Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Artist Interview with Lyf Is Grand Photography

Artist Interview with
Jade from 

Tell us a little bit about you.
HI! I am Jade Lyf, I live on Vancouver Island in Canada and I have a 3 year old son, a wonderful husband and I love to adventure with them every chance we get! I spend my time hiking and exploring outside as much as I can but I also love to read and write. I can usually be found with my nose in a book or somewhere near the ground squinting at something tiny and interesting. I am an introvert by nature and I like to spend time in quiet, with a 3 yr old boy that part of my life is often neglected so photography helps to serve as a way to create a calm in the storm of toddlerdom. I love to cook and bake, and eat, good food is so underappreciated! I have a real fascination with details so a lot of what I shoot revolves around some detail that caught my attention, there is so much in this world that leaves me with a feeling of wonder.

What’s in your bag. (Photos are lovely).
I carry an xsi at the moment, about 14 years old it's a dinosaur but it's been my companion since my son broke my T2i last summer. I am currently, and finally, awaiting word on a new to me body for an upgrade. (Exiciting!!) On my faithful old Canon body I have any of a variety of creative and vintage lenses I carry every day:

o Lensbaby E50 and Double Glass + creative aperatures.
o Vintage Nikkor 24mm + 50mm F2's
o Sometimes I take my Vintage Nikkor 135 or 200 F2.8's
o Helios 44-2 F1.4
o Tamron adaptall 90mm macro F2.8 + macro focusing teleconverter
o Extension tubes 13, 24, + 36mm
o A variety of creative prisms + short length of copper pipe
o Tweezers, a water dropper, extra SD's and ziplock baggies for kneeling on during wet days, always a clif bar in there too!
o Oh! And my plastic fantastic Canon nifty fifty, my only AI lens, and I use it for freelensing!
Im super indecisive so it's a bit heavy :P

When did you fall in love with photography? How long have been a photographer?

I fell in love with photography when I was very young, my parents bought a digital camera when I was just 8 years old and I fell in love instantly. Ever since then I've had some kind of camera around but it wasn't until just under 3 years ago when my husband bought me a DSLR that I decided to really take it seriously and discovered it's a passion I can do nothing to subdue.

What sort of work do you specialize in?

I specialize in Fine Art, Storytelling, Lifestyle and Documentary photography. That means I photograph adventures, details, moments, stories and love. My primary clients are Newborns and their families but I offer Boudoir, Maternity, Adventure, and Family photography sessions as well as looking at getting into Weddings or Birth photography in the coming year. Most of these falling under the storytelling genre I don't do a lot of posing unless it's necessary-- as can be with newborns. I do also offer completely documentary sessions where I don't offer any photo related suggestions at all and let the situation play out without any control from me.

Do you create personal work often?

I LIVE off my personal work, it feeds my soul and it keeps me sane. If I wasn't out shooting macro, doing sessions with my son, at least 5 times a week I'd lose my mind. I photograph my son pretty constantly. I occasionally find myself inspired to create digital art late at night with a few images I have "lying around". If I wasn't doing personal work I wouldn't be in this field, without the parts that feed my heart and soul as an artist photography wouldn't be as much of a passion for me as a job.

What or who got you started in photography?

I think if I were to boil it right down to the very bottom of the question, it's my natural curiosity that got me started. A camera is a lot like a microscope for me, it illuminates a detail I couldn't otherwise see or couldn’t otherwise show others. So it's a tool for my curiosity that eventually morphed into a creative outlet as well, which incorporates that avid need for knowledge that identifies as human curiosity. If I never saw anything and thought "hmm that’s peculiar, that's curious, that's fascinating..." I'd never photograph a thing.

Who are some of your favorite artists past or present?

Right now I am obsessed with a few people, Jacob Loafman is incredible his work is deliriously strange and it keeps me so inspired, he has reminded me on more than one occasion that the weirdness is the best part of us all. He is so creative and bold; he's probably my favourite artist right now. I also spend a lot of time swooning over Ben Sasso, Lexy Parks, Anthony Thurston, Hengki Lee, Anita Cline, Twyla Jones, Colby Moore, Erin Hensley, Teresa Vick, Corrine Trively, Kelly Akers, Abbie Rose Wilson, Bonnie Hussey, Chelsea Moudry, Ana Rosenberg, Pauline Putt, Andrea Brooke, Adri De La Cruz, Susan Grimes, Sharon Covert, Joni Burtt, Sue Sonnenberg.. Gosh there's soo many I follow really closely that I have left people out that I really admire and look up to I just know I couldn't name everyone. The photography community is amazing, there's so much talent out there. But not all my favourite artists are photographers, Shane Koyczan is a writer and poet and he has inspired me for years with his words. There is an artist in town where I live Rachel Twizell, she's incredible with a ballpoint pen you would not believe, it's important for me, I think, to always look outside my passion at other genres of art.

How often do you get in front of the camera?

NOT OFTEN. I am always the one behind the lens and I have to really put myself out to get in the shot so usually if I am in front of the lens than my cameras propped on something nearby, I have found I am usually too lazy to get out my tripod and actually use it. This year I am trying to get into the frame a little more often because I want my son to remember that I was here too, he won't remember the thing about myself that keep me out of the frame, if I am too heavy right now or I had messy hair. I encourage other photographers to remember that their loved ones want to see them too!

What are some of favorite photographer communities?

I spend time in quite a few but I particularly enjoy Fantastically Flawed, Soul Focus, By HeArt, Snap Love Grow, Dear Photographer, and the Document Your Days Project. I am in a few learning groups associated with very large photo hubs and blogs and there is some great interaction to be had in those also.

Print or Digital? Why?

Both! They both have their place. I REALLY think it's SUPER important to print your work though, it is such a different experience to actually see and touch it. It means more to me somehow to see my work on paper or canvas. Like I actually created something tangible. And when you find the right paper, Oh my goodness it's like finding the perfect set of pastels, everyone who's ever used pastels knows that it's not just about colour but the texture too.

Do create other types of art? What kind(s)?

I used to spend a lot more time drawing but the time I have for it has dwindled over the years. I should say the time I –make- for it. I do some hand drawn custom logo designs and I used to really, really love charcoal and pastel drawing, I've got a thing for clay. I write a bit but never show anyone. My mediums have changed but I have always been an artist. I even experimented with graffiti style art (on paper) for a while. Now when I need to create and don't feel super inspired I pull out my crayola markers and an adult colouring book to unwind, it lets me create with no pressure and often I'll just throw them out or if I go outside the lines I can just abandon it and not have to fret. As an artist I can be hard on myself and I know that's common among creatives.

How do you balance your personal/family and passion?

I am not sure I am really. I mean, I take a lot of photos of my family because I love them -they're beautiful!- and that helps me to feel connected to them and I know that I will be able to look back and remember things I'd have otherwise forgotten; but I sometimes worry they will feel that I am not present, even if I feel that it's my camera that keeps my feet on the ground. Sometimes I feel like I'd float away if I didn't have it to keep me grounded and present in the moment, to help me remember the details that always seem to slip away otherwise.

From where do you draw your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a lot of places, and I touched on that a bit earlier but I draw inspiration from people I admire, from the people I love, from music, from the world itself. Sometimes a great film will get my gears turning and working on an idea and other times a bit of heartbreak will do the trick. Even music or a great book.

If you could go back in time, what advice would give to your young photographer self, today?
Hey 3 years ago me, I have something to say to you so stop freaking out about time travel and listen up! Don't try to impress anyone, stop listening to people who tell you to edit differently, to expose for the shadows, that your work is confusing, that your gear isn't good enough to be a professional or be taken seriously. And stop taking work you don't want just to stay working! Don't apologize for your creative choices. Breaking the rules has never been a problem for you so keep doing that. Also shoot RAW right NOW. But I also would have told myself to learn the rules and follow my passon seriously a lot sooner. So 10 years ago me: you stop freaking out too and hear this. Photography is what you want, Don't argue. It's your purpose in this life so get your sh** together and figure it out. You got this.

What tips would you give to Artsies reading this in an inspirational rut?

My best advice is to go out and try something new, get a new book, heck get a new genre of book! Try a new art form, do something backwards or upside down from your normal routine. Let a friend tell you what to create. Let someone you really don't like tell you what to create! Don't pressure yourself though, it will pass. In my experience the best way to get out of a rut is to try something new or create a well of new inspiration in your life. My creative ruts tend to stem from ruts in other parts of my life. If there isn't enough new information or experiences coming in my creative well runs dry. If you're really stuck, buy yourself an art related present, you deserve it, I promise.

Artist Website: Explore here.