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The Dark Surreal Dream World Of Alex Stoddard

By Teagan Alex on August 29th 2014

AlexStoddardRocksThere is something about the surreal world of photography that feels like you are in a dream, one of those strange ones your mind makes up that you can’t really figure out and nothing seems to make logical sense. Alex Stoddard, a surreal photographer, makes those dreams come to life with his amazing photography.


He started out at the young age of 16 shooting, after experimenting with different forms of art like drawing and painting. Art never really clicked with him until he met photography. This one stuck. He started by taking self portraits in his bedroom or in the woods behind his house because he was too shy and embarrassed about photography to ask anyone to pose for him, let alone to admit he was taking photographs at all. He said “I would sneak around and make up lies about where I was going, because I didn’t think my friends or family would understand. Ironically, they are actually the most supportive people of my photography now.


Eventually, he did feel brave enough to share his art with others, and his friends and sisters would become his models. As time passes on, he continues to use friends, but more often than not, he reaches out to an agency or to freelance models to help his dreams come to life.

To create these dreamy photographs, he begins with an idea in his head. He says “I very rarely sketch anything out, for two reasons: one that I can’t draw to save my life, the other that I never fully know how the composition needs to look until I am on set and in the moment.” He then directs the models towards a pose, acting it out himself, and then gives his subjects the option to move around and pose as they feel comfortable. The freedom of movement gives his models an organic, comfortable feel in the final result.

He will sometimes use stylists to help out with his work if he is doing a more fashion forward piece. However, more often than not, he finds himself styling his model and shopping for clothes at antique and thrift stores.


Alex draws inspiration from experimenting with various art forms, but also from other photographers. Some of his top choices are: Eugenio Recuenco, with his larger than life objects; Jeff Bark, with his mysterious qualities; Tim Walker, and his creative fashion work; and lastly, Oleg Oprisco and his unique surrealism.


His favorite image to date features a young girl holding a giant egg being swarmed by a flock of birds. “This piece is my favorite because I feel that it has a strong narrative and fully encapsulates the dramatic sort of darkness that I strive to achieve with my work.”


And lastly his advice to photographers,  “Remain authentic to your own vision instead of bending to trends. Viewers respond to originality and fresh perspective, and everyone’s voice is different.


If you would like to keep up to date on Alex Stoddard’s newest projects follow him on Facebook. To step into Alex’s dark dreamy surreal world, view his portfolio here.

CREDITS: All photographs by Alex Stoddard are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Teagan Alex is an Event and Fine Art Photographer based in Salt Lake City Utah. She believes that all people are inherently beautiful, and loves to capture the details of the world around her.

She received her BFA degree from UVU in photography and since has been published in books and magazines, multiple gallery shows, and won best in show for her work. Visit her website at and connect with her via Facebookor Instagram.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michael Moe


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  2. Jesse Rinka

    Very talented…I’m not huge on the dark moods that he likes to go for but I can still recognize and respect the creativity and skill required to produce the work that he puts together.

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  3. Eerik Salonen

    Love the mood of these photos.. *followed*

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  4. Susie Moreno

    Love how creative he is. I love how each image tells a story.

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  5. Jeff Morrison

    great work…

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  6. Austin Swenson

    I would have to say these images are pretty awesome… That first one where the rocks form along the woman’s spine are just SICKLY awesome!

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  7. Hannes Nitzsche

    Wow this is some great artwork! Respect to the photog!

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    • Andy O’Dowd

      Yes indeed. I’ve followed and admired Alex on Flickr for some time. Such a great vision.

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