Every family has a story to tell... I went to Brussels to hear Lina's. It was so great to meet this beautiful family and capture all the laughs and the love they all share! Summer is quickly approaching & what better way to celebrate then a fun family session! They made this day one to remember!

 

I AM Photographer Wedding and Portrait Photograph Contest 2017

This year it bring together 97 wedding photographers from 14 different countries and 109 portrait photographers from 15 different countries. On the contest was submitted in total 400 images in wedding category and 431 images in portrait category. Winners were announced on 1st April 2017 in Tallinn during I AM Photographer Festival 2017. 

Feeling Blessed: I have absolutely AMAZING news!!!  "I AM Photographer Contest 2017 " The Best Photograph of Children!

Yay hurray!!!

https://festival.iamphotographer.eu/EN

 

 

 

Inspiration along the adoption path...

 

Today, I find that I am fulfilled by photography. Photography is my rest, it is how I refresh my soul. It is a way to show what I feel, and what I am.

Recently, I have found ways to use my photography to help draw public attention to some acute social problems of today. One of these recent projects is intended to highlight the issue of the many children in the foster and adoption systems and orphanages by offering Free photo shoots for children in that system. 

During these free children photo sessions, we would have fun, dress up, play, and create portraits that capture the unique style of a child we were targeting to portray. Then we would send printed photographs to their new home.

The project idea was born when I met the winner of the 2014 Best Mother contest. She was a mother of 9 adopted children and after meeting her I was inspired to action.

One of our first participants in this project was a young boy. We created his style using clothes and accessories. One of the photographs from his photo session was chosen as the album cover of the danish music band, Defecto's album "Excluded". It was so rewarding to see the delight in this child when he found out the news!

This type of interaction and meaningful connection inspires me to be involved further in this project, the creation of art and happiness for these little photo session heroes. Our ultimate goal with this photo series is to encourage families in our country to take a bold step towards the adoption of every child living in system.

Step By Step...

 

It starts with the big desire and I started from a clean slate and began by learning the basics on my own.  I am self-educated in fine art kids photography.

I found inspiration in the work of great photographers such as Sally Man, Ricard Avedon, and Annie Leibovitz. In looking to always continue my education in fine art kids photography, I have attended various training courses, read educational books, used many online resources, and I am always following what is happening in today's world of children photography.

The goal any artist reaches for the hardest, is to find their own style. Using their talent to capture in their own way the child's emotions, his character and relationship to the world surrounding it. It was in searching for this goal, that I found my mentor, Bella West.  She is extremely talented, It was my honor to have her mentor me day after day and photo session after a photo session. She would always push me further, taking me firmly by the hand and leading me into the vast and infinite opportunities for expression of self and capturing the expressions of others that can only be found in the world of photography.

After close to 7 years of education and mentoring under her experienced guidance, I have developed from the promising student, into a true photographer that has not only a masterful control of her craft, but also, her own distinctive style. I joined The British Institute of Professional Photographers and was awarded a Associateship qualification with a collection of natural light portraits of children. 

 

Dreams can and DO come true!

 

once I was 7 years old...

once I was 7 years old...

I have a continuing dream, a dream to work with children. This dream has followed me since I was an elementary school student. I remember every year when returning to school after summer break, we were assigned to write an essay answering the question of what we wanted to do when we grew up. My answer was always the same, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and work with young children. Other professional opportunities were not even an option, not until it was time to step into my adult life.

I had a dream, but I succumbed to the pressure of having a proper career that offered a higher social status. I found that I was leading a life that went hand in hand with the existing stereotypes in society. I walked that path for a decade, working Monday to Friday at a well-paid job, creating a family and raising my children. Deep inside, however, I was still yearning for more freedom, joy and self-expression.

Being behind the camera offered me a different outlook on how I was living life. It was a completely new, refreshing and definitely challenging experience. Why kids photographer? For the first time in a very long time I was able to explore my deepest feelings and thoughts which in turn helped me to refuse the imposed stereotypes I had felt pressured to maintain. I started feeling the balance between my life and work. Perhaps most importantly, I could finally be at peace with myself.

It was through photography that I was able to gradually revive my childhood dream to work with children. Children are so sincere. They share their true emotions, their wildest dreams permeate the air with inspiration to create fine art or lifestyle kids portraiture. As I was photographing children, I began to discover that the photo sessions were full of excitement, playfulness, and joyful emotions which allowed the camera to metaphorically disappear. The results delivered from such wonderfully inspired sessions reflected the pure essence of joy in the sincere smiles that radiated through their whole bodies. Often even capturing that dreamy gaze that is usually seen only after a fairy tale before bedtime...