3. WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHER?
Passion to express the inner self through a mature visual literacy. Technically polished works of art that are fully resolved.
4. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT DECIDING TO BECOME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?
Fate forced my hand, one day I was still working part time, and teaching photography part time, then the next week I was a full-time photography educator. I haven’t looked back since.
5. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU IN YOUR WORK AND WHAT IS DEMOTIVATING?
My passion is to produce meaningful works of art. Photographic art works that stand the test of time, that grow and develop, they mature the longer you look at them. If a photograph doesn’t pass the test of time, it becomes worthless in my eyes. Each time I look at one of my great photographs and I find myself loving it even more, it then passes my test of time. This in itself is the intrinsic reward for me. Negative critiques are personally the most damaging, they interfere with my creative process. I find myself disappointed when a viewer asks to see a colour photograph or prefers the mainstream over-saturated images that dominate our social media feeds and popularity contests.
6. WHAT ARE THE MOST PASSIONATE MOMENTS IN YOUR WORK?
The excitement of a physical photographic print is the most precious object. Holding it in my hands, seeing it in all its glory at its intended size, beautifully printed on soft cotton rag paper. A photographic print is an object of beauty, one to be collected, preserved, revered and celebrated. A photographic print being exhibited is the ultimate moment of passion in my life as a photographer.
7. WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES IN YOUR WORK?
The greatest hurdle in my photographic work has been taming the inner critic. The critic that judges and listens to others. Learning to trust one’s own inner instinct, to listen to one’s intuition, and follow one’s feelings. As I age and become accepted as an artist, this critical voice diminishes, and one becomes more confident in finding that inner voice in my work. My voice keeps getting stronger, the images become clearer, and the artworks become more refined.
8. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR ARTISTRY?
A life time of visual practice and study. I have studied the visual arts, in painting, drawing, printmaking (etching and lithography), botanical illustrations. Studying art history and great works of art is as informative as that inner reflection of one’s own work. Having great mentors have helped in my journey, as has been the point where my heroes became my peers.
9. WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR PERSONAL LEARNING IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT YOU WOULD CONVEY TO A „NOVICE“?
„Make art for yourself… make it the best you can… devote your time to getting better… make prints and books and physical objects… show it to the world… enjoy when someone else appreciates it… feel blessed if someone ever buys it… work on meaningful projects… learn to write about your work… and don’t stress about it, for we do it for love and happiness.“
10. WHICH ARE THE DRIVING FORCES FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND IN YOUR WORK?
My passion for the natural environment is unrelenting. I spent years as an environmental educator working directly with children and teaching environmental values. I believe that I gain my spirituality and soul from mother nature, and I devote my life to saving it. Environmental preservation is the heart of my story. As a perfectionist, I am for beautiful enduring works of art, that stand the test of time. Ones that stand the scrutiny of a mature art world, rather than the following the pack of mediocrity and sensationalism. I search for my own unique voice.
11. WHICH FEELINGS DETERMINE YOUR WORK WHEN OUT IN THE FIELD?
I have to be in a peaceful relaxed headspace and feeling connected to the environment around me before I can even contemplate creating photographic art. It is not a switch I can just turn on. I have to be inspired by the light and by the place. It has to overwhelm me with beauty. Once I reach this internal quietude, the photographic process flows, and I become engrossed my passion for creating art.
12. ON WHICH CRITERIA DO YOU JUDGE YOUR OWN WORK AS SUCCESSFUL?
It is a great work of art if I want to keep looking at it. The longer I want to keep looking at it the better it is. If I have to keep coming back to look further the better it is. I put my prints on the wall and live with them. If they stand the test of time, and I still love the photograph a year, or ten years later I know I have unique and beautiful works of art. Time is the answer.
13. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR PLANET, NATURE: WHAT CONNECTION DO YOU SEE?
I see nature as the ultimate composition. The subtle nuances as mother nature grow’s, wears, develops, dies, regenerates, flourishes and withers is the most beautiful symphony on this planet. Humanities attempts at beauty pale into insignificance. It is with this inspiration I can at least try to create beautiful works of photographic art.
14. ASSUMING YOU WOULD HAVE 15 MINUTES ON A TV BROADCAST AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD COULD LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WERE SAYING, WHAT WOULD BE THE CORE OF YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE?
Look after the planet and mother nature. She is growing weary of us, listen to her voice. The rise in storms and extreme weather events is her yelling at us to take stock and stop the rape of her forests, rivers, and minerals. She is our life blood, our water source, our food source and our breath. Without nature, we will suffocate, dehydrate and starve. Yet we progress onwards in our plight of consumerism, commercialism and endless fighting. Climate change is real. Look to Gaia for our spirituality and for our nurturing peace. Once we loose the beautiful environment, there is no turning it back.