After building a portfolio for the past three years, Courtland Wells hosted his first photography exhibit in Downtown Hattiesburg on Feb. 13. Wells showcased his portfolio inside the East Front Street building.
Three years ago, Wells decided to come to The University of Southern Mississippi from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After enrolling at USM, Wells began pursuing photography and photojournalism.
Wells is often seen atop tables and roofs taking pictures to capture moments and stories. From models to Mardi Gras, his photography documents Hattiesburg and its community.
“The goal when taking a picture is to capture a story about what is happening or what’s going to happen,” Wells said. “When I’m taking the picture, I like to keep the people wondering.”
Wells particularly enjoys photographing motion. Previously an athlete himself, Wells photographs sports events such as football games in New Orleans and track events for USM.
Kaila Wyatt, a student and model for the exhibit, works with Wells on occasion. Their first meeting was a photo shoot on the coast.
“It is really refreshing working with Courtland,” Wyatt said. “He is not pushy and doesn’t demand anything from me. He really lets his models do their own thing.”
Quavius Goss, a local Hattiesburg artist also known as Kway, is one of Wells’ most frequent models in his photography. Since the two are
best friends, they experience many spontaneous shoots together.
“He is awesome and has an eye out for this world. So, good product is always expected on our excursions,” Goss said. “It is natural with Courtland. There are no awkward moments when I am not sure what to do with my hands, because he captures moments so well.”
Due to the turnout at the art gallery, Wells may go even further and become a positive example for the Hattiesburg art and photography scene.
Time Magazine and Dime entertainment featured Wells’ photography in previous publications. Following the photo exhibit, Wells plans to work on new projects immediately.
More information on Wells’ work can be found at courtlandwells.com.