In The Shadows of Life Featured Photographer | The Timekeeper

“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.

  

Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What draws you to this style of photography?

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.

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In The Shadows of Life Featured Photographer | October

“To be honest, I don´t think I am breaking any rule. It´s true that many people prefer colorful images of their smiling children, and that´s perfect… but not me. I consider photography an artistic expression…”

The words of Charo Diez keep echoing through my mind. Sometimes it is hard to lose track of why we are doing this. And you question yourself as to why you are doing it “this way” and shouldn’t it be “that way”. It is always important to remember that we are part of this photographic journey as much as our children are. It is through our eyes that their memories are being captured. And they will see and appreciate this when they are older.

Charo has a magnificent way of capturing childhood. Her eye, her vision, are truly unique. And captivating to say the least. Every image is full of questions. Selective with her information, she invites the viewer to fill in the gaps, which is in in big part an additive effect to the wonderful, magical word of childhood she portrays, in which anything is possible.

Please enjoy our featured photographer this month, Charo Diez.

 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?

To be honest, I don´t think I am breaking any rule. It´s true that many people prefer colorful images of their smiling children, and that´s perfect… but not me. I consider photography an artistic expression, so my photographs show the way I am, and the most important thing to me: I feel I am connected to them somehow.

 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?

Photography is not only capturing just one moment, it´s also about showing how the photographer lived that very moment. So to me, “mood” is about whatever feeling, – sadness, fear, happiness..-, the photographer aims to capture and what the viewer may perceive by looking at the photograph. That’s the magic of photography.

 Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What draws you to this style of photography?

I have been taking photographs for many years now. I started developing and printing my own black and white copies in the darkroom, and for this reason I learned  to see in monochrome more easily. When my oldest son was born, I admit I got lost: the images I used to take before becoming a mum were not “nice” or adequate for capturing his childhood (well, that´s what I thought at some point), so I tried to imitate everyone else´s “nice” photos: colorful, or soft matte greys photos with everything in its right place… Photos I didn´t like that much…and little by little, I began to take the kind of images I always loved; but this time, photographing my kids` childhood. I think it was a matter of adapting the way I loved to photograph to this new lifestyle images of my kids.

 When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light, or the shadows that go with it?

Both equally. I love playing with the deep shadows that are given by the light, and also emphasizing that tiny spot of light in the dark.

 

 What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to capture it?

This is my life right now: my children’s childhood, and I want to leave as many images of it as possible for their future, so that they can remember it. When they grow up, my photography will likely focus on another subject.

Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?

Never miss the chance to photograph a stormy sky: you will get amazing photos full of drama.

 What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?

I have gone through those uninspiring days, and I have found out that the best thing is to keep the camera in its bag as many days as necessary. I don´t want to feel the urge to take photos I can not picture at that moment.

And looking at many, many photos. Really great ones.

 

What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?

Those two hours right before sunset through the year, and in winter time, early in the morning, because I love that soft moody light. Though I also like the harsh light at noon for more contrasted images.

What’s in your camera bag?

Just my camera, with a couple of lenses (depending on what I am going to photograph or where I am going), and an extra battery (never leave without an extra one!). A bottle of water for my kids (they are always running up and down and too thirsty), the mobile and nothing more… I don´t like carrying too many things, as light and simple as possible.

 JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?

Always RAW, and Lightroom, I would use Photoshop occasionally for special effects, such as textures.

In The Shadows of Life Featured Photographer | May

 

     This month we are sharing with you the talent of Courtney Maltman, the artist behind Momentologie Photography.

“Whenever I convert an image to black and white, I am conscious about the mood I want to portray. Darker images often convey more soul, and my lighter ones can be free and spirited.” Courtney is especially able to connect the viewer with the soul of her photographs by her close attention to details. She is able to infuse the little details that make up childhood, such as the wispiness of a little girl’s hair, or the busy hands of a little boy, with a certain sense of nostalgia that seems very timeless and emotional. Which is exactly why you can’t help but feel attracted to and curious about her work.

Please enjoy the beauty of childhood as seen through Courtney’s eyes.

 

 

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?

It feels right. It makes me feel…something. I think that’s the point, to actually have work make the artist and the viewer feel something. There are definitely times when I think color is necessary to an image, but for the most part, I think it distracts from the subject. I process 95% of my personal work in black and white.

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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?

Whenever I convert an image to black and white, I am conscious about the mood I want to portray. Darker images often convey more soul, and my lighter ones can be free and spirited.

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Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What draws you to this style of photography?

Because with black and white imagery, there are no distractions. Without color, you must focus on the subject and mood of the photograph.

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When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light, or the shadows that go with it?

Light. It is always about the light. There can’t be shadows without the light.

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What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to capture it?

What I try to capture is the rawness of their emotions and the beauty of their innocence, in simple moments and details. Adults tend to be clouded by distractions and being perfect; children are passionate, pure, unadulterated, and beautiful!

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Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?

My tip would be to find the best light for the moment, and don’t be afraid to crank up your ISO. Grain can add so much emotion to an image.

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What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?

Three things: 1. My children, hands down, always inspire me. 2. I am very inspired by golden hour light and freelensing. The two together bring such a beautiful harmony. 3. Unplug! Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and just take your camera out and use it. When I was feeling uninspired this winter I did both of those things. Freelensed a ton indoors and played with double exposure. It was a soulful way to get me out of a creative funk.

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What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?

Late afternoon through the golden hour. I love dramatic rim light and backlit images.

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What’s in your camera bag?

Nikon D7100, Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art, Nikon 50mm 1.8 for freelensing. I am clearly a minimalist. 😉

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JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?

I always shoot RAW, edit mostly in LR and finish in PS with anything I can’t do in LR.

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