I am extremely pleased to share with you this month’s “In The Shadows Of Life Featured Photographer”: Erin of Erin Hensley Photography, one of my biggest inspirations in the world of photography. With so much talent out there, it can sometimes seem difficult to find somebody who will truly be captivating with every single image they share. If there is ever magic in an everyday capture, Erin sure does know how to convey that. Us here at In The Shadows Of Life especially love the mood, the atmosphere, the emotion in her photos; which she so clearly transmits through her mastery of light and flawless monochrome conversions. In her interview Erin tells us “you just don’t see an image, you *feel* it”, and that is precisely what she does with her images. She makes us feel.
Please read along to get to know this beautiful artist better, and while you’re at it get ready for some outstanding photography eye candy. I promise you, by the end of this post you will feel nothing less than inspired.
1. Childhood and lifestyle images are often full of color and joy. How do you feel about breaking the perceived rules of photography by portraying such images in a different way?
I love a bright, colorful image just as much as the next person, but I feel that capturing childhoodand everyday moments in a more dramatic way only adds to the story. You don’t just see a moment that happened, you *feel* it. It leaves you wondering what happened next. Obviously there are “rules” that we all learn in the beginning, but once you have full control and are able to take your skills to another level, there really are no rules anymore. When you have the tools, the inspiration, and the passion, there are only endless possibilities.
2. For us as a group, the use of deep strong shadows is what sets the mood in our lifestyle images. How do you define “mood” in your own lifestyle photographs?
I use shadows and little bits of light to help put focus on the stories I want my images to tell and the emotions I want to feel when looking back at my photos. Using shadows and mood has progressively become a bigger and bigger part of my work and my love for a moody photograph only gets stronger.
3. Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What draws you to this style of photography?
Sometimes, it’s what you can’t see that draws you to an image the most. I love the mysterious feel in this style of creating photographs. There’s a sense of quiet in images like these, which in such a busy and “loud” world, is very refreshing and calming to me.
4. When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light, or the shadows that go with it?
I think it’s a good mixture of both for me. Without shadows, light can be pretty boring and flat, but without at least some light, well, there is literally nothing to see. lol! But the shadows add depth and interest and in many cases, help tell the story. I constantly find myself drawn to instances where there is just a little bit of light – I love the drama and mood that comes with it.
5. What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to capture it?
The honesty, the innocence, the imagination. Children bring life to many of my photographs. I bring possibilities to the table, and the knowledge of how to capture moments, and they often take them and turn them into something I wouldn’t have even imagined.
6. Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?
Before you can shoot in it, you have to know where to find it. You have to be observing, always, and know when and where to find good moody/low light. I think that being an observer of light, and the lack of light, is most important in getting good results.
7. What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?
It can be very easy to fall into a slump, especially when tackling a 365 project (which I am in the middle of in case you don’t know), so to prevent getting into a slump, I try to keep it simple. My daily goal is to simply capture a photo of my children/family every day, and in interesting light whenever possible. On days where I’m not feeling it, I think about the really amazing photographs I’ve gotten during my daily project that I wouldn’t have had I not been “forced” to pick up the camera every day.
8. What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?
I would have to say morning. It always has been, really. There is just an extra special glow in the morning light. Something I can’t really even put into words. It gives me a feeling of a fresh start and endless possibilities, seeing the way it lights up m house, the trees, my children’s faces, everything it touches.
9. What’s in your camera bag?
I’m a prime girl all the way. “Save your dimes for the primes” is my slogsn. Ha!! Here’s what you’ll find in my bag, right now my obsession is my 50mm.
Canon 5D Mark III
Lens Pen Cleaner, gum, extra lens caps, chapstick, dramamime (my kids get car sick! lol!!), Tylenol, lotion.
10. JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?