Thursday, 22 March 2012

Interview: Susan Pointon

Hello dear frineds,

It is amazing what a wonderful journey blogging has become for me. 
In June, God willing, we shall be celebrating this blog's 5th blogoversary
 So many beautiful, different, exciting people from all over the globe have come my way and we crossed our paths at some moment or another.
Isn't that amazing?

oh here you are, thank you!

One of my blog besties is Susan. 
Susan lives in Australia
(F's favorite continent, although she's never been to Australia!)
and she is a very talented photographer, capable of bringing out the best in everyone,
and a very beautiful person with a great sense of humor that I appreciate on her blog and on Facebook!

without further delay, 


1.How did you get started on photography?

I never was really interested in photography until I had my own children. 
My middle child, Clara, who is now 8, started modelling when she was 4 years old. I think that was the trigger that got me all started on this wonderful journey
I loved taking photographs of my own kids and slowly updated my cameras over time until I finally invested in my first DSLR only 3 years ago. We were off on a family holiday to Canberra and I wanted some great quality photos of our family instead of the usual plain and boring photos produced by a point and shoot camera. It was a Nikon and a wonderful camera. 
That was it! 
The kids were constantly photographed and one day I decided to have a play around with Photoshop to see how I could manipulate the photos to improve their colour, lighting etc. After a lot of self teaching using the internet and also trial and error I decided to finally do a Photoshop workshop. Well that hooked me even more. There was an endless world of creativity out there. I had never really been a creative person before. Well on the inside I had but never shown anything publicly.

Facebook was the main basis of starting my photography journey. 
Friends had seen my work and were then asking me to photograph their children. 
Finally I decided to come out of my “cocoon” and offer my services to anyone who wanted their family or children photographed. I have been overwhelmed with the response and support I have had from not only family and friends, but strangers as well. It also brings me great joy to see my work proudly hanging in people’s homes. I like to consider that each photo is a little piece of me – seeing their children through my eyes.

2.Beauty is the eye of the beholder. What do you see when you point and click?

 Mmmmm .. what do I see when I point and click? I see a finished photo. I can see the photo, the editing, the finished product. I also hope to see a smile on my client’s face when they see them. Each shoot is different. Even if I am shooting in the same location, the lighting is different, the children or subjects are different and I try to edit my photos to suit each situation. I just absolutely adore country style photography. My husband and our family live on a farm in South Australia and it is primarily an agricultural area. We are blessed to have the beach on either side us too. I try to keep my photography style based on a country/farming style as that seems not only appeal to myself, but the majority of my clients. Negative space is another thing I love in my photos (having the subject in only part of the whole photo).

3.Most of your subjects are photographed in the open. What appeals to you in the outdoors?

The thing that appeals to me in the outdoors is natural light and the location of the photo shoot. There are a lot of family farms in my region which have been handed down from generation to generation (I think my husband’s family farm has been around for approximately 130 years). 
I like to photograph children and their families in their own environment not only for the child’s comfort, but for historical purposes. It is fantastic to look back at families at the same location many years ago, showing the different style of clothing, buildings and machinery. Also just how they lived their lives. Each year I try to take photos in our shearing shed and also our working machinery.
 Over time I hope to see the changes which have evolved. 

 I must also add that I love photographing in winter. I am not much of a summer person and I am certainly not a fan of snakes (which we commonly have in our neck of the woods!). Winter I think brings more a warmer style of photo with lovely green lush backgrounds and the lighting is a lot softer and more even. I feel that some of my best work has been rolling around in dirt and paddocks in the rain! 

Dogs are another love of mine. 
I count our pet dogs as family. We have Banjo (a West Highland Terrier x Australian Terrier) who is 4 years old and should be a professional dog model and a newcomer to our family, Coco, a 10 week old Great Dane puppy. I have had people ask me to photograph their pets and I treat them just as I would a child. I jump at the chance to do these shoots. You may see some photos now and then of dogs on my blog. Banjo is quite the character. As soon as he sees his mum with her camera, he is in on the action – the complete opposite to my kids! He will let me photograph him in any pose or any situation.

4.Do you dream of a photograph or a project that you'd like to share with us?

 A dream project of mine would really have to be just to get a “perfect” photo of my own three children who are Gus (aged 10), Clara (aged 8) and Maggie (nearly 7). By perfect I don’t mean all looking at the camera with a smile while they are saying “cheese”. I mean one which is happy, candid and full of love
Each year I do a photo shoot with them on or around their birthdays and make a special little booklet
with the photos. I plan to photograph them all together this year once winter sets in and the crops are all green. I have not decided on an exact location but it will be somewhere on our property. I have also just invested in a lighting setup this year and would like to photograph a few newborns. 
Outdoor photography using natural light is still my first love though.

5.You are a photographer and you are a mom. 
Could you please share some hands on advice for us to take cute pictures of our children?

A few tips for any mums out there wanting to take some great photos of their kids would be to try and capture your children candidly. Get down to their level and photograph them while they are playing or doing a special activity that they love. Photograph them while they are not looking, walking away. Photograph their chubby little hands or feet. I feel candid photos have more meaning and more emotion that posed photos. Google some silly jokes and get them to laugh a real laugh .. not just saying “Cheese!”. 
Don’t be afraid to act the clown to bring out a big natural smile. I have done some really silly things in my time, believe me! Capture their happy and sad moments. I have quite a few photos of my kids crying if they are hurt or just sad. I love to look at these times just as much as the good ones. It’s all part of life. Take them to new places and capture them exploring. Invest in a camera with continuous shooting. You may end up taking hundreds of photos but you will be sure to capture many more special moments and lots of different expressions. Last of all, keep your kids safe.

Visit Susan at Lemon Tree Photography to see her beautiful work and her blog right here.
If you are lucky enough to live near her, in Australia, I'd love to see your pictures taken by Susan!

*All images Susan Pointon*

~All highlights, mine~

Thank you, Susan for the beautiful interview and your lovely photography!
And Thank You all for reading :)

love, Irene

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