In my interior design biz I have come across a number of fascinating, unique and interesting artists, ‘creatives’ and designers. These are folks who are pursuing their passions and sharing the results with a broader audience in a number of different ways.
They have caught my eye and attention as their creations align with my aesthetic that design and decor should be comfortable and livable, simple not complicated and include a touch of whimsy – a necessary element to any design.
I want to share their art, design and creations with you via a monthly guest blog post that will be presented as a transcribed interview. Through this you can come to know each one, understand what lead them to pursue their passion, realize the challenges each face in the pursuit of their creations and of course, see examples of their works.
The first guest is Wendy Parlow (https://www.facebook.com/WendyParlowImages/ and https://www.instagram.com/shuswapgal/) who is a photographer from Ottawa ON Canada. Wendy has participated in a number of exhibits and is currently included in one at Oh So Good Desserts on Richmond Road in Ottawa. Read on to learn more about Wendy and the path that lead to her passion for photography.
1. Have you always been a photographer?
I have always taken photographs, but it is only in recent years that I have defined myself a photographer
2. What did you work at previously?
Prior to retirement, I was a senior manager in the federal government. I spent over 32 years as a public servant, working in several different departments.
3. What attracted you to photography?
I have always needed a creative outlet and I was attracted to photography because of the immediacy and spontaneity of taking photographs. It is easy to carry a camera and I almost always have one with me. This gives me the ability to capture what I see, as I see it.
4. How did you make the transition to photography?
My transition was a gradual one. After I retired from the government, I spend eight years travelling from Ottawa to Victoria BC to assist my parents during their later years. My camera became a lifeline, giving me respite from helping my parents deal with their failing health. During that period, photography became an integral part of my life – I was hooked. Once I had more free time, I started taking workshops, seeking opportunities to meet and work with other photographers, learning new techniques and challenging myself develop my own artistic vision.
5. Are there skills from your previous work life that you make use of in your photography biz?
There is a discipline and focus that has carried over from my previous work life. Plus, the analytic processes and structured approach I used in my previous life have been a great foundation for editing photographs. Most importantly though, I had learned to challenge myself, to take risks and to promote myself – vital skills for any entrepreneur running a small business.
6. What new skills did you have to learn/gather to develop your photography?
There is always something new to learn. Some of it relates to the technical skills required to get the results I want from the equipment and programs I use. The biggest thing has been learning to see – to see what is actually there and to compose images around that. The human eye is amazing in its ability to focus on one specific thing and to filter out everything around that. The camera does not filter; it captures everything that is in the scene.
7. What are the biggest challenges of your photography biz?
Organization and bookkeeping are right up there, not to mention inventory control: how many prints do I have, where have I shown them, where are they right now? The biggest challenge is probably promotion, and that is because of the personal investment I have in my work. Every print I display is a piece of me: it reflects my choices, my skills and my vision.
8. What gives you the greatest joy and pleasure of your photography biz?
There is sheer joy in being creative, in making something unique out of the ordinary, in celebrating the special and the everyday. On top of that, when someone falls in love with one of my works and buys it...you cannot beat that feeling.
9. How/what do your photos contribute to interior decor?
Like any piece of art, they can contribute in many different ways. They can make a statement, they provide an inspiration during the design process, they can be used to tie together and complement existing decor, they can convey a mood, and they can add a punctuation mark to a room or a display within a room. My photos can be customized to be as small or as large as you wish. Modern printing technology gives me the flexibility to produce works on paper, canvas, metal or acrylic depending on the image and the space they are intended for. I enjoy collaboration and, as a photographer, I can work with you and your interior decorator to create a piece, or pieces, specifically to reflect your taste and style.