KCAD Student, BFA Photography

Photograph of two people wearing glasses making different facial expressions.


The Emotions


"In my photography, my main goal is always to tell a story. Every element of a pho- tograph I take is given much thought and is essential. I utilize digital and film pho- tography, from 35mm to 4x5. My work includes soft, muted colors, mixed patterns, textures, specific found or created environments, and elements that make the viewer question the image, perhaps so subtly that they can't quite figure out what feels out of place right away. I use a lot of portraiture, and I pay very close attention to what model I choose for each shoot. While I direct my models towards the image I want to create, I also allow them to lead themselves–from clothing and makeup to posing and angles–and bring their personalities into the images. I am creating a narrative and want it to be generally relatable and truthful to the person telling that story in front of my camera.

This diptych is a part of a project intended to create narratives. These images show two very different expressions, a juxtaposition of extreme emotion. The images were shot on 4x5 slide film and taken close up to bring the viewer's focus directly to the people shown and their expressive faces. I wanted to play with the idea of the duality of life. Nothing is ever one or the other. Where there is happi- ness, there is sadness, and where there is anger, there is joy. Looking into the future there is both fear and excitement, and neither is necessarily negative. They both aid in the authentic life experience, and you can't fully know one without knowing the other."


Novali Centellas is a photographer and printmaker in Grand Rapids, MI, currently studying at Kendall College of Art & Design. They love a good story that makes the viewers wonder, connect, or question what they see and what it means. Their work often includes themes with deep meaning or personal significance, such as mental health and identity (especially gender identity). They are open and honest in what they make and who they are. Sometimes fun and whimsical or maybe a little bit dark, Centellas enjoys creating work that might not add up, using juxtaposing elements to challenge the viewer's perception of things and make them think twice about what they see.