March 26, 2012

Interview: Michelle GD

The stories she tells with her photos totally captivate me. Be it nature, home life, or a warm cup of tea, I love how Michelle captures her surroundings. I'm so happy to share this interview with you all here today. Please meet:

When did you begin to develop an interest in photography?  Take me back to those first years and if you could, tell me about the paths you explored to expand on your craft.

my interest in photography was on and off for many years beginning with a bare bones photography class in college. years later, the pace picked up with the birth of my children as i tried to record their early days. a few years ago, my family was fortunate enough to live in hawaii for about a year and a half, and the raw beauty everywhere definitely inspired me to use the camera regularly.

shortly after our hawaii days, i felt the urge to self-explore creatively.  i stumbled upon susannah conway’s unravelling courses. for me, the work in self-exploration that i did with these courses sort of sealed the deal for me.  i am intensely interested in capturing life through my lens now.

Do you feel as though your photos reflect or reveal pages of your own story?  How so?

i most definitely feel that my photos reflect who i am, my sensibilities, my stories. my photos are a reflection of my days and a visual note of the things around me…my children, nature, home. the images are both about me and not about me…they are about things i appreciate, things of which i take note. photography, for me, is very much a mindful practice, a mindful reflection of how i experience life.

What do you love to photograph most?  If you had to step out of your comfort zone, what would you photograph?

what do i love to photograph most? that’s a tough question because i am inspired by so much of the world. i flip out about soft light, bare tree branches against a winter sky, my kids’ hands holding a treasure of some sort. i love to get close to things…i’m more interested in immediacy and intimacy than i am about the big picture {though there’s beauty in that too}. and i’m always a sucker for flowers.

if i had to step out of my comfort zone, i suppose that would entail portrait work of some kind. i am very intimidated by shooting to please someone else.

Would you share three of your own tips to capturing a great photo with the readers? 

first, i would encourage shooting from the heart, photographing what most deeply speaks to the individual peeking through the lens. if true to self, the work will undoubtedly speak to others as well.

secondly, wait for and seek out natural light. nothing beats the softness of the magic light that can be found early in the morning or at the close of day…but the softness can be found on misty and grey days as well. for me, it’s the softness i’m seeking these days.

thirdly, try different angles  and perspectives {lie down on the trail or sidewalk!} and snap lots of shots.

When do you feel most inspired to go shooting?

truthfully, this varies on a daily basis. my life right now is centered around my two children with whom i stay home to homeschool. the camera comes out spur-of-the-moment. i might be cooking some eggs and notice a gorgeous sunset or mist rolling in, so i’ll run outside in my pajamas to snap a few frames. or i might take loads of photos while hiking with my family. it might be when i’m sipping tea and i notice the soft light streaming through the window by my desk. i’m inspired by moments, and as long as i’m paying attention {which, admittedly i am not always}, those moments are there. everywhere.

also, i started using instagram recently and i am addicted! the accessibility of the iPhone is phenomenally inspiring to me. i began instagram because i wanted to catalog a 365 for myself; it has turned into so much more.

Would you share the links to the photographers or books that have guided or inspired you?

right now i’m working my way through understanding exposure by bryan peterson.

i mentioned susannah conway above and her fabulous unravelling classes. her polaroids and big heart inspire me.

i love the work of elizabeth duvivier. hers was one of the first blogs i ever read. her photography and her written expression inspire me.

i am continually blown away as i link my way through the web…the women who have been interviewed here at 52 photo projects prior to me {and 52’s lovely hostess}…new inspirations via instagram.

the artwork of georgia o’keeffe.

Thank you Michelle, for sharing these sweet bits of your photography journey with us here today :)

michelle is a lover of all things life and wears various hats: mama, wife, daughter, sister, friend. she is a seeker of ways to capture daily moments via camera, colored pencil, paint, or written words. she can be found at her blog, her flickr photostream {which needs to be organized!}, or on instagram


deb did it said...

such a lovely chat! I adore this line ~ shoot from the heart~ oh so true. Michelle, I am so pleased to know more about you here! xoxo Deb

amanda {the habit of being} said...

what a great discovery! just checked out her blog and flickr stream - love!

Susannah Conway said...

Michelle, you are such a lovely and gentle soul xxx

Karen D said...

Michelle.. loved this interview. That "Understanding Exposure" book was just recommended to me.. so now that I see you using it too, I must get it.


Gerri said...

Lovely interview Michelle!! "Shooting from the heart..." love that!

michelle gd said...

thanks to everyone who's stopped by to read. it was such a pleasure doing this interview with bella...and so lovely to hear from some of you :)

mysticvixen said...

you are SO lovely and I am so glad we have found each other!!! xoox, e

thea said...

What a great peek into your work and your spirit. Lovely work.