edit my images in both color and black and white. A bit annoyingly, I can be quite indecisive and moody so my preference can change from day-to-day.

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What do you enjoy most about monochrome photography?

As I mentioned above I love the timelessness black and white photography lends to an image. I love that it removes the distraction color can sometimes bring to an image. While color can enhance some shots there’s something about monochrome that, at least with architecture photography, allows the viewer to focus on the form and lines within the frame without the competition of color.

Do you shoot monochrome exclusively? If not, what other styles/genres do you enjoy?

No, I don’t. As I mentioned, I have a tendency to edit in both color and black and white. Most often I tend to prefer the monochrome edit but sometimes the color is what makes the image. It’s very subject and mood dependent.

Architecture is my main genre but I also occasionally shoot cityscapes (I guess still in the architecture family) or some architectural version of street photography. I greatly appreciate good street photography, a very difficult genre to master, and one I would never consider myself fully adept at, but I guess I have my own take on this. I love macro photography for the ability to create fun abstracts there as well and the ability to focus on details.

Are you currently working on anything (projects, series, etc.) that you’d like to share?

I routinely have a number of ongoing projects or series. Currently, I’ve been working on my Urban Quilt series, entirely in color and meant to emphasize the varying eras of architecture melding together within one frame.

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Structure + Soul, which is my take on street photography but the emphasis is most definitely more focused on the architecture and to a lesser extent our interaction within those spaces.

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Cloudscrapers is another monochrome series combining our city’s skyscrapers reflecting the grandeur of nature.

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And then The White City which is inspired by Erik Larson’s book The Devil In The White City.

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Other than Instagram, can we find your work anywhere else?

The best place is probably my website and blog at www.angiemcmonigal.com . I’m also on Facebook – Angie McMonigal Photography. Then Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat as @angiemcmonigal.

Is there anything else that I missed that you’d like to share?

First, thank you so much for the interview; this has been fun!

I would also like to mention I’ll be leading a 2-day architecture photography workshop in downtown Los Angles on February 4 & 5, 2017 with Toronto-based architecture photographer, Michael Muraz. We’re looking forward to sharing our process, tips on composition, working in series and how to stay inspired through presentations and photowalks. We’ll cover architectural abstracts to cityscapes photographing at various times of day to capture the best light and mood so you go home with stunning images of your own. For all the details and to register head over here. There’s also an early bird rate available until December 15. We hope to see you there!

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