Austin Chadderdon is one thing of a jack of all trades and, to flip the previous adage on its head, a grasp of most of them.
The 2008 Marshalltown Excessive Faculty graduate may be seen round city working his day job at Eyecare Associates, enjoying stay music inside one in all a number of native venues, freelancing for the T-R and, for the final a number of years, operating his personal enterprise, Soul or System Images.
As Soul or System grew, Chadderdon, who had been touring to places just for picture shoots, started to see the necessity for a studio area, and he discovered it on the higher stage of the YSS of Marshall County constructing at 22 N. Heart St. — higher recognized to longtime residents as the previous police station. There are nonetheless just a few relics from the previous days, like proof cabinets and, as a result of the higher stage was a exercise space for the police, a reminder that in the event that they aren’t lifting weights, the criminals they put in jail almost definitely are.
“I’d think about ‘Am I gonna convert my storage?’ or ‘Am I gonna construct a shed in my yard?’ There’s a number of rental area on the mall or one thing, however I simply put a put up about how I used to be on the lookout for an industrial area. I sort of needed to do these grungy portraits,” he stated. “(YSS CEO) David (Hicks) responded (and stated) ‘I’ve received a spot,’ and he came to visit and confirmed me round… I shot right here as soon as and he simply gave me the keypad entry.”
Regardless of admitting that inside renovations and placing down flooring have been nicely outdoors of his wheelhouse, Chadderdon consulted a good friend who does it professionally and set to work as he needed to maneuver in as rapidly as potential. His girlfriend Lauren was additionally a giant assist all through the method, and he was in a position to begin capturing halfway by means of laying the ground, which took about 5 weeks.
Since he renovated the world, painted the partitions, completed the vinyl flooring and moved in late final fall, Chadderdon has made the area uniquely his personal: guests who enter can be struck by the classic furnishings, the Fender Telecaster, Vox amplifier, piano and report participant, the traditional cameras and, for literature junkies, the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, one in all his favourite writers. As an alternative of a police station, it may now simply go for a studio the place the Beatles or the Rolling Stones recorded one in all their seminal albums.
From an early age, Chadderdon had an eye fixed for pictures each nonetheless and shifting: his mom made commencement movies, and he loved serving to her by means of the method with the music behind them. That developed right into a Gifted and Gifted (TAG) venture on cameras, and finally, he wound up on the College of Iowa double majoring in Cinema and Comparative Literature and Journalism.
“All the pieces I used to be being uncovered to was so enthralling and expansive. Watching Charlie Chaplin films on 35mm, strolling again to my dorm after a screening of David Lynch’s ‘Eraserhead’ in the dead of night pretty terrified,” he stated. “I gravitated in direction of longform nonfiction writing work after studying Homosexual Telese and different new journalism wave period writers. I couldn’t cease taking a look at photojournalism from the 60s and 70s as a result of these pictures are the survival of historical past. The manufacturing programs that have been a part of the movie program have been intense and immersive. One of the best half was the tools checkout. We had entry to dozens of various cameras, lenses and lighting tools. It was like being in a sweet retailer.”
After returning house, he rediscovered a few of his artistic impulses — like many different Individuals — whereas he was cooped up through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2020 I learn extra, performed extra music and picked up my digital camera extra. I seemed round in any respect my guitars, amps, audio system, my digital camera, enhancing softwares and so forth. and sort of thought, ‘Hey, possibly it is best to attempt to get a return in your funding with all these items and use your schooling and expertise,’” he stated. “I had put quite a lot of my passions on a shelf for some time, and as soon as I dusted them off and delved again into pictures I grew to become hyper-focused, and probably even obsessive, on reaching the best stage potential. Now, with a tremendous studio area, a brand new wave of inspiration and steerage from prime stage mentors, I’ve received a critical drive to supply folks a pictures expertise that’s past the usual.”
With the attention of a real craftsman and the inspiration of magazine-style editorial pictures totally obvious, Chadderdon doesn’t merely attempt to present clients a easy senior image to be taken or forgotten or a bland skilled headshot. He needs each shot he takes to be memorable, and he’ll take the time — nonetheless a lot could also be required — to make sure it’s finished proper. The largest good thing about a studio area, he stated, is the flexibleness it gives.
“I can do actually intensive, artistic, elaborate issues and go away it right here. I’m not a development individual or a set builder, however I wish to construct some units that, once you take a photograph, it seems prefer it’s out of a film, you recognize,” he stated. “It’s sort of a type of editorial issues, and I wouldn’t have the ability to try this if I didn’t have an area that I used to be set in.”
In line with that mindset, he isn’t getting down to pump out the best variety of photographs and run round to as many shoots as potential. The main target is on high quality, and he needs a Soul or System portrait to face out from the remaining. When he was brainstorming on take his pictures to the subsequent stage, he consulted the house owners of the Sigmon Taylor studio, which he considers the perfect of the perfect within the portrait world.
“I wish to do quite a lot of senior photos, however I need it to be one thing distinctive as these people who find themselves 17 or 18 years previous categorical that youth and never simply your identical photos you see again and again,” he stated.
Trying ahead, a dream for Chadderdon is to shoot artists, writers and musicians, and he’s already made forays into the video world in partnership with longtime good friend and fellow 2008 graduate Tyler Peschong for his or her “Mtown Proud” sequence spotlighting native companies. Along with his background as a journalist and documentarian, he sees extra combined media initiatives in his future and has plans to work with Little one Abuse Prevention Providers (CAPS), together with a singular picture assortment known as “Coloration Research” that includes younger folks in Marshalltown between the ages of 13 and 25.
Hicks and Chadderdon had a pre-existing relationship as they’d been in touch for T-R tales, and Chadderdon additionally wrote a characteristic on Hicks’s daughter Jillian, an aspiring mannequin. In response to Hicks, YSS had no plans to utilize the area anyway, so once they linked, it felt like a win-win for everybody concerned. Chadderdon agreed, calling himself a fan of the group and particularly the Marshalltown Police and Group Workforce (MPACT) program.
“We actually had no function for the area upstairs. The ability is large, so it’s at all times being heated and cooled,” Hicks stated. “And you recognize, we don’t have the funds to broaden upstairs, so we’re simply comfortable to supply a chance for any person to observe their ardour. And that’s sort of what we do at YSS anyway. We simply sort of take away the obstacles so folks can get on with what they wish to do.”
As Marshall County Arts and Tradition Alliance Director and fellow 2008 MHS graduate Amber Danielson unveiled the Arts and Tradition Grasp Plan to town council on Monday evening, each Hicks and Chadderdon see partnerships like theirs as an effective way to advertise inventive endeavors inside the neighborhood. Chadderdon plans to unveil a particular fundraising drive for YSS within the close to future and has already supplied free picture periods for workers and their households.
“If we will emphasize artwork (and) permit it to flourish, it’s an enormous win-win. And with Austin being upstairs, it doesn’t intervene with our enterprise by any means. In lots of respects, it most likely enhances it as a result of we’ve got actually carried out artwork inside YSS of Marshall County,” Hicks stated. “Area is actually onerous to return by. He has put a lot of his personal distinctive spin on it that we’re simply happy to have him there… We don’t see this as a moneymaker. We see this as ‘How can we assist?’”
With an entire lot of elbow grease and sweat fairness, Chadderdon has remodeled the area right into a prime stage studio with practically limitless potential.
Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or