Seeing the beauty that surrounds me has become something that I treasure. It is a gift. I find a sense of peace & calm in noticing the little things in life. The way the morning dew sits on a leaf, the golden hour light through the tall grass, city shadows in the afternoon, a loose curl, milk moustaches, catchlights in my childrens’ eyes, smirks & grimaces. These are the things I love to capture with my camera. I try to capture them creatively; to help my audience feel like they are there standing right with me in that moment.
Last week I attended a mixed media workshop with Bec Schopen. Other than being a fabulously caring & kind person, she creates the most beautiful artwork that I have admired for years. With her brush strokes & use of colour she can elicit such an array of emotions. It is something I find so daunting but comes so naturally to her. I listen to her speak so passionately about colour & tone, about finding inspiration in the everyday & I can relate to these aspects of her craft.
I have always longed to be able to paint, but for me, my head gets in the way. I overanalyse everything. Where do I start? What colours? Subject matter? When I start I then question every move I’ve made & take forever to decide what should go where. This is why being a part of Bec’s workshop was so refreshing. I was able to free my mind & just go with it. Bec’s philosophy is cathartic. It clears the mind & lets your creativity take over.
“I have a desire for my artwork to come from an intuitive and unconscious place. I begin with colour & images that I love and then evolve them into works where the viewer is lost in an ethereal place that can be soulful, spiritual & individually interpreted”. – Bec Schopen
Do you take portraits of your children? Photographs of just them on their own? I don’t mean the photographs where you dress them up in their best clothes & ask them to say ‘cheese’. I mean lifestyle portraits that capture them in that moment.
Kids change so quickly & fads come and go – loom bracelets anyone? They may be playing their iPods… Remember when you played Donkey Kong, Pacman, wore hyper colour t-shirts, played elastics, everything was fluro & leg warmers were fashionable? Yep, that’s them. Those moments.
Don’t forget to take photographs of your kids as they are. I always tell my clients that a ‘cheese’ portrait (not a ‘cheesy’ portrait, because they still have their place) shows your child’s appearance at a certain point in time. But a lifestyle portrait tells you more about them than just what they look like. You can see what they enjoyed doing, what their favourite toys were, how their body looked as they did it. It can bring back memories of a moment in time. Good or bad. About something they did unique to them or to a generation or something you did as a family. Don’t forget to take those ones too.
Here’s some of my 4 cherubs.
Some of these portraits appear on my blog as part of The 52 Project. Joining Jodi and many others over at Practising Simplicity to capture a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014.
Every year we get a little older. Some of us would prefer to ignore them but when it comes to our kids we go all out. I love everything about kids birthdays – just think of all those treats, lollies & styling. And of course there’s those little imaginations, cheeky giggles, family & friends.