Every artist needs something to draw from for inspiration, and for each one of us, the sources of that inspiration are specific to the artist. Some photographers draw from music or emotion or dance to create their best art.
For me, there are five places I find the most inspiration for the work I do, and I find myself returning to them over and over again as my work continues to grow and change.
Our world is such a remarkable and fascinating place. Because I’ve been privileged to travel to so many unique places, I’ve experienced new cultures, seen astonishing things and felt overwhelming things I never would have been able to otherwise. For example, as an Ottawa resident I can’t walk out my backdoor to breathtaking views the way I could in Cabo San Lucas or California. You just see things in a fresh way that helps you look at everything with a renewed sense of childlike wonder.
The things I’ve learned while traveling and the deeper appreciation for humanity I’ve gained has permeated my work in a special way. I am able to incorporate the influences, styles and even the energies from the incredible places I visit, and this helps my work to grow, mature and change. Each trip I take is a new chance for my art to flourish.
Art often inspires art, and nowhere is this more real for me than in the way I take in fashion. I mean, who doesn’t love delighting in beautiful things? By following some of my favorite wedding gown designers like Berta Privee, Milla Nova, Mira Zwillinger and Monique Lhuillier I am inspired by their extraordinary attention to detail and soft femininity.
The way each fabric moves, floats and glows so uniquely drives me to try new things and explore new ways of showcasing them. And the various elements, textures and detailing on a bride’s gown gives me a window into her personality and helps me learn more about her as I work to draw it out. Fashion serves as an additional and vital storytelling element on a wedding day, and I feel that, when I follow where it leads, the best magic is made.
Talk about a grand expression of art! The structures we’ve built to be the home to our daily lives can tell such incredible stories, and each one holds a unique history. Architecture is this grand expression of art that gives the creator total control over the style, materials and focal points, and it always invites me to see things in a new way.
From the intricate detailing on the facade of Parisian buildings to the angular temples of Kyoto, I find endless inspiration in the way an artist was able to so completely encapsulate a time, culture and feeling within work meant to serve a practical purpose. This is why I seek out unique architectural elements in each wedding venue I shoot, weaving the architects story and my couple’s story together in a uniquely beautiful way.
It wouldn’t be ridiculous to claim that the first woman who inspired an artist was Mother Nature. There is such a richness and an unparalleled realness to the landscapes around us that we can’t help but feel inspired! That something can be so old and so new all at once is endlessly thrilling, and one of the reasons why nature makes the list.
I find strokes of inspiration in gently curving flower petals and in the contrasting tones where a wave of ocean water meets the warm sand. I’m enchanted by the way the light dances through tree tops and by that unmistakable smell of a spring breeze. And that’s why no wedding gallery would be complete, in my opinion, without a flood of natural elements to set the scene and bring all the best memories of the day flooding back again.
While the first four things on this list do inspire and motivate my art, nothing will ever be more inspirational to me than watching two people interact with one another. I’ll admit it…I’m a big time people watcher. I love witnessing the way people connect to each other when they think no one is paying attention, from the smallest touches to the most boisterous fits of laughter.
I especially love watching the way older couples interact with one another. Sorry, current brides, but nothing will ever be more adorable to me than watching a husband escort his wife of 50 years out of a car with patience, sweetness and grace. And second to that is watching a toddler grab a mom’s face in both hands to secure undivided attention.
This is why I chose to become a wedding photographer. On a day utterly defined by relationships, I’m the one who gets to shamelessly watch and document them all!