April Featured Photographer – Helen Whittle
We are so excited to announce our April feature photographer – Helen Whittle Photography. Helen’s work is captivating. There is a soulfulness and a quiet intensity that speaks to the heart of the viewer. Please enjoy getting to know Helen and her work!
- 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 really wish I was better at making colourful and joyful photos! I have honestly never thought of my images as breaking rules, I see them more as just a different style of child photography. I really love black and white images, they can be so filled with mood and emotion. In my experience, childhood, and parenthood especially, is not always filled with colour and joy, but is always filled with drama and emotion.
- 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 define mood in my images by using light to create drama but also my children’s facial expressions and poses help to create emotive pictures.
- Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What draws you to this style of photography?
I’m colourblind, so I actually find making colourful images much harder so I’m naturally drawn towards black and white. It’s hard to describe what draws me to this type of imagery… I guess it’s the way they make me feel when I look at them. I like to see emotive images so I want the viewer to feel the emotion in my images. Simply by using light, you can change the story of an image.
- When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light, or the shadows that go with it?
I think they both come hand in hand. I shoot mainly indoors, so I guess I look for pockets of light and with that come the wonderful shapes that light and shadows can make.
- What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to capture it?
Childhood is so innocent. I love the fun, the drama, and the learning that comes with childhood. It was the need to capture this for my children to be able to look back on, that started my photography journey.
- Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?
I like to shoot in contrasting light, usually where there is light and dark in the same frame, so I would say, make sure you expose for the highlighted areas so they don’t end up over exposed and blown out, otherwise they are impossible to bring back in post production.
- What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?
When I’m feeling uninspired I usually put my camera down and spend time looking at photos from other artists….i just love looking at photos, especially from photographers I admire! And sometimes I ask my children if they’d like to come up with a photo for the day and we often end up with an image we all like. And other times, if I’m feeling really uninspired, I force myself to pick up my camera and shoot what I see around me. There is definitely beauty in your everyday!!
- What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?
I usually shoot in the evenings, that’s when the kids are home from school and the light is doing crazy things coming into the house through doors and windows. Mornings are always way too hectic!!!
- What’s in your camera bag?
I think I’ve got the smallest camera bag in the world. It just about squeezes in my D750 and my 24-70mm f2.8 lens. There’s a little bit of space for my new lens baby, or my 35mm f2 if I’m going far from home, and I always have a spare memory cards. Nothing more frustrating than seeing a wonderful photography moment and not being able to capture it because I’ve left the memory card in my computer!!
- JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?
I always shoot in raw, gives more flexibility in post processing which is my favourite part of creating an image. I’m in love with Lightroom. It’s got everything I need for my photography at the moment. If I ever get to have more hours in my day, I’d love to get photoshop and to learn how it works!
You can find more of Helen’s work here: