Celina is our influential tastemaker and Pinterest guru who loves all things visual. She is from Montreal, Canada.
Where can we find you online?
What’s your favorite lens for shooting this type of work? And do you have any accessories you just love (filter, bag, camera strap, etc.)?
I am newbie and hobbyist when it comes to photography, however I recently got a nikon D750 and I am loving the advantages of the full frame, also my 35mm does not come of my camera. I am really contemplating on getting the sigma 24mm 1.4, I always find i want to push the walls of my apartment.
What are you drawn to document? Is there a particular composition, technique, or mood you love?
My children are my muse. I love catching their personalities and the little things that make them unique. I find since having kids my memory has gotten worse and looking back on the photos, of the everyday and the little moments makes me relive them and not forget. Time goes by too fast and as much as the milestones are important, I feel like we tend to forget these less. I still have so much to learn about composition and all the technical aspect of photography, I am trying to soak it all up and taking as many classes and tutorials as I can. For now I just shoot from the heart and what feels right. As for the mood, that changes with everyday, just as my mood does and the ones of my kids does too. I feel like that gets reflected in the photos I take.
What is the most valuable tip you have learned in pursuit of shooting in a more documentary style?
Always have a camera with you, even if it’s just your phone. The light, the mood, the moment will never be the same again. Pay attention to the little details. However, I’ve also learnt to take a step back and let more of the background to be seen, it always ends up adding more to the story.
Why is storytelling photography important to you? Why do you feel compelled to shoot with this approach?
I am very much a visual person and I’ve never been good at writing things down, taking photos in a storytelling way has given me the tools to journal. As cliche as the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I truly believe this. Shooting this way has also given me photos that are more genuine and filled with emotions, the kind that get me teary eyed ( although that is not hard since having kids!). My children and I will be able to go back and look at these images and relive these small moments. They are my way of contributing to our families history and hopefully my grandchildren children’s will have a good idea who we were. That being said I really need to make an effort of being in the photos more often than the occasional selfie.
Briefly tell us about your journey into family documentary photography.
I’ve taken photos for as long as I can remember, taking a class in high school and I still remember saving up for my first Nikon Coolpix and buying fancy lenses for it. I would have to say that photography is my favourite art form. Street and documentary photography is amongst my favourite, however it never really occurred to me that I could be doing this with my family! It wasn’t until I watched Kirsten Lewis class on Creative Live (night and day) that I realized this even existed. Wow, so much pressure and frustrations of photographing my kids was gone. Bossing them around and getting grumpy faces was a thing of the past! I was now intrigued and obsessed with this new style and I started doing some research. First things first I learnt to shoot in manual and next I found Molly Flanagan and her Storytelling class on Define. Photography has since then become such an important part of my daily life. I still ask my kids to stand still whenever I need to photograph them in some clothing I’ve made them and even at that they are pretty much free to do what they want! I think everyone is happy about this turn of events. Now my focus is to get stronger technically and just keep learning and growing.