• Megann Horstead

Photographer captures ‘50 Shades of Me’ for Joliet gallery exhibit


While photographers are used to capturing images of others, not everyone goes on to put themselves in their work so openly and candidly.

For Homer Glen resident Donna Nevels, it certainly proved to be true.

“I hope they look at my work and say, ‘Oh yeah, [that’s her’]” she said. “I hope they can feel what I feel when I take a picture. That’s my point.”

Nevels added, “There’s a lot of emotions in these pictures.”

The Homer Glen resident currently works full time as a professional photographer and has been developing her craft since she was a child. She typically captures photos at weddings, plus she focuses on seniors, families and portraits.

People will have a chance to see Nevels exhibit called “Fifty Shades of Me” throughout the remainder of September at Gallery Seven, a fine art gallery in downtown Joliet.

The title of her collection is a play on the romantic novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey” written by E.L. James, Nevels said.

“The reason I did that is I don’t target just nature or lighthouses,” she said. “I do everything, but this is my favorite shade: people.”

Each piece represented in her collection is grouped by the different shades of herself she is aiming to convey.

“It’s broken down into shades because there are a lot of shades of me,” Nevels said.

Nevels’ work is primarily comprised of photography, though she, too, does encaustic work, which is essentially a picture covered in wax.

“I think [people are] responding very well [to my work,]” she said. “People are very happy with what they see. They can feel what I’m trying to convey with my camera. They get the feeling.”

Nevels acknowledged that photography is sometimes viewed as a dying art in the age of image processing.

“I think photography as a whole is going to be sad some day,” she said. “When you’re 50 years old, you’re not going to have a picture to hold in your hand because nobody prints pictures anymore. They take their pictures with their cameras [on] their phones. Maybe they remember to send them to the Cloud or store them somewhere on a hard drive… What they don’t realize is that the processing is going to be extinct. So, if you don’t keep up with the kind of storage for your pictures, eventually you won’t be able to do anything with them.”

Still, Nevels remains positive that people will continue to embrace the art of photography.

“They have to remember, they have to print some of this stuff,” she said. “They really do.”

Nevels utilized a timeframe of four months to compile her collection. It involved selecting images to feature in the show, printing them and getting them mounted, matted and framed.

“It’s something I love to do,” she said of photography. “It’s something I enjoy.”

Nevels’ exhibit runs now through Sept. 29 at Gallery Seven, 116 N. Chicago St., Suite 102, in Joliet.

#Joliet #HomerGlen

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