Tag Archives: kaya
We live a life that is constantly rushing and striving forward. We have the world at our fingertips with the technology that we can access in a second. That’s great but I often think that it comes at a cost. I don’t think we stop often enough and just exist. This week has been a draining one & I’ve found comfort in looking backwards to last summer. The days were long and we spend so much in my sisters garden. The kids were unplugged from iPads and played, as my sister and I had as children. There is so much more pleasure to me in being outside, soaking up the light, instead of absorbing it from a blue screen. My nephews remind me of the fun of being little. Something that I’m holding onto right now.
I can’t stop with the Black and whites at the moment. I think this is because they strip all of the emotions out that colour makes our minds trigger. A black and white photograph is about the raw essence of what the film has recorded. The eyes are for me the ultimate connector. You see who a person is.
This image was always going to be a colour edit but as I worked today I was thinking about the power of how an image can be changed & as Kaya is growing he is changing every minute. This image in black and white kind of stops time for me at this point in the summer.
I will never stop loving black and white. It’s where i feel at home. & it is somewhere that i can re-visit as Kaya grows up (and stops letting me photograph him)!
So this is what happens when you are photographing more than one child on a shoot. The others find the body paint pens & draw on each other! Still going in a different direction sometimes has my favourite results. Followed by a very deep bath!
I don’t often write much here, as I let my images tell my stories. Today though I am going to share an experience I got to be part of yesterday… My nephew, Kaya, got to have his first haircut. Well his first haircut in a barbers. A really cool place in Manchesters’, Northern Quarter, called Close Male Grooming Salon
Close have 4 salons across Manchester & are a chilled environment with experienced & talented stylists. Alex, who cut & styled Kaya, made it fun for him & taught him how to style his hair with products. He ultimately did what I try to do when photographing children.. he treated Kaya like an equal, his opinion counted.
Kaya is aware of the camera, he’s not had a lot of choice, he was who I started photographing & he was the reason I first started to work for others, as they saw the images I created of him & his brother. He had started gelling his hair in the last few weeks & was desperate to have it all cut off to look like singers in bands, or to just express himself. My sister was ace letting me take Kaya to Alex. But this was all about what Kaya wanted. He loved his new cut & loved Alex & can’t wait to go again. I felt lucky to be part of his growing up.
Ultimately what I want all my images share is connection. I always used to say that a good image is made up of 3 parts. Part of me, as the photographer, my viewpoint & narrative. Part of the subject that I am photographing, child, adult or animal. The third part I used to describe as ‘the magic’, ‘the magic’ being the part that made a good image.
As I have evolved I now know there is no such thing as magic, well there is, but it isn’t something as vague as ‘magic’. In fact what makes a good image is in fact a connection.
Photography is an intimate thing. The people that you photograph are letting you into their space, they trust you. Lifting a camera between you is like standing with a sheet of glass between you & the subject being photographed. As a photographer I am constantly talking to whoever I am photographing. I am connecting, it’s humans, it’s what we do. Someone that is being photographed has to trust you. The sheet of glass has to be broken through.
Not just that you understand the light and how to work your camera, but trust that you will show them in the way they want to be seen. This might not stand in the same way with animals or children, but it still matters. They have to buy into what you are creating. I love animals and kids, as I think they let you in & are happy to share their worlds. Obviously some prefer to be photographed over others but when you do break through it is worth it.
I took some pictures of Kaya after his hair cut where he felt very grown up & was so so proud of how he looked. Sometimes though it’s not about how my images look. It’s about the connection. I have them in the black & white images but the image below is my absolute favourite. Kaya is showing how happy he is with his eyes. It’s the image that I will print & put on my wall, as the connection is so strong. It’s one of Kaya’s firsts in his life; feeling ‘like a grown up man.’ I love that everything is still exciting when you are little.
Thanks to Close for letting me photograph, as per my life! & thanks for making Kaya so happy!! He really thinks he looks like a mini Alex!! Check out their Facebook page to see!