Elaine and Robert Hughes made a dramatic shift in their photography and art about five years ago. Highly decorated and certified professional photographers who used to specialize in high-end wedding photography, the pair now specializes in creating surreal digital artwork.

The pair’s work is an anticipated addition to the various competitions they’ve entered. This past year, Elaine Hughes won a LexJet Sunset Award at the PPA North East District competition for Illustrative Artist. The award-winning print, called Dream World, is a wildly colorful example of Elaine’s original art.

“Lately I’ve developed a series connected with water and dreams. It’s chaotic, disconnected and fun, with symbolism you can’t really put your finger on, like in your dreams. I left it open to your own interpretation. The door, for instance, could be the girl’s next journey, your next journey, or you could go in and out of the dream through that door,” Elaine explains.

Elaine says developing the art is quite time-consuming, but it’s what she loves to do. It’s a bonus that the art sells, she auctions it off for charity and it wins awards. The images combine photographs Elaine takes when she’s out and about at various locations across the country with color and abstract work in Photoshop.

“Bob’s art is edgier, while mine is happier and dreamier,” Elaine says. “I create backgrounds all the time with texture and color. About half the time I have an idea and the other half I experiment. It just doesn’t happen; I work on these for a long time. I go to a lot of Photoshop classes and watch Bob do his work in Photoshop. I wish I had started doing this a long time ago.”