Today, we are talking with Suzanne Gipson, child and lifestyle photographer. Her digital images always move me, her processing floors me, and her kids just plain make me smile.
What is your style or your thoughts on style?
This is such a hard question! I used to stress out about my “style,” but then I learned that “style” is how you see the world. Not one person sees the world the same so it took the pressure away from wanting to be different. Through that thinking I found my vision. I love photographing children and families. I love the connections they share. I once did an engagement session and was so nervous. I thought all of it came natural, but I had two adults just staring at me. It was like, um, put your arm around him look at him and laugh..smile, um, no don’t smile. And that is why I love photographing kids. They are going to do whatever they want, and I just get to follow them around.
I would say my style would be real and honest. The ones that portray life as it is. My little boy being naughty, unrolling the toilet paper roll for the third time that morning. My daughter eating breakfast with her backpack on. I would love to have real lifestyle pictures of my grandmother in her kitchen, cooking, bathing her babies in the sink. My dad toddling around at her feet. Or of my own mother with me. I have two real “lifestyle” shoots coming up in the next month and I am beyond excited.
Do you have any of your photographs blown up big?
No, but when I move this (below) one will be one of them. It is my daughter and my husband and the blur represents time for me. It reminds me even though my days can be really long, tomorrow comes very fast and those tomorrows add up.
Are you working on any projects?
I am! I am doing a 10 on 10 with 12 other amazing photographers. It truly has been one of the most fulfilling projects I have done. It really makes me think about who we are at this time in our lives. And then I to try and squeeze all that into 10 photographs!
Who or what inspires you?
I would be in trouble if i didn’t say my own kids, haha! I view life in seasons, and I try to document what each of us are doing in that season of our life. I want to enjoy my kids for who they are now, I don’t wish for them to be younger or older. I am inspired by change. Oh, and good light. Photographers who inspire me Tim Coulson, Leah Zadawski, and Tara Whitney. Their photos make my heart skip a beat. I want jump inside their photos and be a part of them.
Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
I hope to be taking more pictures that show people who they really are. I want to show people how beautiful they are in ways that aren’t apparent to them: their everyday beauty. And that everyday beauty is not always found while posing and smiling at the camera. Sure, meeting at the park to take pictures is great. I believe in a good portrait and think it’s a necessity. But the in-between is the best. Being a parent is a beautiful thing. Childhood is a beautiful thing. And I want my camera to live in that moment.
How did you get into photography?
I always have been into it to some degree. I babysat a lot and most of the parents wanted me to take pictures of their kids. Around two years ago I was online looking for images of certain shoes for my daughter. A great picture showed up in google images under greenwatermelon (Teresa Short). I clicked into flickr and was drawn into her amazing photography. I then met a lot of friends and feel so lucky to have met the people I did, two of my closest being Erika Ray and Molly Flanagan. They have had such an influence on the type of photos I take. I shot with a canon 10d and a 30mm for a couple of years. I then updated to a canon 5dmarkii and use the 35mm 1.4 the most.
What photo are you most proud of?
This one (below). This photo is when photography turned into “art” for me. I remember sitting at the computer after I was done editing thinking this is it. This is what I wanted to achieve and I did it. It’s like when a musician stops playing covers and starts playing their own music.
What would your superpower be?
Oh gosh I guess that I would blink and my house would self clean! I have a three year old and a one year old and I am cleaning the same mess 5 times a day. My one year old can destroy a room in seconds. It’s crazy! He will walk in and just start throwing stuff off tables then look at you and say uh-oh. We say uh-oh is right at least 10 times a day.