Sunday, August 21, 2016

Featured Guest: Molly VanDamme

Hello, mamas!

We are in awe of just how quickly August and the whole 'back to school' thing happened, are you? We are reminded during times like these about JUST how important photography is to freeze those moments as they go by so quickly... sometimes in an instant.

We are happy to bring you our August guest judge feature today- the fabulous Molly VanDamme has been with us and doing an amazing job keeping up w/ all of the entries.

1. What is your favorite image and why? 

My favorite image is one of my son sitting on a couch.  It may not look like much to other people, but to me it represents so much in one photo.  I took this in the hotel we were staying at during our first family vacation to Florida last January.  This was our first trip as a family of three, and William’s first time seeing the ocean and getting to play in the soft beach sand.  Even though it was not that long ago, so much has changed, and the emotion this photo evokes grows each time I look at it. 

My son is NOT a morning person (like his mama!), and usually needs about 1/2 hour to wake up before he starts being his crazy toddler self.  In this photo he has all of his “things” either in his hands - or very close by: his milk cup, his Wubanub, his Cheerio cup, and Franklin the Fox.  He could barley hold everything at once, but that did not stop him from needing each and every one of them during the morning hours.

It’s not even a year later and, while he is still not a morning kiddo, he no longer needs all of his things with him to feel comforted.  His Wubunumbs have had the pacifier cut off, he’s kicked his Cheerio addiction, and while he still needs Pete and Franklin to fall asleep, they stay in the crib after he wakes up.

My son is growing up fast, and each day he becomes less of a baby and more of a little boy.  However, when I look at this image I’m instantly taken back to that moment. 

2. Tell us three things about you, unrelated to photography

1. I love, love, LOVE to travel!  I’ve been fortunate enough to have opportunities to travel around the United States, as well as to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, Belgium, Germany, France, Singapore, Japan, China, and Thailand.  My husband is my absolute favorite travel partner, and we often spend our car rides discussing our next adventure! 
2. I love anything and everything that sparkles.
3. I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, and spent just over five years as 6th/7th grade teacher before I had my son and became a stay at home mom and photographer. 
**artist's note:  It wasn’t your typical couple session - as it wasn’t posed.  It was very documentary.  The boyfriend in the photograph had lived in Madison a few years ago, but it was the first time he was bringing his girlfriend to the city and showing her all of his favorite things.  I love the way he is looking out over the city, and the way she is so close to him, yet looking in her own direction.  The fact that the capital is reflected in her sunglasses is an added bonus. 

3. Describe your work in three words.
Preserving everyday beautiful.
**artist's note:  I feel like this photo encompasses the joy and carefree nature of being a child, as well as the special bond between sisters. I can practically hear the laughter and squeals of excitement!

4. If you were going to venture into a genre you currently don't photograph, what would it be and why?
I think it would be super fun to try an extremely styled shoot.  I don’t know how I would ever get this opportunity, but it’s completely different than anything I’ve done.  I think it would be a chance for me to explore photography in a new way, and give me an opportunity to be creative with the images I produce. It could also present the possibility of creating images in new locations that my normal style does not lend itself to. 
** artist's note: the look on both of their faces and the way the light hits the little girl’s face were perfect.  I feel the emotion and heart felt spiritual connection every time I come across this photo.

5. Give us a photography related goal you hope to accomplish.

Video!  I just started, but have completely fallen in love with family films and want to start incorporating them into my sessions! 
**artist's note:  This last photo is a group of friends at a backyard barbecue  Photographing yourself with your kids, family, and significant other are often the only professional photos one deems important.  I want to stress how awesome it can be to capture those moments you share with your closest friends.  The laughter and memories you will share with these individuals are some of the best times you’ll have in your life, and it’s only right to preserve those moments in photos too! 

 We are so glad to have been able to catch up with  Molly this week.. loved reading all of your answers!  Mamas, be sure to get those {GENERATIONS} shares in- you have until the 31st!  Have a great week, mamas!


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