Detroit photographer, painter, and jewelry designer, Janna Bissett, is a classically trained artist with a BFA in Photography from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She started out at Western Michigan University in the Graphic Design program before taking her first photography class and realizing that she has always viewed the world as if through a photo lens. She switched majors and also universities. “I can remember as a child looking at parts of my room and closing one eye and playing around with focus. I would switch back and forth between the foreground and background. I never had a good camera growing up, just a simple point and shoot film camera, and I used to get frustrated with not being able to focus where I wanted to. When I got my first SLR camera it’s almost as if the world just opened up to me. I’ve always been such a visual person and for the first time I could capture what I was seeing and share it with others. I love to experiment and break rules. And with digital I find it is easier to do that. It goes hand in hand with my subject matter as well.” Her urban photography often concentrates on the “dirty” or discarded, turning it into something interesting and often quite beautiful. “Honestly I think I bore easily. I like to see things in fresh and new ways and I try to do that in both my photography and my metalwork. I like to keep things unexpected such as turning something industrial into delicate.”
Bissett credits her striking photographic style to the fact that she works in many other media, including charcoal, metalwork, paint, and fiber. “Once I accepted that having a hand in all these different media can actually work for me rather than against me, I started to see my art grow in ways I never thought possible.” In some of her photos, a combination of media is used, as photos are shot through a glass “painted” with cleaner, and also manipulated after the shot. Her work can be described as edgy and current with an emphasis on fashion.
She had a solo exhibit at the City Gallery in Farmington Hills and alumni shows 4 years in a row at the University of Michigan’s School of Art & Design. She exhibits her work throughout metro Detroit and it can be found at The Ann Arbor Art Center, Galley U Royal Oak, Yellow Door Art Market, The Dancing Eye Gallery in Northville, 323 East in Royal Oak, Paint Creek Art Center, Goods Detroit, Catching Fireflies and many more area galleries. Her work has been featured in the The Detroit News, The Metro Times, Patch.com, and Real Detroit Weekly, as well as numerous blogs from all over the globe. Her commercial work can be found in Styleline Magazine, Hour Detroit, Metropolitan D’etroit, and Detroit Home. She also shoot stills and virtual tours for real estate, shooting some of the most prestigious homes in the metro Detroit area.