Contributor Interviews

Skylar Denman & “Forgotten Memories”

Skylar Joseph is a photographer from Fort Wayne, Indiana that specializes in music and family photography. As a full-time guitar technician and studio photographer, their time is heavily occupied by day to day work. In their travels they have found therapy in snapping pictures on the road of various subjects. You can find their work at com or @_skylar_joseph_ on Instagram.

The following is an interview with Skylar Denman on their photography, which was published in the 2021 issue of The Broken Plate and serves as our cover image. 

Where did you take the shots that led to “Typewriter” and our cover image? How did you set up the environment for the photos? Did you have to wait for certain natural lighting to make things happen?

So the piece is titled ‘forgotten memories’ because of where I found the typewriter and where the photos took place. I was spending the weekend with a friend at their family’s cottage. At some point there was mention of a long abandoned house just up the road. We decided to go explore that abandoned house. It was all kinds of overgrown with moss and ivy. Inside we found a multitude of things, old toys, shoes, decorations, etc.

Buried beneath some of the debris was this old typewriter. I had taken some shots inside of it but decided to take it outside because I was seriously considering taking it home and wanted to see what kind of condition it was in, in better lighting. The set up for the shot that I kept and have since submitted for your cover was incidental and mostly an accident. The sun was just right and the placement was just right. I did actually take it home too!

How would you compare being a studio photographer with “snapping pictures on the road”?

Being a studio photographer is quite different than snapping pictures on the road in that it’s much more involved. There’s more control in the studio from the lights to the positioning of what you’re photographing. A lot of mental math and trial and error with shifting lights and moving your subject matter around goes on in the studio. Taking pictures out of that environment is quite the opposite; it’s more organic and uncontrollable, which truly is the beauty of it.

You graduated from Ball State with a telecommunications degree. How did that degree prepare you for what you do now, either as a guitar technician or a photographer?

The friends I made, the self exploration, and the organizations I was a part of while obtaining my degree are what really gave me the building blocks to be where I am now both in the professional field and at home (shout out to ABSO and BSU Tonight). They taught me many important lessons. The most invaluable being that no matter how hard you work and no matter how much there is to do, none of it is worth it if you can’t laugh, have fun, and take pride in what you’re doing. From improv to making a tv show, from being a guitar technician to a photographer, in embracing those things I have found myself to be so ready and willing to learn and bloom in all areas of my life.