Remember being 19 and fresh out of high school, full of big dreams and pressure to choose the right path? How many potential actresses, rockstars and painters have disappeared due to rational long-term thinking? Kyle Thompson’s path to becoming an amazing photographer should be an amazing source on inspiration to anyone who has had such a youthful dream.

Thompson was a shy boy from the suburbs of Chicago who went to college and had a job as pizza delivery boy. Not a full year later, however, Kyle became a recognized and desired young photographer with a distinct style whose work created a huge buzz on the Internet.

Using himself as the main character in almost all of the shots, Kyle creates fantastic alternative realities full of signs, symbols and deeper meanings. As he says, he feels more like a writer manifesting his thoughts and moods through visual art than a photographer. By looking at Thompson’s photography, you can feel yourself being dragged into his quiet dreamy solitude.

Embark on a journey by browsing through Kyle’s shots and reading short excerpts about his life.

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At 19, Kyle dropped out of college to pursue his dream to do something artistic.

At first, he doubted if he could survive as an artist and planned on settling with psychology or advertising.

But artistic genius took over. Kyle quit his job and started focusing on improving his technique as he didn’t have any formal education in photography.

In December 2011 he started a 365 days project and has been taking a self-portrait everyday since.

Abandoned houses were the first inspirational spots. As Kyle says, he enjoys their juxtaposition – they’re both empty of life but full of memories.

Simple props are used for his photos – this shot features desk lamps hooked to a chair and a fog machine.

He gets creative with anything that’s around, even flour or sand.

Kyle describes his style as surreal conceptual photography.

He feels that art is very personal and self-portraiture is the best medium to express himself.

Though shot in the suburbs of Chicago, Kyle’s images construct a separate dream-like reality.

He always sketches the concepts and then pre-plans the photoshoot carefully.

His photos have that feeling of emptiness as almost all of them feature one person alone in the vast surroundings.

Kyle’s dream location is a ghost town, maybe Pripyat in Ukraine.

Photographer’s sacrifice: for a good shot Kyle’s willing to soak in freezing mud or set his clothes on fire.

Young photographer has big life plans – from making a photo book and a movie to teaching photography workshops.