“I think there are a lot of ways to define “mood”, and it differs from image to image. It can be the action in your subject, or the location, or simply your use of light and shadow. I like to combine several of these elements in my images to add depth and emotion.” We couldn’t agree more with this sentiment by Holly Awwad. While us as a collective navigate more towards a specific type of “mood” for our story-telling, we recognize this can be achieved in many ways. We love how Holly always manages to find that extra bit of depth and emotion to pull us in.
Please join us in getting to know more from the beautiful work of The Timekeeper.
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 to break the rules. I think it’s so you can artfully and purposefully break them to fulfill your vision. Personally, I am drawn to images that stand out and are unique. Since it is so common to have bright, vibrant, colorful lifestyle images, I enjoy introducing moody black and whites filled with light and shadow to help draw people into my work and tell a story.
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 think there are a lot of ways to define “mood”, and it differs from image to image. It can be the action in your subject, or the location, or simply your use of light and shadow. I like to combine several of these elements in my images to add depth and emotion. Basically, I like to take a visual image and transform it into something you can feel.
I have always liked black and whites for lifestyle photography because I think it adds a documentary feel to the images. But I also think that using light and shadow and dramatic contrast can make an ordinary image extraordinary.
When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light, or the shadows that go with it?
I think they go hand in hand. You can’t have a shadow without light. I love seeing light in many forms and seeing how I can manipulate the light and shadows to create something beautiful.
What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to capture it?
My muses are my girls. They are three of my favorite people in the entire world. I am driven to capture their childhood and childhood in general because of how quickly it goes by. I want to freeze time so I can return to these fleeting moments over and over. Childhood is full of innocence and nostalgia, which to me makes it a gorgeous time to capture.
Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?
When shooting in low light, I like to expose for the highlights and also slightly over expose in camera. I can then bring down exposure in post processing to minimize noise and create dramatic shadows and highlights.
What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?
My girls, for sure. They are always doing something that motivates me to pick up my camera. Also, if I’m really in a rut, scouting for new locations can help get the creative juices flowing again.
What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?
Golden hour for sure due to the gorgeous light and long shadows.
What’s in your camera bag?
Nikon D610, Sigma 70-200 2.8, Sigma Art 35, 85 1.8, 50 1.8
JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?
Raw all the way and both LR an LR and PS… Although I process all my black and whites in Lightroom.